Nikos KESSANLIS Greek, 1930-2004
Nikos Kessanlis was born in Thessaloniki.
Between 1944 and 1948 he studied with Yannis Spyropoulos and later enrolled at the School of Fine Arts, Athens in the studio of Yannis Moralis where he graduated in 1955.
He continued his studies in Rome, on a scholarship from the Italian government at the Istituto Centrale del Restauro while also taking lessons in mural painting and engraving at the Scuola delle Arti Ornamentali di San Giacomo.
In the early 1960s, he moved to Paris and in 1981 returned permanently to Greece. A year later he was elected a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Athens, where between 1992-1996 he held the position of rector (in the sphere of academia this is the highest academic position).
In the 1965 Paris Biennale, Kessanlis used an intermediate screen on which the shadows of the visitors were projected. This work established him internationally as one of the greatest artists of European modernism.
In 1959 he received the Amadeo Modigliani Award, in 1961 an honourable commendation at the Sao Paulo Biennale and in 1997 first prize at the Salon de Montrouge.
Kessanlis held more than 30 solo exhibitions, in Greece and abroad. He has shown his work in numerous international group exhibitions, such as the 1958 and 1976 Venice Biennale, the 1961 and 1963 Sao Paolo Biennale, the1961 ‘Peintres et Sculpteurs Grecs de Paris’, Musee d’Art Moderne Paris, and the 1964 ‘Three Proposals for a New Greek Sculpture’ in Venice. In 1988, together with Vlassis Caniaris, he represented Greece at the Venice Biennale.
His work is found in many public and private collections in Greece, Italy, France and internationally. Notably at The National Gallery of Greece, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Vorres Museum, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Musee d’Art Moderne, Sao Paolo and the Museum of Modern Art, Miami.