So, what’s in store for February in terms of art? Here are some exhibitions that you might want to start off with in Athens, the city of dreams and nightmares, crisis tension and classical harmony, general strikes and cultural creativity (and much, much more of course):
Metamatic:taf (the art foundation)
The ‘Culturelines Sans Frontieres’ project at the metamatic:taf will be inaugurated on Thursday, February 11 and runs till February 21. It comprises a triad of events: firstly, the exhibition of works by Edward Akrout, Emi Avora, Augustos Veinoglou, Andreas Vembos, David & Jeremy Hutchison, Jane McAdam Freud, Kevin Frilet, Tom Gallant HMQV:13, Dimitra Kondylatou, Calliope Lemos, Vaggelis Lioudakis, Vasilis Markosian, Whitney McVeigh, Vasilis Papageorgiou, Myrto Sarma, Martin Sexton, Terry Smith, Elisavet Tamouridou, Maria Tzanakou, Pythagoras Hatziandreou. This exhibition focuses on aspects of multiculturalism by exploring the connections between regional (or local) and global cultures.
The second part of the project involves Speed Dating on the Eve of Valentine’s day, February 13. Those who want to be involved in this event will have to contact the foundation (firstname.lastname@example.org), so that they can be added to the list of people who will be ‘hooked up’ with an artist, curator, collector or some other art professional, so that they may ‘talk about art’ and other matters.
The third event will be a discussion on the refugee crisis that will take place on February 14 and 21, at noon (again, book your seat via email).
• The art foundation Athens (taf): 5 Normanou St, Monastiraki, http://www.theartfoundation.metamatic.gr
Artist Dionysis Kavallieratos will be showing his work at the Bernier/Eliades gallery (11 February – 31 March). Born in 1979, Kavallieratos graduated from the Athens School of Fine Arts , before moving on to Venice and Krakow (2003-4) where he completed his Radar Project, and now lives in Berlin. Kavallieratos is known for his sculptural work both large and small-scale, in which he uses wood, clay and mixed media. He is also known for his intricate charcoal and pencil drawings. His post-pop sensibility places mythology, history, politics and religion into the blender of art, creating some interesting results. He also explores the notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘life’ and ‘death’, gender and heroism among other concepts via his surreal perspective and often cutting irony. His work has been included in many shows both here and abroad (eg Art Brussels, 2013, ‘Ametria’ show at the Benaki 2015).
• Bernier gallery: 11 Eptahalkou St, Thisio. (www.bernier-eliades.gr)
Ioanna Ralli’s show entitled ‘Dreams and Symbols’ is running at the Zoumboulakis Gallery on Kolonaki Square, until February 20. Ralli photographs her own enchanting little worlds, creating sculptures and scenes out of paper, glue, wire, knitting wool, branches and other materials, which she then captures via the lens of an old 6×6 Haselblad. The results are truly intriguing.
Ralli (born 1960 in Athens), studied art in America. She has already realized 10 solo exhibitions in Greece, and her works can be found in private collections and museums. This is her second show at the Zoumboulakis gallery.
• Zoumboulakis gallery: 20 Kolonaki square (www.zoumboulakis.gr)
Mark Hadjipateras’ art creatures have taken over the floor of the gallery this time, like a tribe that has created its own city. These hybrid forms inspired by surrealism, mythology, biology, industry and mechanics, have been placed in such a manner that they seem to be conversing with each other. They are both archetypal symbols and futuristic forms. On the gallery walls you will also find Hadjipateras’ black-and-white works. The exhibition runs till February 27.
• a.antonopoulou.art: 20 Aristofanous St, Psyrri, (www.aaart.gr)
Onassis Cultural Centre
Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang is coming to Greece, where she will be creating a series of 3 installations. The first, ‘School of the Future’, will open its doors to the public on February 8. This installation resembles a play room rather than a school room, seeing as it has only one desk, and the rest of the room is filled with over 1000 red balloons. Visitors are invited to participate in the work, by writing their own important ‘life experience’ in the notebook provided (on the desk). Next up will be her installation ‘Before I die’, followed by ‘Confessions’.
• Onassis cultural centre: 107-109 Syngrou Ave. (www.sgt.gr)
Ekfrasi-gianna grammatopoulou gallery
Michalis Arfaras’ show of works will be inaugurated on February 11 at the Ekfrasi-gianna grammatopoulou gallery, and runs till March 5. Entitled ‘Idols’, this show presents the artist’s colourful three-dimensional assemblages made up of various materials such as metal, plastic and wood and digital screens. Also on show will be the artist’s experimental animation works which relate to the three-dimensional forms in the show. Arfaras (born 1954), studied at the Braunschweig school of art in Germany. He also taught at the school. Later, he taught engraving at the Athens School of Fine Art. His work has been shown in many countries.
• Ekfrasi Gianna Grammatopoulou gallery: 9a Valaoritou St, (www.ekfrasi-art.gr)
Benaki Museum’s Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas annexe
An exhibition dedicated to the creative spirit of Fotis Kontoglou (1895-1965) is on show at the Benaki’s Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas annexe, and runs till March 5. The show features both the original writings of Kontoglou and his paintings/illustrations.
• Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas annexe: 3 Kriezotou St. (www.benaki.gr)
From the top: Works by Kavallieratos, Hadjipateras and Ralli