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.


SHADOW THEATER

SNFCC, August 5-26

The Athens Shadow Theater returns to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) this summer to showcase plays from the world of Karagiozis, the main character of shadow theater plays depicting tales of traditional folklore. Athos Danellis, director of the theater company, is one of the last surviving Karagiozis puppeteers and a professor of shadow theater at the University of Athens. Shows include “The Birth of Kollitiri,” “Ghost of the Night,” “The Three Magicians” and “The Miser’s Arranged Marriage.”

The performance will start at 21.00 on the Panoramic Steps on August 5 and at the Dome every Monday following throughout August.

Admission is free.

Find more information here.

364 Syngrou, Kallithea

ATHENS OPEN-AIR FILM FESTIVAL

Selected venues, June 5-August 28

The ninth Athens Open-Air Film Festival promises a packed program, featuring films from every genre and screenings taking place at various venues around the city, including some of the most distinctive monuments and touristic destinations of the city, as well as squares, parks, beaches and other pedestrian areas.

See the program here.

A Submissive Acknowledgment of Powerlessness

The Breeder, to August 31

The latest show of installations and videos by architect and visual artist Andreas Angelidakis, “A Submissive Acknowledgment of Powerlessness,” at the Breeder, explores the notions of antiquity and destruction. Drawing inspiration from the urban landscape, Athens’ cultural scene and the world of the internet, the artist presents different approaches to what constitutes ruins and remains, old and new, real and digital.

The exhibition is open 12.00-20.00 Tuesday through Friday and 12.00- 18.00 on Saturdays.

45 Iasonos, Metaxourgio

SUMMER SYMBOL

Eleni Marneri Galerie, to August 31

Taking inspiration from Nikolaos Lytras’ famous “Straw Hat” painting, the Eleni Marneri Galerie’s latest exhibition, “Harvest”, declares straw hats the quintessential symbol of the Greek summer. Handmade hats by Liza Sarigiannidou are presented with artful embellishments added by the stylist Michalis Pantos, while designers Niki Psychogiou and Irini-Louisa Andrikopoulou present relaxed, uncomplicated clothing that helps complete the summer look.

5-7 Lembessi & 16 Ponirou, Makriyianni

PYX LAX

Technopolis & Municipal Theater of Piraeus, July 10 & September 3

Greek rock band Pyx Lax, which enjoyed great success in Greece in the 90’s and early 00’s, will be getting back together for a tour this summer. The band is known as one of the greatest commercial successes to come out of the Greek music industry, and collaborated with international artists such as Sting. Two shows will take place in Athens, first at Technopolis in June, and at the Municipal Theater of Piraeus in September.

Get your tickets here (link in Greek).

QUEEN SYMPHONIC

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, September 7

Four singers – Rachael Wooding, Jon Boydon, Peter Eldridge and Julie Stark – stars of the West End’s hit rock musical “We Will Rock You,” take the stage at the Roman-era Odeon of Herodes Atticus in a show that celebrates the legendary British band Queen. The singers will be joined by the Athens Symphony Orchestra and a 10-member rock band led by acclaimed guitarist Adam Martin.

Dionysiou Areopagitou

IN/FINITO

Italian Educational Institute, July 15-September 10

As part of an ongoing cultural exchange between Greece and Italy, the Italian Embassy of Athens brings the works of Greek photographer Costas Ordolis to its Educational Institute. Ordolis, who was featured at this year’s Athens Photo Festival, specializes in city photography and transforms iconic urban scenes into a stage setting.

The show opens on July 15 at 19.00 and hours are Mondays to Fridays from 11.00 to 17.00 and Saturdays from 11.00 to 13.30.

Admission is free of charge.

47 Patission

ANDREA BOCELLI

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, September 11

The eminently talented musician, composer, stage performer and singer Andrea Bocelli returns to Athens after an absence of several years for a single show at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The program comprises selections from the classical/symphonic repertory, popular opera and operetta arias, Italian ballads and modern pop. The Italian legend is joined by Greece’s ERT Symphony Orchestra and Choir, with Marcello Rota conducting.

The concert is organized by the non-profit International Foundation for Greece (IFG), of which Bocelli is an honorary patron.

Dionysiou Areopagitou

EVOLUTION OF ABSTRACT GREEK ART

Alex Mylona Museum, to September 15

Sculptures and paintings by 26 eminent artists including Yannis Gaitis, George Zongolopoulos, Vlassis Caniaris, Costas Tsoclis and others illustrate the evolution of the abstract in Greek art from the 1950s to the 1960s at the Alex Mylona Museum. “Untitled: Greek Post-War Abstraction: The Heroic Years” showcases how the genre developed in Greece after the end of the Civil War.

