Kontos Dimitris (Mimis) (1931 - 1996)

He was born in 1931 in Tripoli (Arcadia). He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts on a Greek state scholarship (I.K.Y.) with Yannis Moralis (1950-1955), graduating with 5 distinctions. He goes to Rome in 1958 and along with Gaitis, Caniaris, Kessanlis and Tsoklis, create the art group Gruppo Sigma (1959), participating in avant-garde movements. After a brief stay in Paris (1961-1964), he returns to Greece and works as an assistant curator at the Painting Dept. of the School of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens. In 1968, he becomes Associate Professor of Freehand Drawing at the same School. In 1970 he resigns his post and works exclusively in his own studio–Workshop of Freehand Drawing and Painting.
During all this time, he participated in exhibitions which brought to light the innovative suggestions of the Greek Diaspora artists, the so-called ‘60s generation. In his own work, he employed a unique gestural style, often in a spiral pattern, with pencils or water colours on paper. The creation of plastic space through gesture and material alluded to both natural phenomena and the energy produced by the human body. In 1967-68, he created the Roman Pictural, an art book with the abstract poetic writing of the artist running through its pages.
A change in his career takes place in 1974, when he accepts a Ford Foundation grant and a new creative period begins. He also agrees to finally present his work in a very first solo exhibition (Desmos gallery, 1975), where he exhibits simultaneously earlier samples and his new artwork, Latreftika, inspired by the offerings of the believers to churches, in a poignant critical spirit.
In 1984, he was elected professor at the newly established School of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He organized a few more solo exhibitions and towards the end of his life, he presented a series of silkscreen prints on the moon phases, confirming his particular sensibility and philosophical perception of universe and time.
He died in 1996 in Thessaloniki. In 2007, a retrospective exhibition of his work was organized at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki.