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Contemporary Art Fair of Athens Opens with 58 Galleries from 11 Countries
A visitor looks at paintings of Greek artist Manolis Anastassakos on display at the international contemporary art fair 'Art Athina', in Athens, Greece, 13 May 2010. The exhibition runs until 16 May. EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU.

ATHENS.- The International Contemporary Art Fair of Athens is back with its 16th edition which will take place on 13 - 16 May 2010. Despite the big international financial crisis, 58 galleries form 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, USA) will participate this year as well, showcasing the work of more than 300 artists. The fair also presents 42 institutions related to contemporary art (museums, foundations, art publishers and media).

Cultural foundations, art publishers and the media will also have a strong presence at ART-ATHINA 2010. Among the participating ones are: Agra Publications, AICA Hellas, AKTO, artAZ, ARTeSHOP, Atelier Spyros Vassiliou, Athens Voice, Atopos Cultural Organization, Benaki Museum, Cube Art Editions, Deree, DESTE Foundation, Diatton Publications, Gallery Guide, Greek Art Institute, Hellenic American Union, Highlights, House of Cyprus, Hydra School Projects, Institute Mohamed Ali, Kunsthalle Athena, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Melissa Publications, Minas Chatzichristou – Fine Art Conservation, Motto Distribution, Museum of Greek Children’s Art, Museum of Photography-Thessaloniki, National Gallery, National Theatre – Common View, Nereus Publishers, Ozon, Paperkingdom, Pergamos – Adam Editions, Quintessentially, State Museum of Contemporary Art, The Art Newspaper – Greek edition, Vakalo College, Velvet magazine, Yatzer.

ART-ATHINA 2010 will once more be hosted at the Faliro Pavilion (TaeKwonDo), which was transformed last year into a sparkling islet of art for four days leaving all visitors and participants with the best impressions.

The internationally acclaimed fair was established in 1993 by the Hellenic Art Galleries Association with a view to showcase a selection of contemporary artworks produced by established as well as young Greek and foreign artists; to provide the grounds for intriguing dialogue concerning the arts and the new art trends worldwide; to familiarize the Greek audience with the developments in the art world and to open channels of communication with the international art scene. Each year, an ever growing number of ART-ATHINA fans –famous artists, prominent art critics, important collectors and keen art lovers– arrive from all over the world to visit the fair and transform Athens into a vibrant art scene for a few days.

This year, the Hellenic Art Galleries Association’s board of directors, the general director of ART-ATHINA Alexandros J. Stanas, and, the organising company, have scheduled a parallel programme shedding light on the contemporary art scene.

ART-ATHINA 2010 will host the parallel exhibition Greek Artists’ Books: Contemporary Artworks and Editions curated by Maria A. Angeli, offering visitors the opportunity to view books that are artworks themselves. The aim of the exhibition is to shed light on this –not very widely known– aspect of artistic production and to introduce the artists’ books in the art market. It will showcase books/artworks that focus on an idea, an obsession or a code; books that are a way of recording or commenting on an artistic project, or even a way for a series of its elements to become autonomous or transformed; books that often become a visual narration; books that relate speech to image in order to produce readings beyond language; books that allow a letter, a word or a sign to initiate the navigation through their pages; books the message of which is depended on their form and material; books that give way to the expression of a different –maybe more intimate or personal– voice of the artist; books that unveil the community discourse developed in creating a collective book; books that encourage the visitor’s participation and creativity. Artists’ books invite their “readers” to a journey cover to cover, to a subversive and emotional reading. Hidden meanings, sensitive and venturous materials, imaginative compositions, a variety of sizes and forms, condensed artistic articulation in unique books or multiples, are only a fragment of what the international visitors of ART-ATHINA will enjoy this year. Among the participating artists are: Alexis Akrithakis, Dimitris Alithinos, Stephen Antonakos, Dimitrios Antonitsis, Manolis Charos, Dimitris Condos, Alexandros Georgiou, George Hadjimichalis, Zoe Keramea, Nikos Kryonidis, Margarita Lypiridou, Katherina Manolessou, Despina Meimaroglou, MSAZ, Kyrillos Sarris, Panayiotis Terzis, Eleni Theofilaktou, Giorgos Tserionis, Dimitris Tsoumplekas, Antonis Vathis. The exhibition is produced by ART-ATHINA. Transport sponsor of this exhibition is the company Nail2Nail – Fine Art Movers.

Within its parallel programme, ART-ATHINA 2010 will host Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation and the Spyropoulos Awards which are annually awarded to two young artists under the age of 30. The exhibition will showcase the work of the eight artists who have been honoured with the award since 2006 as well as photographs of the work of all the artists that have received the award since it was established. The foundation is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and the visitors will be informed about the wide range of its activities. Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation is also delighted to announce a new award, the Vassilis J. Valambous Award, which will be awarded every two years to post-graduate art students up to the age of 35. The donation supporting financially the Vassilis J. Valambous Award comes from his children in memory of the great collector.

The Swiss company Motto Distribution specializing in the distribution of art publications all over the world will also be part of ART-ATHINA 2010 showcasing selected artists’ books, magazines and international art publications.

ART-ATHINA goes to attica this year! The department store was inspired from art and created a shop window dedicated to the international contemporary art fair ART-ATHINA 2010. From 26 April to 15 May fashion and art met at a unique window display which will be adored both by demanding fashionistas as well as by art lovers.

The art bookstore Eleftheroudakis will also be present at ART-ATHINA 2010 with a wide selection of art books, as well as Benaki Museum’s art shop.

The International Honorary Board of ART-ATHINA 2010, consisting of prominent personalities from the international art scene, has a view to promote the Athens fair internationally. Members of the board are: Paolo Colombo (Art Advisor, Istanbul Modern), Wilfried Cooreman (Collector, Belgium), Agnes Fierobe (Director of Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris), Enrique Juncosa (Director of Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin), Mercedes Vilardell (Collector, Spain), Ilmo Sr. D. Marcos Vinzia (Lawyer, Spain).

Many collectors and prominent personalities of the international art scene are participating in the VIP programme of ART-ATHINA 2010 and apart from the fair they will have the opportunity to visit private collections and museums in Athens.

At the same time, the reciprocal patrons’ programme with Art Dubai and Art Rotterdam is creating an itinerary spanning Europe and the Middle East which enforces dialogue on art issues as well as enhances the art market within a programme of reciprocal invitations.

ART-ATHINA 2010 has organised a special event to host the members of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT), the conference of which will take place in Athens during the days of the fair.

ART-ATHINA 2010 | Faliro Pavilion | Alexandros J. Stanas |

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