Opening hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11.00-19.00, Sundays from 11.00-16.00 and Thursdays from 11.00-22.00.

5 Asomaton Square, Thiseio

Masks and the Oceanic

CAN Christina Androulidaki Gallery, to September 15

Scratches, dust, over-exposure: the imperfections photographers normally fix when processing their images form the bedrock of Alexis Vasilikos’ abstract collection “Masks.”  The second part of this exhibition comprises the series “The Oceanic,” which consists of digitally processed landscapes that draw parallels with romanticism and pictorialism and which, according to the artist, are based on Romain Rolland’s notion of an “oceanic feeling” to describe that sense of being a part of the universe.

By appointment only during August (Tel. (+30) 210.339.0833).

42 Anagnostopoulou, Kolonaki 

Béjart Ballet Lausanne

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, September 15 & 16

Just two years after they were last here, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne company returns to the Greek capital with three landmark pieces at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The show opens with Mikis Theodorakis’ “Seven Greek Dances,” choreographed by the legendary ensemble’s founder, Maurice Béjart, followed by “Tous les hommes presque toujours s’imaginent,” with music by John Zorn and choreography by Béjart artistic director Gil Roman. The final part features a piece presented by Béjart for the first time in 1961, his “Bolero,” inspired by the Ravel classic.

Dionysiou Areopagitou

JOHN CLEESE

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, September 20

Organized by The Hub Events as part of the celebrations marking the British Council’s 80th anniversary in Greece, the actor who wrote comedy history with the Monty Python gang and helped shape a style of comic acting that revolved around dark humor, profanity and provocation, will perform at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, in a show titled “John Cleese Live at the Acropolis”.

Find more information here.

Areopagitou Dionisiou

MAN ON THE MOON

The Project Gallery, to September 21 (The gallery will be closed from August 2 to 31)

Celebrating 50 years since man first stepped on the surface of the moon, The Project Gallery is hosting works by Greek and foreign artists that explore the effect of Earth’s only permanent natural satellite on human activity and creativity. From mythology and folk customs to literature, poetry and cinema, the moon has spurred the collective imagination and broadened the scope of man’s capabilities throughout the ages.

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

Admission is free of charge.

Find more info here.

14 Theatrou Square, Omonia

DESCRIBING A HUMAN

Municipal Art Gallery, to September 22

“Beyond Your Shadow: Four Ways to Describe a Human Being” presents work by key representatives of the modern Greek art scene – Steve Gianakos, Apostolos Georgiou, George Lappas and Makis Theofylaktopoulos – in order to explore the different ways in which the human form has been depicted in the post-war era.

Opening hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10.00-21.00 and Sundays from 10.00-14.00.

Admission is free of charge.

Vassilissis Sofias, Eleftherias Park

THE SAME RIVER TWICE

Benaki Museum, June 21 to September 22

The DESTE Foundation and New York’s New Museum pay tribute to the city of Athens and its constantly evolving artistic landscape in an exhibition featuring works by 32 artists of all ages and nationalities, organized in cooperation with the Benaki Museum. “The Same River Twice” offers a portrait of a city with an artistic dynamism that continues to unfold as artists seek new models for creative output and exchange.

Opening hours at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street annex are Thursdays and Sundays from 10.00 to 18.00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 10.00 to 22.00.

Admission costs 6-8 euros.

Find more information here.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

FASSIANOS & CHRONIS

B&M Theocharakis Foundation, to September 29

“Alekos Fassianos, Vangelis Chronis – 30 Years of Friendship, Paintings and Poetry” presents the collaboration of two well-known Greek artists, painter Alekos Fasianos and Poet Vangelis Chronis. The exhibition demonstraties how they have drawn inspiration from each other’s work for the past three decades, as well as their shared love for ancient Greek art.

The show comprises poetry, paintings, drawings and engravings, as well as clay, bronze and glass creations.

Opening hours are daily 10.oo to 18.00.

9 Vassilissis Sofias & 1 Merlin

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

CHISEL & MEMORY

Acropolis Museum, to October 31

The Acropolis Museum pays homage to the marble craftsmen and laborers who have worked on the preservation and restoration of the ancient Greek citadel with great dedication over the decades with an exhibition of photographs. Part of ongoing events celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary, “Chisel and Memory: The Contribution of Marble Craftsmanship to the Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments” consists of 100 candid shots spanning 40 years. It is on display in the temporary exhibition area near the entrance.

