What’s On in Athens

From food festivals to concerts to international exhibitions, here's a list of some of the best events happening around the city in the next months.


ARCHIPELAGOS

Eynard Mansion, to April 20

The National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET) presents photographer Stratos Kalafatis’s “Archipelagos” project in its entirety at the Eynard Mansion through April 20. In this project, the acclaimed photographer has brought together work from two separate ferry boat expeditions around the islands of the Aegean, one in 2006 – whose results were displayed at the Venice Biennale – and another in February 2018. Bringing the two projects together, Kalafatis aims to underscore the changes that time has brought both to the physical world as well as his own style and attitude as a photographer.

Read more here.

Opening hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from noon to 18:00 and Saturdays from 11:00 to 17:00. Admission is free of charge.

20 Aghiou Constantinou, Omonia

Le Nozze di Figaro

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, March 23, 27, 29 and 31, and April 12, 14, 17 and 20

The first of Mozart’s three operas, with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, returns to the Greek National Opera in a new production at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Directed by Alexandros Efklidis, the GNO’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” stars Dimitris Tiliakos and Dionysios Sourbis alternately as Count Almaviva, Maria Mitsopoulou and Myrsini Margariti as the countess, Vassiliki Karayanni and Chrissa Maliamani as Susanna, and Panajotis Iconomou and Yannis Selitsaniotis as the wily Figaro who manages to get his beloved out of the clutches of her lustful employer.

Shows take place on March 23, 27, 29 and 31, and on April 12, 14, 17 and 20. Performances begin at 19:30, except on Sunday when the starting time is 18:30.

Go here for reservations and information.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

OIA: PORTRAIT OF A VILLAGE

The Image Gallery, to April 21

The Image Gallery presents a selection of black-and-white photographs shot by Pamela Browne during a visit to Santorini in the late 1970s. Curated by Elias Cosindas and Emily Mandilara, the exhibition offers rare insight into life on the now wildly popular holiday island at a time when survival was a daily challenge but life was also uncluttered.

Opening hours are 16.00-20.00 through Friday, 11.00 to 17.00 on Saturday and 12.00 to 16.00 on Sunday.

36 Vassilissis Amalias, Syntagma

COMICDOM CON

Hellenic American Union & the French Institute, April 19-21

Greece’s biggest event dedicated to comic books is back with a strong lineup of events, including exhibitions, signings, panels, and workshops teaching you things such as how to draw a Mickey Mouse comic (April 20 12.00-12.50). Special guests will include Spain’s Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, the UK’s Dan Watters and Italian artist Stefano Zanchi. This year’s honored artist is Greece’s Tasos Marangos (Tasmar).

Events will be taking place from 11.00 to 21.30.

Find the full event program in English here

Hellenic American Union: 22 Massalias, Kolonaki

French Institute: 31 Sina, Kolonaki

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

SNFCC, April 6-21 (selected dates)

“From Russia With Love” is the Greek National Opera’s tribute to Igor Stravinsky, which sees three acclaimed choreographers presenting their own takes on three pieces he composed for impresario Sergei Diaghilev, creator of the Ballets Russes in Paris. They are Daphnis Kokkinos of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch with “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring), distinguished German choreographer Marco Goecke, the new director of the Hannover Ballet, with “Le Chant du Rossignol” (The Nightingale’s Song), and GNO Ballet director Konstantinos Rigos with “Les Noces” (The Wedding), which he had choreographed for his Oktana dance company in 1993.

Shows take place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) on April 6, 7, 10, 13, 19 and 21.

Go here for details and tickets.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

Crete. Emerging Cities: Aptera, Eleftherna, Knossos. Three Ancient Cities Revived

Museum of Cycladic Art, to April 30

Three powerful cities of ancient Crete – Aptera, Eleftherna and Knossos – are revealed in all their glory. Five hundred ancient artifacts – new and old finds from archaeological excavations – illustrate the way of life in these glorious urban centers of the past. The narrative thread of the exhibition begins with the founding of these cities and follows their journey through prosperity to the events that led to their abandonment or final destruction.

