Friday, 25 February 2011

The Jewish Museum in Athens

Today we went to the Jewish Museum in Athens.

87% of Greek Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The George Economou collection

The newly opened Municipal Art Gallery in Metaxourgio is a stunning place

The gallery is in the newly renovated old silk factory, in two buildings which are separated by a narrow paved courtyard, in stunning rooms

with the original ceilings

The current exhibition is of the private collection of George Economou and what a treasure trove it is! There are so many paintings and drawings.  The whole time I kept thinking, 'how is it possible for a private collector to acquire so many treasures'. But possible it is! 

Louis Anquetin, Women at their Toilet

Egon Schiele,  Naked Kneeling Man

Carry Hauser, In the Garden

Henry Moore, Autumn Storm

Ivan Klium, Two Heads

Le Corbusier, Couple

Nathan Altman, Blue Landscape

Carl Grossberg, Rokin Street  (I love Rokin street, and looking at the picture made me feel I was there)

Marcel Duchamp, A Couple of Aprons

Tamara Lempicka, Reclining Nude

Lucien Freud, Study of a Head

Kathe Kollwitz, Chalk on Paper.  (We did not manage to go to the Kathe Kollwitz Museum in Berlin and this is a regret, and one of the reasons why we have to go back. We managed to see the Kollwitz square however  - as well as having a wonderful brunch there -  and it is one of the nicest areas in the city and certainly  worth another visit)

Pablo Picasso, Coloured Chalk on Paper

Vlasimir Malevitch, Violin

Georges Braque, SAO (in Greek as in picture)

Henri Marisse, Female Bust

As we were leaving the gallery, we found out that this is just a fraction of the George Economou collection (!) and that a second exhibition will be staged in March - we will certainly be there.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Yannis Moralis

The Benaki Museum on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue has an exhibition of Yannis Moralis' preliminary drawings of some of the carvings and tiles that he designed  for various public and private buildings. The huge carving on the side of the Hilton hotel was the first of a collaboration between artist and architects which spanned  at least twenty years.

Unfortunately I was not allowed  to take any photographs, except for  the two panels outside the exhibition room. This panel was made for a bank in Kolonaki and was subsequently donated by the bank to the Benaki Museum.

The artist is standing next to another panel in this photograph.


Monday, 21 February 2011


Another look at Antonello - gorgeous displays again.

They even have vases with flowers on the pavement outside the shop now.

I love the combination of pink and lilac

Just white here which looks stunning with the green.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


A quiet stroll around Athens in Syntagma Square on a Sunday afternoon,

or so we thought...

but thankfully no tear gas...

err... yet!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Anna Karenina, Boris Eifman

At the Megaron Mousikes again last night

At the foyer before the start of the performance

I find the chandelliers that reach down two floors quite spectacular and never tire of them

The Alexandra Triante hall where the performance took place

Boris Eifman's Anna Karenina is highly spectacular, totally engrossing and great entertainment. The narrative  is focused on  Anna, Karenin and Vronsky and is expressed  in a marriage of innovative choreography and  terrific dancing.  It is set to the music of Tchaikovsky.

A ballet with high emotional impact, a mix of classical ballet and modern dance.

Anna's breakdown at the end, danced in flesh coloured body tights, with flashing strobes, set to modern electronic music was so powerful it took my breath away. It was a mass of writhing bodies alternated with Anastasia Sitnikova writhing on the floor in a modern dance sequence -  totally overwhelming. In the last scene she throws herself onto the stage in the midst of dancing railway workers who have transformed themselves into the train in front of which Anna finds her end  -  it is a staggering finale.

The staging and  the lighting were equal to the terrific dancing. A production by the Eifman Ballet Theatre of St Petersburg not to be missed.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Stella Bakatsi

We went to the Stella Bakatsi exhibition two weeks ago and I have been postponing writing about it as I felt that my photographs would not do it justice, but there is no sense in putting it off any longer... Bakatsi is a ceramicist who has moved away from making vessels to making small identical pieces which she then uses to stage huge installations. The exhibition I saw a few years ago was stunning, and I have been following her development ever since.

This exhibition was staged at the old observatory and the mobile of rocks and crystalls at the entrance is interesting and fun.

The main, domed observatory room  is where the exhibition is housed, and the first thing you see is this huge installaion on the floor of thousands of used  microbiological slides. She says she has always been interested in the world of Genetics and its constant revelations, in the cell, in the molecule...

And a closer look

The rest of the exhibition is all  around the room and consists of huge panels made of wire where small, mostly identical ceramic pieces are attached. It is difficult to describe the effect, sometimes when looking from a distance they look like abstract paintings, but most of the time, they just  look  like themselves and I cannot define them...

A close look

An intricate pattern

and a closer look

I love the wavy effect of this one, seen partly from the side

These reminded me of swimming sperm

An overview

Floating sperm again, in a different pattern

Very tightly packed

So many different shapes and patterns  she has used...

A lot of wire on this one

Another partial side view

A bit of colour