World renowned sculptor Philolaos Tloupas died last Saturday at the age of 87 in Paris. He is one of the greatest Greek artists abroad. His funeral will take place tomorrow morning at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. On Saturday his ashes will be scattered at his estate in San Remi lymph Sevrez, according to the site: kosmolarisa.gr.
San Remi lymph Sevrez is where his house and studio exist. Philolaos had created a sculpture-house inside the woods. According to his words, his house was his finest piece of art.
Philolaos was honored in 1984 with the Medal of Fine Arts from the Architecture Academy of France. In 2005 the French government honored him for his work and proclaimed him as “Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters”.
He was married to French artist Marina and they have two children, Isabel and George Toulpas.
Philolaos was born in Larisa in 1923. His brother was the distinguished Takis Toulpas. Since his childhood, Philolaos was experimenting with materials next to his father who was a carpenter and his grandfather who was a brazier. He started working on his ideas at his father’s carpentry shop. This was the foundation of his art.
In 1944 he entered the School Of Fine Arts in Athens. He studied next to sculptor Michael Tompros and Athanasios Apartis; both student of the famous French sculptor Bourntel.
In 1950 he gained a scholarship to study in France. He studied at the School Of Fine Arts in Paris and at the atelier of the great artist Marcel Zimon. Between the years 1951-1967 he taught sculpture at the School of Clair in the area of San Remi lymph Sevrez, Paris.
Philolaos very soon showed his interest in large scale projects and started working with great architects. He created artistic interventions in open areas, gaining recognition and numerous awards. The stainless steel and treated-washed, played a major role at his projects. He also used wood and marble.
The water reservoirs of Valans (1963) are considered to be one of the greatest moments of his career. This was an impressive work created under the collaboration with architect Andre Gkomis. His acquaintance with Andre Gkomis in 1959 and their first collaboration lead to the famous fountain sculpture at the local school. In 1992 together with Francois Pierre, he created a park with sculptures in the suburbs of Paris.
Philolaos left his mark from Larisa and Volos to Toulouse and Versailles. The last 50 years he made several exhibitions in France and Greece, among other nations. His work still exists in private and public collections. In Greece and abroad, he created sculptures at the beach of Volos, the Memorial of Resistance and Alkazar in Larisa.
Some years ago, Maria Kotzamanis edited a wonderful album including Philolaos’ work while the director Kalliopi Legakis made a documentary under the title of “Philolaos and Marina”. The documentary was presented at the 11th Documentary Festival in Thessaloniki.
In 2009 for the first time in Greece, a large retrospective exhibition with Philolao’s works was organized in the National Gallery in Athens.