4 Neofytou Douka, Vasilissis Sofias & 1 Irodotou, cycladic.gr (Metro: Evangelismos)

COUNTLESS ASPECTS OF BEAUTY

National Archaeological Museum, to spring 2019

The National Archaeological Museum presents “Countless Aspects of Beauty,” the final exhibition in a fascinating trilogy showcasing the institution’s impressive collections on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Here, 350 artifacts, digital media and other displays explore man’s eternal quest for beauty and his need to surround himself with beautiful things, from everyday cooking utensils to jewelry, perfume and other finery. The show also addresses conflicting notions of beauty and aesthetic trends as they evolved from Neolithic times to late antiquity. Visiting hours are Mondays from 13.00 to 20.00 and Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:00 – 20:00. Admission costs 10 euros.

44 Patission

Japan & Literature

Athens Municipal Gallery, March 4 – May 3

In celebration of 120 years of Greek-Japanese relations, the City of Athens are presenting the exhibition “Japan and Literature”, curated by Despina Zernioti and Denys Sacharopoulos, at the Athens Municipal Gallery.

Consisting of pieces from the Corfu Museum of Asian Art’s collection, the exhibition will include books by Hearn, manga drawings by Hokusai and prints from the Ukiyo-e movement that blossomed in Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Opening hours are Tuesday 10.00-21.00, Wednesday-Saturday 10:00-19:00 and Sunday 10:00-16:00

Leonidou & Millerou

Artemis Potamianou Exhibition

ENIA gallery, February 8 – May 4

For the exhibition titled “Your history, it’s not my story”, the ENIA gallery has been transformed to resemble a cage, which in turn houses elaborate bird-cages, which host smaller cages. The works by Artemis Potamianou reflect the layers of confinement women struggle with within society.

55 Mesologgiou St, Pireaus

IO ANGELI EXHIBITION

Zoumboulakis Gallery, March 21-May 4

In “Is it a Trap,” at the Zoumboulakis Gallery, Io Angeli, an artist known for exploring the fluidity of space, presents a new series of paintings that depict “imaginary environments, worlds that are illogical and strange and yet, at the same time, familiar and peaceful, inhabited by a human absence.”

The solo show opens on Thursday, March 21, at 20.00. Opening hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 to 15.00 and 17.00 to 20.00, Wednesdays from 11.00 to 15.00 and Saturdays from 11.00 to 14.00.

20 Kolonaki Square

FASIANOS & MYTARAS

Roma gallery, March 21-May 4

New arrival the Roma Gallery presents a show of work by two of Greece’s most well-known artists, Alekos Fassianos (b. 1935) and Dimitris Mytaras (1934-2017), in a bid to explore their different approaches to the human figure as the protagonist of their work, but also to underscore the differences in their individual idioms, as well as their similarities, especially in terms of their flair for the theatrical. 

Opening hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 to 21.00.

5 Roma, Kolonaki

QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL

The Project Gallery, April 13-May 4

Curator Nikos Giavropoulos asked a group of artists to explore the invisible link between Joseph Beuys’ performance piece “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare,” Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” and the prehistoric human imprint found at the Lascaux Cave in southwestern France. The results will be presented in an exhibition titled “Quest for the Holy Grail – The Sacred Object.”

The gallery is open Tuesdays to Fridays 11.30-18.00 and Saturdays 12.00-16.00.

14 Theatrou Square, Psyrri

Alexander Lamont Henderson: 1904 Holiday Snaps

Ghika Gallery, to May 4

Little has survived of the work of the British photographer Alexander Lamont Henderson, except for a series of photos taken over the course of several trips he made to the Mediterranean (1884-1906). A selection of photographs from his short stay in Greece in 1904 are currently on show at the Benaki Museum. Unusually, given the practices common during his lifetime, Henderson recorded not only the monuments and archaeological sites of Athens, but also scenes from daily city life, images of the port of Piraeus and the interior of the Royal Palace.

