THERE ARE so many interesting art shows on in Athens at the moment that you can enjoy during the Xmas break. Here is a selection of just some of them (you will find more in ‘November’s Art Trek‘ which are also still running):
‘Themselves and Others’
The National Bank of Greece’s Cultural Foundation (MIET), will be inaugurating the show ‘Themselves and Others’ at the Eynard Mansion on Tuesday, December 12, (8pm), comprising 400 works from the collection of acclaimed set designer/stage director and artist, Dionysis Fotopoulos. (Runs till March 3).
Participating artists: Th. Apartis, D.Diamantopoulos, F. Kontoglou, Y.Bouzianis, Y. Moralis, Y. Tsarouchis, L. de Nobili, N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Y. Lappas, T. Mantzavinos, Y. Mavroidis, Y. Bitsakis, Ch. Botsoglou, D. Mytaras, Th. Papagiannis, E. Sakayian, N. Stephanou, F. Fotopoulos, Y. Psychopedis.
• The National Bank of Greece’s Cultural Foundation (Eynard Mansion), is on 20 Ag. Konstantinou & Menandrou sts. Open Tues-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 11am-5pm. For info call 210-522-3101, 210-3234267.
Russian religious art
The Benaki’s main annexe (downtown Athens), will be hosting a show of Russian religious art, which has been gathered from various institutions, religious and other, from around Greece. Russia’s political and cultural ties in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean from the mid-16th century till the end of the 19th century comes to the fore via this show. Opening December 11, 7pm. Runs December 14-February 2.
- 1 Koumbari St, tel 210-367-1000. Open Wed, Fri 10am-6pm; Thurs, Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-4pm; Closed Mon, Tues.
The Evripides Gallery has chosen the work of Michalis Madenis for the festive season. This artist’s solo exhibition explores the Greek landscape and countryside, in a nostalgic and expressionist manner. The artist says of his paintings: “Each work is a journey, which keeps you active. You give a fight with time and fatigue. You are confronted by the agony concerning the end result. And all this is embodied in the work. It is a part of you.” (Opening on Thursday, December 14, 8pm. Runs till January 13).
• The Evripides Gallery is on the cnr of 10 Iraklitou & Skoufa sts, Kolonaki. Tel: 210-361-5249/210-361-5909. http://www.evripides-art.gr. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri: 11am-8.30pm; Wed: 11am-5pm; Sat: 11am-4pm.
Cameron Jamie in town
The Bernier-Eliades Gallery is hosting the 4th solo exhibition by the American artist Cameron Jamie (b. 1969, Los Angeles). Jamie’s work embodies an ongoing investigation into the unselfconscious folklore of suburban culture, exploring marginal realities, amateur and vernacular traditions and revealing a hidden face of our society. Hailing originally from the suburbs of LA and heavily influenced by West coast culture, the Californian artist directs a sharp critical gaze on the cultural and historic anchorage of popular imagery, its social trajectory and daily impact. His pictographic subject-matter ranges from rock music, suburban teen wrestling, comic-books, catch, eating contests, gothic aesthetics and spook houses to Michael Jackson impersonators and Scandinavian fringe rituals. His oeuvre investigates folkloric myths and contemporary suburban cultures, focusing on the impact of mythological structures in modern societies and individuals.
Jamie will be the subject of a forthcoming retrospective at MAC Lyon in 2018. His current show at the Bernier comprises ceramic sculptures, ink drawings and monotypes (runs till January 3).
• Bernier-Eliades Gallery is on 11 Eptachalkou St, Thyssion. Tel: 210-341-3937. Open Tues-Fri 10.30am-6.30pm; Sat 12-4pm.
Nausica Pastra at Kalfayan
Kalfayan Galleries, who now represent the Estate of Nausica Pastra (1921-2011), are presenting the first posthumous solo exhibition of the artist’s work in Athens, entitled ‘NAUSICA PASTRA: The surface as origin, the concept as foresight in the work of Nausica Pastra (1921-2011)’. The show opens on Saturday, 16 December, 11am-5pm, and follows on from two major retrospectives of Nausica Pastra’s oeuvre which have taken place at the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki and the Modern Greek Art Museum of the Municipality of Rhodes (both in 2014). The analysis and visual presentation of the ideas in her work is by Emmanuel Mavrommatis, emeritus professor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
• Kalfayan Galleries is on 11 Haritos Street, Kolonaki. Tel: 210-721-7679. Open Mon 11am-3pm, Tues-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-3pm. Will also be open on Sunday December 17, 11am-3pm.
Skoufa’s ‘Silent Night’
The Christmas spirit has inspired artists around the world for centuries. Skoufa Gallery has organised a show comprising the work of 50 Greek artists who have drawn inspiration from this time of year, with works created especially for the show (December 11-January 14).
