Yannis Kottis was born in 1949 in Corinth, Greece. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts - ASFA, under the supervision of Yannis Moralis and Nikos Nikolaou. He recieved a scholarship to continue his studies at the École Supérieure Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1979-1983).
Yannis Kottis presented the following personal exhibitions: Centre Culturel de Bretigny, France (1984); Kottis - Lambert at Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens (1984, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2002); Samy Kinge Gallery, Paris (1987, 1990, 1992, 2000); La Cour 21 Gallery, Nantes, France (1987); Diaspro Art Center, Nicosia, Cyprus (1993); Centre d' Art de Flaine, France (1994); Artforum Gallery, Thessaloniki (1995); Zina Athanassiadou Gallery, Thessaloniki (1997); Tzamia - Kristalla Art Gallery, Chania, Island of Crete, Greece (2001); and Ermoupolia: Yannis Kottis Retrospective Exhibition on Syros Island, Greece (2003). He also took part in the following group exhibitions: Maison des Beaux Arts, Paris, (1981); Salon Realites Nouvelles, Paris (1982); Four Young Artists at Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens (1982); Salon Realites Nouvelles, Paris (1983); Salon de Montrouge, Paris (1984); Biennale of Alexandria, Egypt (1984); Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris (1984), National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens (1985); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Dunkerque, France (1985); The Salon de Montrouge, Paris (1986); The Dimitris Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art, Glyfada, Greece (1987); FIAC with Samy Kinge Gallery, Paris (1988, 1994); FIAC with Zoumboulakis Galleries, Paris (1995); Biennale de Jeunes, Cannes, France (1989); BIAF with Samy Kinge Gallery, Barcelona (1991); Summer in the Mediterranean at the National Gallery of Tirana, Albania (1995); 5 Painters in Search of a Writer (2003); Tonight - Tonight at Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens (2004); Summer Landscapes, Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens (2004); and Melina Merkouri Cultural Center, Hydra Island, Greece (2004).