3 Kriezotou (Metro: Syntagma)

Yannis Moralis, Master Teacher

Museum of Greek Culture, February 13 – May 5

Famous Greek painter Yannis Moralis was more than an artist – he was also an excellent teacher. The Museum of Greek Culture now presents an exhibition featuring works from 24 of his many students, chosen to highlight for how long Moralis taught aspiring artists (from the 1940’s to the start of the 1980’s), and the radically different paths that these students would embark on afterwards.

Read more here.

1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave

Demosthenis Skoulakis Exhibition

Benaki Museum, to May 5

The Benaki Museum pays tribute to Demosthenis Skoulakis (1939-2014), a key proponent of the 1970s generation of Greek artists. The exhibition is divided into eight sections and comprises around 100 paintings beginning from the late 1950s and spanning the period of his political paintings (1960-67), his period of self-exile in Europe, America and Canada (1967-72), his surrealist period (1980-84), his portraits (1985-96), his tribute to Yiannis Tsarouchis (1988-98) and other periods.

Opening hours are Thursdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 22:00. Admission costs 7 euros.

138 Pireos & Andronikou, Tavros

KOUTSOURIS EXHIBITION

Stoart, April 16-May 14

Painter, cartoonist and illustrator Yiannis Koutsouris returns to the Stoart gallery after a four-year hiatus with a series of works that explore the transition from a childhood in the countryside to life in the big city, as well as a second section that is dedicated to the influence of comic books on his work.

Opening hours are Mondays to Fridays from 10.00 to 20.00.

Korai Arcade, Panepistimiou

”SILENCE”

Casa do Brazil, March 27-May 17

Works of the Brazilian visual artist Sonia Guggisberg will be presented at the Brazilian Embassy’s “Casa do Brazil”. The exhibition centers around the experiences of refugees on the Mediterranean Sea. “Sonia Guggisberg’s research is concerned with the redesign of identities that thousands of migrants undertake, leaving their homeland and throwing themselves to the sea, without any certainties or destination,” says exhibition curator Christine Greiner.

Read more about the exhibition here, and about the artist here.  

23 Vasilisis Sophias

STEFANOS ROKOS

Benaki Museum, April 4-May 19

The exhibition “Stefanos Rokos: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ No More Shall We Part: 14 Paintings 17 Years Later,” curated by art historian Stavros Kavallaris and which opens at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street annex on Thursday, April 4, features mixed-media works, including embroidery, which depict the unique impression Cave’s lyrics made on the Greek artist. The renowned Australian musician made his lyrics available for this project and has also provided an introductory note for a publication that accompanies the exhibition.

Opening hours are Thursdays and Sundays from 10.00 to 18.00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 to 22.00. Admission costs 3-6 euros.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

PLATFORMS PROJECT

Nikos Kessanlis Exhibition Hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), May 16-19

The annual Platforms Project brings together art platforms (artist groups and art spaces) from all over the world. This year, 60 platforms from 17 countries will take part in the art fair, featuring performances, talks and other events.

The opening of the three day even will take place on Thursday, May 16, at 19.00. Opening hours on Friday, Saturday & Sunday are 12.00-21.00.

Pireos, Ag. Ioannis Rentis

Tiki Pop-Up Bar

Akanthus, May 21

Famous Athens bar The Clumsies (ranked 7 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list), will throw their big annual event, featuring visiting bars from around the world, on May 21. This time, the theme is tiki, and the venue is the beach. More specifically, the four hour party will take place at Akanthus beach bar in Alimos, and the participating tiki bars are Chicago’s  Lost Lake, New York’s The Polynesian, Athens’ Baba Au Rum, London’s Trailer Happiness, Paris’ Dirty Dick and Miami’s Esotiko.

The Event starts at 19:30.

LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK

SNFCC, May 12, 15, 17, 19 and 22

Veteran French actor Fanny Ardant directs the Greek National Opera in an ambitious and unconventional production of Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. Based on the novel by Nikolai Leskov, the opera addresses the subject of a woman’s position in provincial pre-revolutionary Russia. The opera is conducted by Vassilis Christopoulos and stars Yannis Yannissis, Yannis Christopoulos, Svetlana Sozdateleva and Sergey Semishkur.