Participating Artists: N. Angelidis, S. Angelopoulos, Adrianos, A. Akrithakis, S. Alexopoulos, E. Anagnostou, K. Asargiotaki, N. Vetta, D. Yeros, M. Giannakaki, C. Gousidis, T. Dimitrakopoulou, O. Zouni, I. Iliopoulou, N. Kalafatis, I. Kana, S. Kapezanou, T. Karageorgi, I. Kafida, A. Kontellis, N. Kontovrakis, M. Ktistopoulou, A. Kyritsopoulos, A. Maganiotis, A. Matsa, S. Meletopoulou, P. Beldekos, M. Birdimiri, D. Bitsakou, R. Boua, I. Xifara, E. Papadimitriou, C. Papamichalopoulos, C. Papanikolaou, L. Pigatioti, V.Perros, A.Razis, P. Samios, D. Sarasitis, V. Selimas, A. Staveris, V. Stamatopoulou, A. Sotiropoulou, P. Tzanoulinos, C. Tsakirakakis, G. Hadoulis, A. Chantzaras, N. Chouliaras, C. Christou, C. Chroni.
• Skoufa Gallery, 4, Skoufa Street, Kolonaki, tel: 210-3643025, 210-3603541; Open Mon-Wed-Sat 10:00-15:30, Tue-Thu-Fri: 10:00-15:30 & 17:30-21:00. http://www.skoufagallery.gr
AD Gallery’s Pop Up show
Proving that contemporary art is not for the few, and that it can also be purchased by the many, the AD Gallery is presenting a show of small works by its collaborators that are affordable, and intriguing. Participating artists: Yiannis Gigas, Vasso Gavaise, Elias Kafouros, Maria Polyzoidou, Anastasis Stratakis, Steven C. Harvey. Runs till January 13.
• The AD Gallery is on 3 Pallados St, Psirri, tel 10-322-8785. Open Tues-Fri noon-9pm. Sat: noon-4pm.
Tzivellos’ light this Xmas
Last Xmas, it was Bokoros’ paintings of candle flames that filled the Benaki Pireos during the festive season. Now, it is Tzivellos’ light: The Benaki Pireos is holding the first retrospective exhibition of Christos Tzivellos’ work. Tzivellos (1949-1995), was known for his art which often used light as a medium. He has said that the hand of the artist “can nurture a relationship with the natural phenomena, such as with light”. Entitled ‘Modelling Phenomena’, this show presents the most important moments in this artist’s creative oeuvre, as well as some of his lesser known projects. He is considered one of the most important avant-garde creative spirits of the Greek art scene, of the ‘80s and ‘90s. His work draws influence from Greek mythology, but also from semantics, philosophy, alchemy, cosmology. (Runs till Feb 18).
• Benaki Pireos is on 138 Pireos St, tel 210-345-3111. Open: Thurs, Sun, 10am-6pm. Fri, Sat 10am-10pm; Closed Mon, Tues, Wed.
The Benaki Pireos will be hosting the first posthumous retrospective of art by Corfu’s acclaimed engraver Nikolaos Ventouras (1899-1990). Over 350 works, sketches and notes of the artist will be presented, most of them for the first time. Opening December 13, 8pm. Runs till February 25. (See above for address details of Benaki Pireos).
Kappatos’ ‘Common Ground’
Four artists study at the same art schools (School of Marble Sculpture in Tinos, and the Athens School of Fine Arts), then share a common studio. Their coexistence and the juxtaposition of their works in their shared space, create interesting dialogues and proposals between the works. (December 7-January 13). Participating artists: Christos Bligianos, Vangelis Chatzis, Giorgos Palamaris, Ilias Sipsas.
- Kappatos Gallery, 12 Athinas St., Monastiraki. Open: Tues-Frid 12-8pm, Saturday 12-3pm. Tel: 210-321-7931.
Zoumboulakis’ small paintings
The Zoumboulakis gallery’s Xmas show of small works has been inspired by artist David Hockney’s passion for giving gifts, something which was referred to in the catalogue for his exhibition at the Pompidou (which ran till October 2017).
Participating artists: Io Aggeli, Yiannis Adamakos, Alexandra Athanasiadi, Diamantis Aidinis, Vanessa Anastasopoulou, Yiorgos Avgeros, Miltos Golemas, Dimitris Efeoglou, Marina Karella, Christos Kehagioglou, Haris Kontosfyris, Jenny Kodonidou, Nikos Lagos, Kyriakos Mortarakos, Xenofon Bitsikas, Sophia Papakosta, Achilleas Papakostas, Natasha Poulantza, Ioanna Ralli, Rubina Sarelakou, Despina Flessa, Filippols Fotiadis, Manolis Charos, Yiannis Psychopedis, Daniel Egneus. (Runs 8-31 December).
• Zoumboulaksi gallery is on 20 Kolonaki Sq. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri 11am-3pm & 5-8pm; Wed 11am-3pm and Sat 11am-2pm. Tel: 210-360-8278.
