Abstract - Koulentianos Kostas

Koulentianos Kostas (1918 - 1995)

Abstract, [1974]

Iron, 187 x 155 x 172 cm

Inv. Number Π.6968
On view National Glyptotheque

Kostas Koulentianos is one of the most important and consistent representatives of abstraction in Greek sculpture. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, leaving in 1945 for Paris with the first postwar group of artists on scholarship from the French government. From then on, France became his permanent place of residence until his death.

In 1947 he met Henri Laurens, an acquaintanceship that proved crucial to his work. Koulentianos then abandoned traditional materials and began working in lead and iron. His work in the early fifties was still representational, but with a definite abstract leaning. In 1954 he moved into the realm of total abstraction. He was moved by the qualities of iron, steel and the rods used to reinforce concrete. In the sixties his sculptures became geometric in form, penetrating dynamically into the space with an upward thrust that was intensified by sharp vertical endings.

In the seventies he continued to construct sculptures that had a dynamic spatial presence. At that time, however, he used large, flat or curved iron bands, painted and screwed together. These metal bands extend out in various directions. “Abstract” falls into this category of works. It stands solidly on the ground while at the same time extends horizontally and vertically, creating the impression of a latent upward movement, like a bird about to take flight.