Best contemporary galleries in Athens

Athens has a buzzing contemporary art scene, with top local and international artists drawn to the city’s vibrant atmosphere and resilience in the face of difficult times. Read on to discover some of the capital’s best galleries!

The Eleni Koroneou Gallery in Thisseo is focussed on innovative, contemporary artworks across a variety of media and genres. The gallery has played host to leading international names including Dieter Roth, Martin Kippenberger, George Condo, Christopher Wool and Gerasimos Floratos, and has continued to play a powerful role in the Athenian art scene since its conception in 1989. Meanwhile, in elegant Kolonaki, the Athenian branch of the Thessaloniki-based Kalfayan Gallery focusses on artworks from the Balkans and Middle East, aiming to act as a bridge between Eastern and Western visual culture. The gallery has represented artists including Vartan Avakian, Farida El Gazzar and Bill Balaskas, and regularly sends artworks to the top international biennales.

Snehta Residency is a non-non-profit organisation that facilitates Greek and international artists through its space in Kypseli. Named after the city of Athens in reverse, the gallery invites resident artists to rediscover the capital in creative ways. Radio Athènes is another non-profit gallery featuring a dynamic programme of contemporary art alongside a bookstore and events space. The gallery has exhibited a range of artists, including performance artist Lenio Kaklea, video artist Eleni Bagaki and contemporary mixed-media artists Vangelis Vlahos and Rey Akdogan.

Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), now in its new headquarters in the former Fix brewery on Sygrou Avenue. With a programme of subtle, political exhibitions including social commentary on a range of issues, the gallery is a key fixture on the contemporary art map of Athens and offers an exploratory platform for Greek artists to share their works.

Meanwhile, Life Gallery athens is proud to display some of the most important works from the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation collection, which contains iconic works by a number of leading Greek artists.. The design hotel provides guests with the opportunity to view untitled pieces by Nikos Kessanlis, Nikos Alexiou, Kiros Kokkas, Annita Xanthou, Takis and Lampros Psyrrakis, with beautiful and thought-provoking artworks included across the room categories. Harris Kondosphyris’ culinary-inspired installation ‘Open Kitchen’ (2004) is an eye-catching addition to the Kool Life Restaurant whilst George Lappas’ monumental ‘Red Man’ (2004) is an imposing and surprising presence in the bar.

Other selected pieces from the Mamidakis family collection are on display at the bluegr Hotels & Resorts properties in Crete: Minos Beach art hotel, Minos Palace hotel & suites and Candia Park village!

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