Kalamaras Dimitris (1924 - 1997)

He was born in Florina in 1924. He studied painting (Athens School of Fine Arts) under D. Biskinis, Ep. Thomopoulos and U. Argyros (1946-47), and sculpture under M. Tombros (1947-53), and graduated with honours (1st sculpture prize). Funded by the greek State Scholarship Foundation (I.K.Y.), he continued his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy (1954-57: Florence, 1958-61: Rome). In 1956, on an initiative by I.K.Y. and supported by his teacher, Bruno Bearzi, he created the first bronze casting studio (lost-wax casting) of ASFA, located at the School's basement. He remained abroad until 1966, familiarizing himself with modern art and studying the great artworks of european museums.
His early works (busts and statues mostly) are monumental, with a solid structure and several expressionistic elements. After 1965, he tends to limit the figurative details and gradually begins to shape his forms through an abstract process that highlights their structural features.
His tendency to abstraction that dominates his mature work is the result of geometrical reductions and thorough measurements, with the aim of highlighting the balance and harmony of proportions. The form of the equestrian statue in different variations was the sculptural theme he studied mostly in his life. He created countless drawings, maquettes and mock-ups, which also stand as works of art, artwork- process and summary of his artistic career in their own right. Essentially though, they were all preliminary studies for the creation of a single sculpture: the monumental bronze Equestrian Statue of Alexander the Great (Florina, 1993).
In 1969 he was elected unanimously professor at ASFA (1969-84), in which he introduced courses of art theory, promoted the collection of plaster moulds for teaching purposes and upgraded the Book Art studio. He also served as the School's vice dean (1977-78). He was a member of the Central Archaeological Council and the president of the Committee for the Erection of Monuments and Statues of the Ministry of Culture.
He organized very few exhibitions, since he opposed to the commercialization of art. He was already 68 years old, when he presented his first solo exhibition (Florina Museum of Contemporary Art, 1992/Vellidio Cultural Centre of Thessaloniki, 1993). Similarly, he participated in few group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He represented Greece in the Biennales of Alexandria (1963, gold medal) and Sao Paulo (1979, honorable mention). His major retrospective exhibition at the Athens National Art Gallery in 1995, established his important role in the history of contemporary greek sculpture. Shortly after his death (Athens, 1997) the Dimitrios Kalamaras Foundation for the promotion of artistic education was founded by Anna and Filippos Kalamaras. His sculpture Dying Warrior (1971) was placed at the 'Ethniki Amyna' station of the Athens metro in 2000.