‘A Normal Person’
What is a normal person? Hard to tell these days and pretty debatable. Artist Nikolas Antoniou’s show entitled ‘A Normal Person’, at Technohoros (till December 29), might give us some further insight. Antoniou explains: “What each of us calls reality is nothing more but an ‘image’ which we create according to our physiognomy… with what we are capable of perceiving but also with what we choose to perceive. Based on this reasoning and via a romantic treatment of this theme, we could say that the brain of each person creates continuously. Using the tools which it has, i.e. the senses, it combines facts and energies, and creates ‘images’. It calls the image ‘reality’. What’s interesting is that although we know the relationship between ‘image-reality’, we are not in the position to perceive it, or to control it. Quantum physics gives humans new possibilities. It proves that they are free to decide for themselves how they want to see the things that surround them, and that each person can choose their ‘reality’.”
• Technohoros is on 4 Lembessi St, Akropolis. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri 11am-2.30pm and 5.30-8.30; Wed, Sat, 11am-4pm.
Van Gogh revisited
Apart from the ongoing spectacular audio-visual show at the Megaron Mousikis which narrates the life and works of Van Gogh, there is also this alternative exhibition, which comprises the works of 18 artists (out of 125), who worked on an animation film about the great artist, and whose close contact with his life and works via this film project led them to explore him beyond it too. The results are the exhibition of art works entitled ‘Van Gogh Revisited’ at My Art Box (of Technohoros).
Participating artists: Lila Agrafioti, Yiannis Alexakis, Carmen Belean, Elli Velliou, Yiannis Gigourtakis, Val Fulford, Wiktor Jackowski, Nikos Koniaris, Dimitris Kretsis, Christos Marmeris, Polina Mavrikaki, Alexandra Bari, Michalis Palapouidis, Maria Redko, Aleksandra Siudek (Osa), Nefeli Soulakelli, Edmond Tesho, Vasilis Tsokopoulos.
• My Art Box is on 12 Lembessi St, Akropolis. Open Tues, Thurs, Fri noon-2.30pm and 5.30-8.30pm; Wed, Sat noon-4pm. Sun and Mon open by appointment only. Tel: 211-182-3818.
The National Museum of Contemporary Art’s ‘New Acquisitions’ exhibition presents 39 works by 33 artists. The museum’s collection tots up to 1150 works, with 150 new works having been added in the last few years. Also on show at EMST is the exhibition ‘Face Forward… into my home’, realized in collaboration with the UNHCR, which deals with the issue of immigration, by presenting the portraits and lives of some of the refugees in Greece.
Particating artists in ‘New Acquisitions’: Nikos Alexiou, Francis Alys, Ziad Antar, Eugenia Apostolou, Kutlug Ataman, Manolis Baboussis, Bertille Bak, Kostas Bassanos, Lizzy Calligas, Pantelis Chandris, Chryssa, Lydia Dambassina, Mark Hadjipateras, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Eleni Kamma, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Piotr Kowalski, George Lappas, Stathis Logothetis, Maria Loizidou, Andreas Lolis, Eleni Mylonas, Ilias Papailiakis, Artemis Potamianou, Aris Prodromidis, Alexandros Psychoulis, Santiago Sierra, Lina Theodorou, Katerina Thomadaki & Maria Klonaris, Nikos Tranos, Dimitris Tzamouranis, Costas Varotsos.
• EMST is on the cnr of Kallirrois Ave and Frantzi St (former FIX factory). Ope Tues-Sun 11am-7pm. Closed Mon. Tel: 211-101-9000.
Alexandros Psychoulis’ new solo exhibition at a.antonopoulou.art, is entitled ‘Cultivatable Ecstasy’. The artists explains his thinking behind this body of work: “There are two ways in which you can view an enchanting landscape that you happen upon while on holiday. The first way would be to perceive this landscape as a blessing, as a harmonious and peaceful coexistence of all things. The second, rational way, would be to view the landscape as the outcome of a multitude of violent conflicts in progress, from the molecular level to the hidden competitiveness among the living organisms and the traces wild weather phenomena have left behind. This second way is the way of the biologist, the geologist, the farmer, and occasionally of myself, when I descend to my garden in my flip-flops and swimsuit to weed, in other words to exterminate those wild plants that compete with my set gardening goals”.
Psychoulis structures his new work as a kind of ‘taking of notes’ by the tourist-gardener, the person who refuses to leave the city while at the same time immersing himself in the ‘vulgar’ charm of gardening in order to gain experiences that render city life bearable. (Runs till January 20).
* a.antonopoulou.art is on 20 Aristophanous St, Psyrri. Tel 210-321-4994. Open: Wed – Fri 2 – 8 pm and Sat 12-4 p.m.
Argo’s Xmas group show
The Argo Gallery is hosting its annual Xmas group show with a whole host of artists, ranging from painters to sculptors, engravers, jewellers and a ceramist. Here you will find many unique Xmas gift ideas, including the gallery’s lucky charm for 2018, designed by sculptor Angelos Panayiotides.
• Argo is on 5 Neofytou Douka St, Kolonaki. Tel 210-724-9333. http://www.argo-gallery.gr. Open Tues-Fri 10am-2pm and 6-9pm. Sat 11am-3pm.