Kostas Lahas (1936-2014)
In 2004, on the occasion of his painting exhibition in Athens at Galerie Zygos, Ion Frantzeskakis had written on the invitation: "Galerie Zygos is very pleased to welcome our friend and colleague, from the times of Kohlias Gallery, Kostas Lahas, in his capacity of an artist, and is honored to be the first art space in Athens in all his creative years to host a solo exhibition of this multi-talented and multifaceted person of the arts and letters." With these same words, we bid farewell to our friend, who passed away on December 9, 2014.
Kostas Lahas, visual artist, writer and gallery owner and director, was born in 1936 at Kato Theodoraki of Kilkis of parents from occupied Pontos. Using the surname Lahas instead of Lahanidis, he lived in Thessaloniki since 1960. He died of cancer on December 9, 2014.
He had his first solo exhibition on November 1962 at the French Institute of Thessaloniki, and two years later he published a collection of short stories under the title “Pedion Osfriseos”. In 1986 he published “Metoikasma-Methesthima” and on 1994 “Askiseis epi Ammodohou” for which he was awarded the National Prize for Short Story. In 1998 radio station “9.58” of ERT-3 published the essay “Plous Oneirou – From Ehedoros to Thermaikos”. His work has been translated in English, French and German. His last public literary contribution was twenty-some years ago when he wrote lyrics for three songs in the album “Stou aiona tin paragka”, music by Thanos Mikroutsikos, interpreted by singer Dimitris Mitropanos.
He studied economics at the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki, and theater at the Theatro Tehnis of Karolos Koun. He acted on several roles in theater, but also in movies by the late director Takis Kanellopoulos of Thessaloniki.
He worked, in the secretariat of the Film Festival, as a representative for a pharmaceutical company, as a cultural journalist for the newspapers “Makedoniki Ora” and “Thessaloniki”. In 1972 he founded and directed “Kohlias Gallery” through 1986, the first professionally organized art gallery of Thessaloniki. From 1962 to his death he organized over 24 solo and participated in over 30 group painting exhibitions. His first exhibition in Athens was in 2004 in Galerie Zygos and once again in 2005 in the much larger space of Galerie Zygos at Ellinikos Kosmos Cultural Centre. Between the years 1987 and 1996 he served as director of Vellideion Cultural Center and was the artistic counsel to the State Museum of Modern Art of Thessaloniki.
Lahas was actively involved with local politics in the City of Thessaloniki and was elected as City Council Member twice, in 1975 and 1978. He was a member of the Chamber of Visual Arts, the Literary Society of Thessaloniki and The Writers Society of Athens.
Kostas Lahas: "Thessaloniki: Around Dawn", Galerie Zygos, 2004, Invitation
Kostas Lahas: "under the Constellation of Zygos (Libra)", 2005, invitation