Born in New York City in 1964 to Greek American parents, Eugene Constan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1986 from The Cooper Union in New York City. Following graduation, Constan worked as an apprentice to the sculptor Dimitri Hadzi in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he perfected skills in enlargement and duplication of bronze, plaster, granite and printmaking. Upon completion of his apprenticeship in 1989, Constan traveled extensively throughout Greece where he became influenced by mosaic work in ancient ruins and fascinated with Byzantine fresco. He moved to Thessaloniki in 1990 to study the modern language at The Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki.
Upon returning to America in 1991, Constan moved to Oakland, California where he worked for the sculptor Bruce Beasley building large-scale bronze fabrications and geometric computer generated models. Working with obdurate materials such as bronze and stone reinforced Constan’s yearning for the viscosity of paint, which eventually became his primary medium. In 1992, he attended a residency at The Cummington Community of the Arts in Cummington, Massachusetts, where he began working in a pictographic style of painting. Constan was awarded a staff fellowship at The Vermont Studio Center for painting in 1993, and in 1994 he received a fellowship at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. While in Provincetown, a unique style of scraping paint with tar and wax was developed and through this process the Provincetown Series surfaced. This series was influenced by patterns and imagery that emerged through a process of destruction and decay; a subject which would recur in his work for many years.
Constan returned to New York in 1995 where he set up a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn creating a colorful series of enamel oil paintings titled Huron Street Series. In 1997, during a Yaddo fellowship in Saratoga Springs, New York, he concentrated predominantly on monotypes and paintings on paper. A new cycle of work named the Yaddo Series was inspired. In 2001 Constan received a grant by The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, which funded a body of work called The Process of Demolition and Decay.
In a 2007 group show at Third Ward Gallery in Brooklyn, artist and curator Jeff Weiss described Constan’s work, “Eugene builds his paintings using layers of simple pattern and bands of color. Each layer responds to and edits its predecessors, sometimes incorporating and expanding their motifs and sometimes obliterating them without apology. The bold forms in the finished work evidence the precariousness of the creation process”. Constan has had numerous group shows and solo exhibitions and continues to paint in his studio in Brooklyn, New York.
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