ATHENIAN art life still holds strong, with many interesting shows for November. Here are some options to consider:
NEON’s ode to Kazantzakis
The NEON organisation’s exhibition ‘Flying over the Abyss’, previously presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete and at the Contemporary Art Centre of Thessaloniki, now makes its way to the Athens Conservatoire. The exhibition, curated by Dimitris Paleocrassas and Maria Marangou pays homage to Nikos Kazantzakis. The original manuscript of Kazantzakis’ work ‘Ascesis: The Saviors of Gods’, will also be on display, so as to establish a creative dialogue with the works of 34 contemporary artists.
Participating artists: Marina Abramović, Alexis Akrithakis, Matthew Barney, Hans Bellmer, Lynda Benglis, John Bock, Louise Bourgeois, Heidi Bucher, Vlassis Caniaris, Paul Chan, Savvas Christodoulides, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Stavros Gasparatos, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Asta Gröting, Jenny Holzer, Kostas Ioannidis, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Giorgos Koumendakis, Sherrie Levine, Stathis Logothetis, Ana Mendieta, Maro Michalakakos, Bruce Nauman, Aliki Palaska, Ioanna Pantazopoulou, Doris Salcedo, Kiki Smith, Paul Thek, Costas Tsoclis, Mark Wallinger, Gary Webb.
The sound installation ‘Passage through the Abyss’, which has been commissioned by NEON to the artists Giorgos Koumendakis and Stavros Gasparatos, will also be presented; It marks the collaboration between NEON and the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera, in the framework of the exhibition. Runs till Jan 29.
• Athens Conservatoire: B17 Vas. Georgiou B 17. Inauguration on November 18 (7-11pm). Open Wed, Thurs, Fri 12-8 and Sat-Sun 12-7. Free admission. http://www.neon.org.gr
The Hermitage in Athens
The Byzantine and Christian Museum is hosting works from one of Russia’s most famous museums worldwide, St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. The exhibition, entitled ‘The State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History’, is part of the ‘Greece in Russia, Russia in Greece 2016’ series of events. Among the show’s 160 works and artefacts, you will find objects once owned by Russian Czars of the Romanov dynasty, plus archaeological pieces, and paintings: 34 oil paintings, 3 watercolours, 9 sculptures and 114 decorative and applied art objects, from the 5th BC to the 20th century. Works by great masters such as El Greco, Rubens and Poussin are included. Runs till Feb 26.
• Byzantine and Christian Museum: 22 Vas Sofias Ave. Open Tues-Sun 9am-4pm. Closed Mon. Tickets at 4 euros (free admission for under 18s). Tel: 213-2139517. http://www.byzantinemuseum.gr
Greece’s President Prokopios Pavlopoulos inaugurated the exhibition of works from the Telloglio Foundation on November 10, which is being hosted at the Theocharakis Foundation. This is the first presentation of this collection, comprising paintings and sculptures by the crème de la crème of Greek artists: Kantounis, Koutouzis, Gyzis, Jacobides, Volanakis, Pantazis, Altamouras, Galanis, Parthenis, Maleas, Kontoglou, Asteriadis, Steris, Spyropoulos, Engonopoulos, Diamantopoulos, Tsingos, Gaitis, Venetoulias, Georgiadis, Mytaras, Sorongas, et al. The collection, which in its entirety tots up to 7000 works, was created by Nestoras and Aliki Telloglou, who donated it to the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki and the Telloglion Foundation. The show has been impeccably curated (as always), by Takis Mavrotas. Runs till Feb 5 (2017).
• Theocharakis Foundation: 9 Vas. Sophias Ave. Tel 210-361-1206. Open Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 10-6 and Thurs 10-8. http://www.thf.gr
Papanikolaou’s perspective on Greece
On Wednesday, November 23, the art exhibition ‘Kostas Papanikolaou: Re-visit’ will be inaugurated at the Sotiris Felios Collection, at 8pm. The show will comprise 32 works out of the 75 by Papanikolaou, that are part of the collection. Papanikolaou’s art draws from everyday life, and his experiences and observations, focusing on particular aspects or scenes. There is a feeling of time standing still in his work. The exhibition curator Tatiana Spinari-Pollali describes his work as ‘honest painting’. Papanikolaou works mainly with egg tempera on wood. The artist will be giving tours of the show at 12.30pm, on the Saturdays of December 3 and January 14, plus on Sunday, January 29. Free Admission.
