Exhibitions Museums Greece

Athens institutions partner up to show international contemporary art

The non-profit Deste Foundation will organise shows with the Benaki Museum

The first collaborative show is dedicated to the artist Andro Wekua who grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, above, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010-11. Photo: Nils Klinger, © Andro Wekua, Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

The Benaki Museum in Athens, known for its collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, plans to launch a series of contemporary art shows under a new partnership with the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art. The non-profit, Athens-based foundation was started in 1983 by the Greek shipping tycoon and collector Dakis Joannou.

“This collaboration between the two institutions aims to promote new and radical developments in contemporary art practice, introduce upcoming artists and important works to a wider public, and help inspire novel curatorial approaches,” says a spokeswoman for the Deste foundation.

When asked about the exhibition funding arrangements, she added: “The shows that will be part of this new collaboration between the Benaki Museum and the Deste Foundation will be a co-production between the two institutions.”

The first collaborative show is dedicated to the artist Andro Wekua who grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia (“Pink Wave Hunter”, 29 January-23 March). It will feature a series of sculptural models inspired by the artist’s childhood in the city of Sukhumi. A joint group show is scheduled to open at the museum in summer, although details have yet to be announced.

The initiative is the latest high-profile contemporary art project in Greece launched by the Deste Foundation. Since 2009, the organisation has collaborated with the Athens-based Museum of Cycladic Art, co-organising an annual exhibition of works by artists shortlisted for the biannual Deste contemporary art prize. Meanwhile, every summer the foundation organises a series of contemporary art exhibitions on the island of Hydra, with works on show there in a former slaughterhouse.

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