The 21st edition of Art-Athina, the International Contemporary Art Fair of Athens, will open its gates next week at the Faliro Pavilion (Taekwondo Stadium), kicking off on Thursday, May 26 and running through Sunday, May 29, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the City of Athens. Launched in 1993 by the Hellenic Art Galleries Association, Art-Athina stands today as one of the longest living contemporary art fairs in Europe and as the largest annual visual arts event in Greece. It acts as a meeting point for international artistic creation, bringing together significant Greek and foreign art galleries, cultural institutions, curators, collectors, art critics and art lovers.
The art fair returns reloaded this year, noting a 25% increase in terms of participants. Specifically, from 41 participating galleries and 12 countries in 2015, this year’s event hosts 50 galleries from 13 countries and four continents, including: Kalfayan, Antonopoulou, Agathi- Kartalos, Medusa, Kappatos, Skoufa, Ekfrasi-Yianna Grammatopoulou, Elika, Kaplanon (Athens, Greece), Enia (Piraeus, Greece), Art Forum, Zina Athanassiadou, Donopoulos IFA (Thessaloniki, Greece), Cube (Patra, Greece), Cask (Larisa Greece) Alpha C.K. (Nicosia, Cyprus), Laureen Thomas (Cagnes-sur-Mer, France), Françoise Heitsch (Munich, Germany), Taubert Contemporary (Berlin, Germany) Paul Stolper (London, UK) Mulier Mulier (Knokke-Zutte, Belgium), The Public House of Art (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Binyil (Istanbul, Turkey) Anna Pappas (Prahran, Australia), Asia Art Works (Beijing, China), Tableau (Seoul, Korea) Rakursi (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Gamrekeli (Tbilisi, Georgia).
The Parallel Programme of Art- Athina this year focuses on Greece as the crossroads linking Europe, the Balkans, the Black Sea and the Middle East – all regions of great importance on many levels, including that of contemporary art. One of the most important and successful sections of the programme with an international profile is Platfroms Project@Art-Athina, launched in 2013, with the aim of charting artistic action as it is generated through collective initiatives by artists and has since then become an integral part of the fair’s parallel program. This year, the Platforms Project will be featuring 51 major platforms and art-group events from 17 countries – compared with 45 platforms from 16 countries in 2015 – involving over 650 artists and establishing thus an enhanced global network of independent art schemes. Among participating platforms are Lo and Behold, Athens Art Walk, Metapolis (Greece) Compassion (Greece/Germany), Collective Extra Muros (France), Rosalux (Germany), A Brooks Art (UK), Future Scenarios (Netherlands), Various Artists (Belgium), N& N (Spain) Museum of Forgetting (Sweden), MUU Galleria (Finland), Milkshake Agency (Switzerland) and AMV (Canada).
Other highlights of Art-Athina that are also part of the fair’s Parallel Programme include: a tribute exhibition to the renowned late sculptor George Lappas curated by Katerina Koskina, Director of Greece’s National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), under the auspices of the Athens School of Fine Arts; an honourary collection of the Municipal Art Gallery of Athens curated by Denis Zacharopoulos; a tribute to the Historic Greek Gallery “Kochlias” curated by Manos Stefanidis; the exhibition “Time Matters” curated by Jordanis Theodoridis on behalf of the General Secretariat For Crime Policy of the Ministry Of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights; a Salon de Bricolage exhibition “Creatures of a Day” curated by Anna Chatzinassiou; the ‘Cut the Fence’ art initiative of the Swiss artists Copa & Sordes and the art space BBLACKBOXX; many film and talk sessions, as well as interesting roundtable discussions and a Kids Lab.
See more @Greek News Agenda: Avant-Showtime for Greece’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens Gallery Weekend 2015, Athens Biennale 2015-2017 and Athens’ Emerging Art Scene