• Sotiris Felios Collection: 16 Fokionos Negri St. Tel: 210-882-4681.The show runs till January 29. Open Wed-Fri 6-9pm. Sat 12-8, Sun 12-3. http://www.felioscollection.gr
The ena contemporary art gallery pays tribute to writer Nikos Kazantzakis via a show comprising of 35 artists’ works, each one having been inspired by a word from Kazantzakis’ ‘Odyssey’. None of the words chosen may be found in a Greek dictionary, because they are Kazantzakis’ creations. No doubt the Greek language does allow for this poetic license, enabling the easy creation of words, but not all can master this ‘art’ as beautifully as Kazantzakis did. The show was inaugurated on October 26, the day Kazantzakis passed away. Furthermore, the Culture Ministry has announced that 2017 is ‘Nikos Kazantzakis Year’, seeing as it will signify 60 years from his death. The present show is under the aegis of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis, Kazantzakis Publications and the Kazantzakis Museum. Also included are portraits of the writer. Curator of the show is Niki Vlassiotou-Papadaki, director of the art spaces kaplanon 5, ena contemporary art gallery and of the cultural organization kaplanon. The show will also travel to other areas in Greece, during 2017, before it returns to Athens where it will be shown during a conference on Kazantzakis that will take place at the Zappeion Megaron, October 13-14 (2017). Runs till December 10.
• ena contemporary art gallery: (9c Valaoritou St). Tel: 210-338-8501. Open Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri 11-9. Sat 11-4. http://www.ena-artgallery.gr
Erietta Vordoni’s exhibition ‘About Felicity’ runs till December 3 at the Evripides Gallery. This series of works is the result of the artist’s deep esoteric quest, which begins on an emotional level and ends with self-realisation and rumination. Vordoni combines symbols with memories, creating a magical world . Art historian/critic Dora Iliopoulou-Rogan writes in the exhibition catalogue: ‘In truth with this work of the last three years the artist has managed to drive her talent to new heights, especially because she has realised via this new work Plato’s definition of authentic creativity. In other words, that it doesn’t have to be about copying, but rather about expressing an idea’.
• Gallery Evripides: Corner of 10 Heraklitou and Skoufa Sts, Kolonaki, tel 210-361-5909. http://www.evripides-art.gr Open: Tues, Thurs, Fri: 10-8.30. Wed, Sat: 10-6. Closed Mon, Sun.
Hybrids of art and technology
The Onassis Cultural Centre is hosting a most unusual show, which balances on the cusp of art and technology, blending them into an intriguing whole. In collaboration with Austria’s Ars Electronica and with the support of COSMOTE, ‘Hybrids’ is an interactive show that enables visitors to experience some interesting concepts: eg. their social media self via an environment of mirrors, screens and sound (via the work ‘Social Soul’), to view how a plant’s photosynthesizing can have groundbreaking energizing effects throughout the city (‘Plantas Autofotosinteticas’), or to allow you to communicate via your shadow (‘Shadowgram’). Runs till January 15, suggested age for visitors 12+.
• Onassis Cultural Centre: 107 Syngrou Ave. Tel: 210-900-5800.Open 12-9. Tickets at 5 euros, 3 (families/groups), and 2 euros (disabled/unemployed/large groups).
Georgiou’s passage through India
The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art is hosting a show of the works of Alexandros Georgiou, via which he presents his experience of two journeys to India. The Chardham tour, began in April and ended in July of 2014, and the Maha Shakti Peetha tour began November 2015 and ended April 2016. Chardham was a long journey travelled by local buses and trains, via which Georgiou reached the four corners of India – in order to worship at the four temples there, dedicated to the God Vishnu. The Maha Shakti Peetha journey is dedicated to the worship of 18 important temples dedicated to the Goddess Sati. The title of the show ‘Meta-Gods’, refers to the fact that the Indian gods are both ancient, but also current, considering that even today people worship them. The show is curated by Eliza Gerolymatou. Alexandros Georgiou has already given some guided tours of his work, the next one being on December 22 and 23 (5pm), with a special tour for families and children on December 27.
• Benaki Museum of Islamic Art: 22 Asomaton & Dipilou sts. Tel: 210-325-1311. Open Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun 9-5. Closed Mon, Tues, Wed. Tickets at 9 euros (7 euros concessions). http://www.benaki.gr
Filopappou Hill’s history
Nikos Papadopoulos studies and explores Philopappou Hill in his new series of works, presenting its many attributes as an urban yet natural haven in the heart of the city. He captures its history and its natural flora via the process. The hill used to be called ‘The city of Rocks’ in ancient times, and so Papadopoulos chose this also to be the title of the show. Runs till Jan 7.