Tickets range from 15 to 90 euros and viewers are advised that the production contains nudity.

Go here for tickets.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

DOULAMAS THE MAGNIFICENT

Benaki Museum, to May 26

The exhibition “Doulamas” the Magnificent: An Exceptional Overcoat, organized by the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation in cooperation with the Benaki Museum in Athens, focuses on the tailoring of this very special garment type, whose history has been researched in depth by PFF president Ioanna Papantoniou. The exhibition highlights the materials, cuts, patterns and motifs that adorn it, and reveal how it has influenced fashion and theater costume design.

This tribute presents a variety of doulamas worn in the western Balkans by men and women during the Ottoman era, along with historical artworks featuring the impressive long cloaks.

Find more information here.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

ROADS OF ARABIA

Benaki Museum Pireos Street annex, March 20-May 26

“Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures from Saudi Arabia” explores the cultural evolution of the Arabian Peninsula from the prehistoric era until the 20th century. The exhibits are associated with early nomadic movements, trade routes that linked the peninsula with the Mediterranean, Mesopotamia and the rest of Asia, as well as with pilgrimage roads leading to Mecca from the 7th century A.D. onward. The exhibition also showcases the region’s most important prehistoric settlements and presents findings related to various Islamic dynasties until the unification of Saudi Arabia.

Opening hours are Thursdays and Sundays from 10.00 to 18.00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 to 22.00. Admission costs 8 euros.

Read more here.

138 Pireos & Andronikou,
 Tavros

THE MISANTHROPE

National Theater Main Stage, to May 26

Former artistic director Yannis Houvardas returns to the Greek National Theater with a modern and quirky production of “The Misanthrope,” a Moliere classic embraced by stage artists around the world for its adaptability and the way it exposes hypocrisy, regardless of time and place.

The production is in Greek, but comes with English subtitles every Saturday (20.30) and Sunday (19.00).

Go here for details and tickets.

22-24 Aghiou Constantinou,
 Omonia

ATHENS STREET FOOD FESTIVAL

Palio Amaksostasio of OSY, May 10-12, 17-19 & 24-26

The dates for the annual Athens Street Food Festival have been announced; the delicious event is set to take place during last three weekends in May. More details about the participants, which will serve Greek and international cuisine, will be announced soon.

Keep an eye out for all the information here

Pireos & Ermou St., Gazi

BYRONIC HEROES

Tzistarakis Mosque, to May 31

The Museum of Modern Greek Culture in the 18th century Tzistarakis Mosque presents Lydia Venieri’s “Byronic Heroes,” a critically acclaimed collection of paintings inspired by the characters in Lord Byron’s stories. In these tableaux vivants, the artist presents processed photographs depicting real young people dressed in period costumes and photographed against constructed idyllic backdrops to create a pseudo-painterly construct.

Opening hours are Wednesdays to Mondays from 8.30  to 16.00.

Monastiraki Square

ZONGOLOPOULOS EXHIBITION

SNFCC, January 28 – May 31

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is organizing an exhibition dedicated to Greece’s famous sculptor, George Zongolopoulos. Zongolopoulos is known for his impressive public installations, such as the iconic Umbrella sculpture on Thessaloniki’s waterfront. For this exhibition, the SNFCC have collaborated with the George Zongolopoulos Foundation to bring in twenty of his pieces, eight of which will be displayed in outdoor areas, and twelve in the 4th floor atrium of the library. Four of the artworks will be on display for the first time.

Leo. Andrea Syggrou 364

BROKEN HISTORY

Byzantine and Christian Museum, March 15-June 15

In “Broken History,” on show at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, painter and Athens School of Fine Arts professor Pavlos Samios explores how time affects history in a series of works on cardboard that juxtapose ancient art with street art, the past and the present.

The show will open at 19:00 on Friday, March 15. Opening hours are Wednesdays to Mondays from 20:30 to 16:00.

