Houtopoulou-Contaratou Sosso (1923 - 1984)

Born in Athens in 1923, she attended classes at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1943-44) and studied sculpture and drawing at the Henri Paquet Academy and the Ecole des Arts et Metiers in Geneva. She read history and literature at the university of the same city, and was taught jewellery making by the goldsmith Marcel Nieuwmunster in Lausanne.
She presented her first solo exhibition at the Nees Morfes Gallery in 1962. Between 1964-1966 she lived and worked in New York. In most of her work the forms are abstract and the compositions rigorously geometric, dominated by the interchange of straight and curved lines, the visual exploitation of empty spaces and the harmonic repetition of identical sets.
Initially her sculptural language focused on rendering movement, following a methodical process of abstraction to seek the parallels between inner rhythms and cosmic motion. Later her restless research leads her to geometric sculptural compositions with sheet metal as the main material. The metal pieces are welded together to create a feeling of constant penetration into one another or of revolution around a core as they form clear forms, oval or spherical, with smooth and shiny surfaces. At the same time she creates a few busts, some abstract drawings inspired from various Greek landscapes and a series of watercolours of a pronounced sensibility.
In the early '70s she moved away from freestanding works in favour of all-mounted compositions of wood and aluminium, characterised by the harmonious relationship between the work’s dimensions and the individual elements of the composition. In 1972-74 she collaborated with Chrysotheque Zolotas and presented her creations in international jewellery exhibitions. She also had a noteworthy activity on the field of printmaking.
She presented her work in solo exhibitions and participated in group shows and international events, including the Biennales of Buenos Ayres (1960-64), Alexandria (1963, 1970), printmaking biennials (Ljubljana 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981; Krakow 1976, 1978, 1980; Friedrikstad 1976, 1978, 1980), Avanguardia e Sperimentazione (Modena, Venice 1978) etc.
She died in Athens in 1984.