• AD Gallery: 3 Pallados St, Psyrri. Tel: 210-322-8785. Open Tues-Fri 12-9. Sat 12-4. . http://www.adgallery.gr
Art Beats III
The Onassis Foundation in collaboration with the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre have organised the 3rd Art Beats show, which will be inaugurated on November 23, at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre. The show basically puts forth the idea that art can be the antidote to the stress and fear created by illness, although stress and fear alone can create illness for that matter. In an effort to take art out of its traditional context (the museum/gallery), this show takes place in the heart of a hospital, aiming to heal and to alleviate both patients, their families and art lovers/visitors. The 29 artists taking part in this exhibition with their works, are all Onassis Scholars. On December 20 (10-2), you can also give blood on the premises. Runs till Jan 22.
• The Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre: 356 Syngrou Ave. Tel: Open 9-9 every day.
The Bernier/Eliades gallery presents the first solo exhibition of artist/director Kahlil Joseph, to be inaugurated on November 24 (8-10). This is the first time that the artist is exhibiting in Europe, and he will also be present at the opening. Kahlil has worked with Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Seu Jorge, Kenzo. His works are somewhere between music videos and short films. His short film ‘Until the Quiet Comes’ was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival, in 2013. His works have been shown at the Whitney Museum and at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Kahlil was born and raised in Seattle, and lives in LA. The show runs till Jan 5.
• The Bernier/Eliades gallery: 11 Eptahalkou St, Thission. Tel: 210-341-3935. Open 10.30-6.30 Tues-Fri, and 12-4, Sat. http://www.bernier-eliades.gr.
‘One, no one & eleven hundred’
Michalis G. Kallimopoulos is exhibiting his work at the a.antonopoulou.art gallery till December 10. The show, entitled ‘One, no one & eleven hundred’ takes us back to our childhood with its intriguing figurines of many different human characters.
• a.antonopoulou art: 20 Aristophanous St, Psyrri. Tel: 210-321-4994. Open Wed-Fri 2-8 and Sat 12-4. http://www.aaart.gr
Mirrors of the mind
The exhibition of multiples by artists such as Beuys, Lichtenstein, Hamilton, Nauman and Oppenheim entitled ‘Mirrors of the Mind’, curated by Nicolas Calas, at the Zoumboulakis Gallery, was first shown in 1977. Now the gallery restages this show, but also enriches it with archival material, plus works by Greek artists, thus calling it ‘Restructuring the Mirrors of the Mind by Nicolas Calas’. Runs till November 19.
• Zoumboulakis Gallery: 20 Kolonaki Sq. Tel: 210-360-8278. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri 11-3 and 5-8; Wed 11-3; Sat 11-2. http://www.zoumboulakis.gr
Made by Loula in Gr
Maria Marangou curates the exhibition of works by Spyridoula Politi on show at the ekfrasi gallery, entitled ‘Made by Loula in Gr’. The artist has said of her work: ”I paint clothes or I intervene on my own clothes, because via this process I feel I discover, discover myself in the society in which I live and communicate”. The clothes are witnesses of a person’s existence, as opposed to their absence. Runs till December 3.
• Ekfrasi: 9a Valaoritou St. Tel 210-360-7598. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri 11-8. Wed 11-6. Sat 11-3. http://www.ekfrasi-art.gr
The sound of a gallery
The metamatic:taf gallery has been transformed into an experimental musical project space with live dj sets, jazz, electronica reggae, psychedelia, moving onto the music show ‘Ten Years’ Romance’ by Kostas Dalakouras. Runs till November 23.
• metamatic:taf (the art foundation). 5 Normanou St, Monastiraki, tel 210-323-8757. Open Mon-Sat 12-9, Sun 12-7.
Method of Loci
The Breeder Gallery has been transformed into a vault of information where French-born – New York based artist ITEM IDEM (Né Cyril Duval) has been building his referential universe. Exploring new dialectics with local components, he follows the principles of readymade contextualization and creates a multifunctional environment that maps the current human condition. The narrative structure is based on Method of Loci, a memory enhancement technique that was used in ancient Roman and Greek treatises. Runs till November 26.
• The Breeder Gallery: Iasonos 45, 10436 Athens. Tel 210-331-7527. OpenTues – Fri 12-8, Sat 12-6. http://www.thebreedersystem.com
Also still running:
George Lappas’ work at the Benaki Museum (until November 20); Konstantinos Pittas’ photographs at Benaki Pireos (until November 20); Kostas Loustas’ work at Benaki’s Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Annexe (until November 26); Moralis and Kapralos’ work at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (until December 18); ‘The Departed’ at the Frissiras Museum (until December 31); ‘New Beginnings: Between Gesture and Geometry’ at the George Economou Collection (until April); ‘Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp’ at EMST (until January 29). (See Art Scene Athens’ ‘October Treats’, for more info on these shows.)