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Andreou Constantine

Andreou Constantine

Born in 1917.
Died in 2007.
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Andreou Constantine biography

Constantine Andreou (March 24, 1917 – October 8, 2007) was a Brazilian-born Greek painter and sculptor with a highly successful career spanning six decades. He is widely regarded as an eminent figure in international art of the 20th century.

Early Life (1917-1945)
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, to Greek parents who had immigrated to Brazil a few years prior, Andreou’s family moved back to Greece in 1925, settling in Athens until the end of World War II. During these years, Andreou dabbled in crafts and worked as a carpenter making furniture while studying technical design, graduating in 1935. In the same year, he began studying sculpture, the art form for which he would be most known.

In 1939, Andreou participated in the Panellinio (Πανελλήνιο) competition, but his three sculptures were disqualified. In 1942, he entered the same competition with the same artwork, which were deemed so lifelike that he was accused of cheating by copying nature. Three major personalities of the time in Greece, Memos Makris, John Miliades, and Nikos Nikolaou, came to his defense. As a result, Andreou gained significant exposure and recognition for his artwork.

During World War II, Greece entered the conflict on the side of the Allies in 1940, and by 1941, the country was under Nazi and Italian occupation. Andreou was initially drafted into the Hellenic Army in 1940 and participated in the Greek Resistance during the occupation. Despite the war and occupation, Andreou continued his artwork and studies, and in 1945, he won a French scholarship to study in France, along with many other Greek intellectuals on the RMS Mataroa voyage.

Life in France (1945-2002)
In 1947, Andreou began using a new personal technique employing welded copper sheets, which allowed him to create a new way to express his art in a manner unrelated to tradition. A major influence on Andreou’s method of expression and the development of his personal “language” was his friendship with Le Corbusier. They first met in 1947 and worked together on and off until 1953. Le Corbusier’s view of architecture as monumental sculpture and sculpture subject to the laws of architecture had a significant impact on Andreou’s work.

In the same period, Andreou became a member of a select group of philosophers, including Jean-Paul Sartre, who discussed various topics in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Andreou had his first exhibition in Paris in 1951, where he showcased the transformation of his style. By the end of the decade, Andreou was well-known in the French art scene and considered an equal to Mondrian, Picasso, and Gastaud. In 1982, he was appointed chairman of the Paris “Autumn Salon” for sculpture.

In 1999, the library of the town La Ville-du-Bois, where Andreou resided while in France, was named in his honor. Throughout his time in France, he regularly visited Greece and exhibited his work in various cities and islands. In 1977, Andreou bought a centuries-old winery on the island of Aegina, which he converted into a house after being influenced by his longtime friend and colleague Nikos Nikolaou. In the summer of 1985, Andreou created a series of twenty paintings entitled “Polymorphs” based on the poet’s work “Restoration of a Stone Stalk” by Evangelos Andreou.

Andreou participated in the Biennales of Antwerp, the Netherlands, Paris, Venice, and Yugoslavia. In 2004, he established the “Costas Andreou Foundation” with the goal of promoting his work in the arts and the significance of sculpture and painting worldwide. The foundation also recognizes young and upcoming artists every three years with an award, based on the decision of an international judging committee. The first time the award was given was in March 2008.

Later years and death (2002-2007)
Constantine Andreou returned to Athens, Greece, in 2002. He died on October 8, 2007, in his house in Athens, Greece.

In 2004, Andreou created the “Costas Andreou Foundation” with the stated goal to promote his work in the arts and the significance of sculpture and painting worldwide. The foundation is also to recognize young and upcoming artists every 3 years with an award, based on the decision of an international judging committee. The first time the award was given was in March 2008.

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