Costas Coulentianos ( Greek 1918- 1995)



Costas Coulentianos is one of the most respected and accepted 20th Century sculptors in Greece but also in France. He was born in 1918 and died in 1995. Coulentianos  studied at ASKT of Athens and then continued his studies in Paris from 1945 at the  Ecole Superieure  des Beaux Arts, the Grant Saumier and under the masters of scupture of the day, Ossip Zadkine and Henry Lauren.

Tribute To Freedom, circa 1979
Numbered 1/3 and serialised G4 IX

Freedom Spirit

130 x 70 x 74cm

Provenance: Wilfrid Vasis, Lyon , France
Bought directly from the artist after the artist’s exhibition of his sculptures at the Lyon’s Interbureau in 1980
Literature: National Gallery Athens, Alexandros Soutsos Museum

Four Centuries of  Greek  Paintings

Modern Greek Sculpture, Pages  280 –284, another sculpture of Koulentianos illustrated

Literature: To be included in the Koulentianos Catalogue Raissone being prepared by Monsieur

Henri Laurens’  influence was especially crucial on Koulentianos as they were close friends. His subject matter and style were close to his friend’s work. In Paris he abandoned, clay, plaster and bronze and turned to lead, iron, steal and copper. He moved to abstraction which was connected to constructivist work, as in the present work. Koulentianos managed to shape natural phenomena in his work via geometrical levels and pointed terminations that aim to movement and penetration of space.
He remained in Paris for many years, where he kept his studio and worked ceaselessly winning international recognition. He participated in several Biennale exhibitions in USA, Brazil and Venice.

His exhibitions in France were numerous, where he is considered one of the top sculptors of his day and that respect is testified in the exhibitions held in his honour all over France.  Numerous exhibitions of his work were held in Greece, USA, London, Morocco and elsewhere.

Coulentianos works decorate public places in Athens, USA and are found in most Greek collections of mention worldwide.  Many works of his are still in French collections. We were fortunate enough to own another work by the artist, which sold at Sothebys on 18th November 2003, Lot 111. Coulentianos is considered by many art critics as the top modern Greek sculptor together with Yiannis Kounellis. In recognition of his importance and his acceptance as a top Greek sculptor the National Gallery Of Greece in Athens displays in the forecourt of its building opposite Hilton Hotel a major sculpture by Coulentianos
Early on  in his artistic creation Costas Coulentianos showed great tendency to abstraction. Steel works, works that are held firm or change shape with screws were the topic and main interest in the seventies and eighties.

The present work is a true example of Coulentianos’s work of the abstract, steel period, with screws and pieces of steel synthesized to create a composition that not only speaks the Greek mind but also the ethereal freedom of the spirit of the artist and its creation. Restlessly sitting on a cylindrical geometric base, the work is ready to take off into space and penetrate it, thus lifting the spirit of the viewer upon looking on the composition.

This is Number One piece of three and it was for this reason that we acquired the piece as unique and as the first in the mind of the artist. Looking at the work which stands at 135cm, one senses the Freedom it symbolises, one senses the psyche and soul of the artist and his work reaching high into the space above and beyond, in some extraordinary way lifting the work into space and flying off.

That feeling of freedom, the feeling of liberation into space, in a very strange way, finds its way to the viewer and  spectator. The composition inspires freedom upon looking and examining it and it aspires to higher emotional and notional ideas.

This is an imposing, inspiring sculpture. It is an inspiring composition and a piece of art that can decorate with real contemporary feel any high aspiring salon of today.

We consider this a museum quality sculpture and unique in many respects!

Cuulentianos work is rare. His auctions results are a few but they are already close to 30,000 and climbing higher year after year.

The latest Coulentianos sale of mention was 60,000 pounds at Bonhmas London for Crete, another sculpture of his.

Sevearl other sales in Paris and London exceed the ten thousand pounds mark.

Anaf, Lyon June 2003 179cm Totem £6000
Anaf, Lyon June 2003 209 x 88cm Silhouttes £6000
Sothebys November 2003 56 x 22cm Mother & Child £9000
Pairs, Versailles December 2006 20 x 26 x 2cm Abstract £1800
Bonhams May 2008 41 x 88 x 62cm Nude £30000
Bonhams November 2008 22 x 55 x 34cm Nude £10500
Bonhams November 2008 57 x 130 x 57cm Abstract £21600
Bonhams May 2009 70 x 55 x 33cm Seated Nude £26400

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