“Theorimata 2018”, an exhibition organised by the Greek section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA Hellas), will open this year’s programme at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (EMST). “Theorimata 18” features works by more than forty Greek artists, as proposed by noted art critics and curators, inspired by the theme of “Didactic and Axiomatic Systems”. The event, which will run until April 15, signals the initiation of a dialogue between creators and theorists and explore the results of collaboration among different (and sometimes competing) fields.
“Theorimata” was proposed by Emmanuel Mavrommatis, president of AICA Hellas and professor emeritus at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as a biennial exhibition showcasing the works of Greek artists. The association aspired to revive, in a way, the “Panhellenics”, juried exhibitions which the Ministry of Education used to organise annually (until the early 70’s), as a means of promoting new creators and contemporary production. The idea was for several art critics, all members of AICA Hellas, to each propose 1-3 young artists whose work would be included in the exhibition, every time in relation to a particular theme or issue. “Theorimata 2018” showcases works by 42 artists proposed by 18 art critics and curators, as well as four more artists after an honorary proposal by the organisational committee.
The thinking behind the initiative was to prompt artists to formulate a particular problem, analyse it and offer solutions. Thus, artists would not be chosen with arbitrary criteria, and instead they would have to be motivated not solely by a need for personal expression, or an effort to follow current dominant patterns, but by a desire to articulate a theory and form a logical sequence of ideas and images. The title “Theorimata” (theorems) was accordingly chosen to indicate the nature of contemporary art’s pursuit: not mere expression but thought and analysis. Theorems constitute a basic term in the field of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic, indicating a product of reasoning, consistent with a given axiom.
The International Association of Art Critics was founded as a non-governmental organisation based in Paris, to revitalise critical disciplines in the field of visual arts following World War II, and its Greek section, AICA Hellas, was founded in 1949 by a group of prominent Greek intellectuals including, among others, Odysseus Elytis and Manos Hatzidakis. Over the years the association has numbered in its ranks figures such as Manolis Andronikos, Eleni Vakalo and Pandelis Prevelakis.
Its main purpose is to advance art history and criticism and to promote and support current Greek artistic production through scientific, theoretical and artistic research. The association also shows a particular interest in studying contemporary culture and proposing interdisciplinary approaches to the artistic creation. Its activities include the organisation of exhibitions, international conventions, seminars and lectures on art, events demonstrating the contribution of art theory and criticism to the appreciation of contemporary art as well as various publications.
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