Museums present the spectator with a work of art; but in reality, the relationship that is formed is quite sterile. The museum has a schedule for the “contact”, strict terms, and an invisible grid that allows only admiration from the spectator’s perspective. In an art gallery, a visitor is able to form a deeper relationship with the artwork, one that is more ‘sensual’. He can develop an understanding of both the artist and the work that he adds to in his own way. In the galleries of Athens, many artworks were exhibited before they became part of museum collections. Therefore, we dedicate the following guide to exhibitions that should not go unnoticed by the art-loving public. Below you can find 5 art galleries in Athens, that shape the art world of the city today.
The gallery Zoumboulakis essentially introduced contemporary art to Athenian homes and daily life. In 1960, Greek artists of the ’30s (Tsarouchis, Chatzikyriakos-Gikas, Moralis, Tetsis, etc.) were presented for the first time in the gallery on Kriezotou Street. In 1966 they founded the first contemporary art gallery in Mexico, which exhibited artists of the ’60s generation. Among them are Fasianos, Tsoklis, Pavlos, Akrithakis, Kessanlis, etc. At the same time, the gallery begins its collaboration with Alexandros Iolas. Names like De Chirico, Matta, Lallannes, Man Ray, etc. exhibit for the first time in a Greek gallery. The sculptor Takis inaugurates the gallery space in Kolonaki Square. At the same time, young art lovers and collectors are increasingly multiplying. Today, as Daphne Zoumboulaki takes over the management of the Gallery in Kolonaki, a group of artists from the 1980s and 1990s frames the permanent collaborators. Since 2007, with the Zone D group she organizes exhibitions outside the gallery, aimed at presenting new trends in international contemporary art.
In 1995, the Rebecca Camhi Gallery showed works of the American avant-garde in its first exhibition. American photographer Nan Goldin’s work demonstrated that Greece could come closer to the big centers that determine its form of visual aesthetics. For the past 19 years, the art gallery has been introducing important foreign and Greek artists to the public, with the meeting point being the renovated neoclassical building on Leonidiou Street in Metaxourgeio.
Athens Art Gallery
The Athens Art Gallery has been open for fifty-one years. It was founded by Marilena Liakopoulou in the Hilton area. The dictatorship ‘sealed’ the Gallery when an exhibition was being prepared with the installation of the prison of Maria Karavela and the paintings with the tortures of the prisons of Elias Dekoulakos. The Athens Art Gallery started operating in 1973 and in its long course, it has presented important Greek artists of the Diaspora as well as newcomers to Greek art. At the same time, it hosts solo exhibitions of artists from the international arena.
Bernier / Eliades Gallery
The Bernier / Eliades gallery was founded in 1977 and has dynamically imposed its presence in the field of contemporary art. In 1999, after 22 years of existence in the center of Athens, the museum found itself in the Eclectic building of Thiseio, at the foot of the Acropolis. The gallery, during its operation, has introduced to the Greek public American, European, and Greek artists representing various artistic currents such as Arte Povera and minimalism.
Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou
The gallery Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou became part of the Greek exhibition map in 1983 in Glyfada. In 2000, a new exhibition space was inaugurated on Valaoritou Street in Athens. It is located there today. The museum’s activities are characterized by the convergence of various artistic groups and views expressed in their exhibits, which display the works of contemporary distinguished Greek and foreign artists, including painting, sculpting, photography, and video. Also, from the beginning of its operation, it presented the work of young talented creators who were then established and recognized in the field.