22 Vassilissis Sofias

RELEASE ATHENS FESTIVAL

Water Square, June (selected dates)

Release Athens Festival presents an impressive lineup again this year, with concerts taking place by the sea, at Water Square in Kallithea, throughout June. Some of the performing artists include Damian Marley, Manowar, Alice in Chains, Cypress Hill and Disturbed.

The weekends will be packed. Iggy Pop, James and Shame all take the stage on Saturday, June 8. New Order, Johnny Marr, Morcheeba and Fontaines D.C. will play on Sunday, June 16. On Sunday, June 23 the square will fill with fans for Hozier, Roisin Murphy and Hooverphonic. Keep an eye out here for more announcements (link in Greek).

Kallithea

ROCKWAVE FESTIVAL

Terra Vibe Park, June/July (seleted dates to be announced)

The musical festival which takes place at the Terra Vibe Park has announced the first two acts of its lineup for 2019. American singer/songwriter LP, and Kavinsky (Vincent Belorgey as his alterego – the zombie electronic music producer) will both perform on June 22.

Keep an eye out here for more lineup announcements.

Oropos

ACROPOLIS REDUX: CARYATID/FRIEZE

American School of Classical Studies at Athens, May 18-July 14

British photographer Ian Walker’s work, presented in an exhibition at the American School of Classical Studies, shines a light on how the sculptures that once adorned the ancient temples of the Acropolis, has inspired modern art around the world.

The exhibition is divided into two parts: Caryatids and Friezes. The former focuses on London’s neo-classical caryatids, inspired by the one taken from the Erechtheum, which is now on display at the British Museum. The latter shows copies of the Parthenon relief, spread over Britain, Europe and the USA.

The show will open on International Museum Day, May 18, and run until July 14.

54 Souidias

DESTINATIONS

Athens International Airport, to July 14

The exhibition “Destinations,” currently on display at Athens International Airport, offers viewers a sense of the magic of theater through precious items used in memorable productions by the National Theater of Greece. Costumes and rare photographic material from the NTG’s archives shed light on significant moments in the history of this great cultural institution.

Art & Environment Exhibition Area, Departures Level (Entrance 3)

OUR BLUE PLANET

Eugenides Foundation, to July 21

The Eugenides Foundation’s digital planetarium is showing the BBC’s 2018 documentary “Oceans: Our Blue Planet,” described as a “global odyssey to discover the largest and least explored habitat on Earth.”

The 40-minute screening has been dubbed into Greek, but non-speakers can purchase a headset at the foundation’s shop that allows them to watch this and all the other screenings at the planetarium in their native language.

Screenings take place from Wednesdays to Sundays at 18.30 and 20.30. Admission costs 8 euros for adults and 5 euros for kids. Go here for more details.

387 Syngrou, Palaio Faliro

PICASSO & ANTIQUITY

Museum of Cycladic Art, June 20-October 20

Famous for his spectacular paintings but less for his drawings, engravings, and pottery, Picasso’s work in these art forms was greatly inspired by the ancient Greeks. “Picasso and Antiquity. Line and clay” is a rare exhibition about Picasso and the inspiration he took from ancient works of art, curated by Professor N. C. Stampolidis and Olivier Berggruen.

Read more here

4 Neophytou Douka

HADRIAN & ATHENS

National Archaeological Museum, to November 29

In cooperation with the Italian Archaeological School at Athens, the National Archaeological Museum presents “Hadrian and Athens: Conversing with an Ideal World,” a temporary exhibition in the Sculpture Collection’s Gallery 31A through November 29. By promoting the integration of Greek intelligentsia with Roman tradition, Hadrian contributed decisively to forging a common cultural base that served as a fundamental element of Western culture. All 40 of the exhibits come from the National Archaeological Museum’s collections.

Opening hours though March 31 are Mondays and Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:30 to 16:00 and Tuesdays from 13.00 to 20.00. Summer hours, from April 1 to October 31, are Mondays and Wednesdays to Sundays from 8:00 to 20:00 and Tuesdays from 13.00 to 20.00.

Admission costs 5 euros though March 31 and 10 euros from April 1 to October 31.

44 Patission


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