Opening hours are Mondays from 8.00to 16.00, Tuesdays to Thursdays and Saturdays and Sundays from 8.00 to 20.00, and Fridays from 8.00 to 22.00.

Admission is free of charge.

15 Dionysiou Areopagitou

MEDEA AND OTHER FRIENDS

Athinaiki Skini, to October 31

Produced by the KOILON production team, “Medea and other friends I made in Athens” follows the adventures of a tourist who, on a visit to the Acropolis, slips, hits his head, and suddenly finds himself in the 5th c. B.C. Specially written for visitors to Athens, the play is performed in English.

Shows start at 15.00 daily until June 15th, and at 18.00 starting June 16th.

Tickets cost 18€ for adults and 14€ for children.

Find more information here.

Ath. Diakou & 13 Tzireon

FRUITS & SYMBOLS

Numismatic Museum, to October 31

The riches of the land, including pomegranates, grain, grapes and olives, have served as a source of inspiration for artists ever since ancient times. The Numismatic Museum presents 337 ancient Greek, Roman and later coins, seal stones and lead and clay symbols depicting Greek fruit and foliage, juxtaposed with pieces of contemporary jewelry by 19 Greek and foreign designers.

12 Panepistimiou

WOMEN OF PASSION, WOMEN OF GREECE

To Treno sto Rouf, to November 2

For 16 Saturdays, Evelina Arapidi performs the three leading roles of “Women of Passion, Women of Greece.” The 60-minute play, written in English by Eugenia Arsenis, follows the characters of Medea, Maria Callas and Melina Mercouri as they explore their shared passion for love, life and creativity. Set to music by Fotis Mylonas, the dramatic performance has captivated audiences since its 2016 debut and subsequent tour through Australia and Brussels.

The performance will take place at the unique, vintage Railway Carriage at Rouf.

Buy your tickets here.

Rouf Railway Station, Constantinoupoleos St

The Santorini Landscape in 20th-Century Greek Painting

Benaki Museum-Pireos, October 3-November 3

Odysseas Elytis, Giorgos Seferis and scores of other writers have waxed lyrical about Santorini’s natural attractions, just as dozens of visual artists have been unable to resist the siren call of the island’s stunning landscapes. Dimitris Tsitouras is a collector who has spent the past 20 years tracking down and acquiring paintings by Greek artists inspired by Santorini, 80 of which are being shown by the Benaki Museum. Standouts include selections from artists of the Thirties Generation – Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Yiannis Moralis and Spyros Vassiliou – as well as later artists like Opy Zouni, Costas Tsoclis and Pavlos Samios.

138 Pireos & Andronikou

Alexis Akrithakis: Tsiki-Tsiki

Museum of Greek Culture, September 25-November 17

“My relationship with painting is completely impulsive. It is like looking at any empty space, where a single dot can become a starting point,” said Alexis Akrithakis, one of the most important figures in the postwar art scene in Greece. Marking 80 years since his birth and 25 since his death, the Benaki Museum is organizing an exhibition dedicated to one of the artist’s signature techniques, which came to be known colloquially as “tsiki-tsiki,” a dense black-and-white drawing style that defined much of his work from the 1960s through the mid-1970s.

1 Koumbari & Vasilissis Sofias

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

WIM MERTENS

Pallas Theater, October 22

Respected Belgian composer Wim Mertens, a leading figure in the contemporary classical and avant-garde music scenes, takes the stage at the Pallas Theater with a program of pieces composed for films and plays, and well as tracks from his latest album, “That Which is Not.”

5 Voukourestiou

CHRONOGRAPHY

Archaeological Society at Athens, throughout 2019 (duration extended)

Robert McCabe’s photographs in regions of archaeological significance during his first trips to the country between the mid-1950s and early 1960s, are on display at the Archeological Museum at Athens. The aim of the exhibition is to highlight the key role played by the Archaeological Society in shaping the self-awareness of the Greeks as a nation.

The American photographer’s shots show Greece at a time when there were few cars and infrastructure was basic, and include a tour of the Peloponnese with British philhellene and distinguished archaeologist Alan Wace.

Opening hours are Mondays to Fridays from 10.00 to 18.00.

Admission is free of charge.

22 Panepistimiou, Omonia

COUNTLESS ASPECTS OF BEAUTY

National Archaeological Museum, throughout 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.

Opening hours are Mondays from 13.00 to 20.00 and Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:00 – 20:00.

Admission costs 10 euros.

44 Patission

GREEK EXPRESSIONISM

Athens Municipal Gallery, to January 5 2020

The Athens Municipal Gallery pays tribute to often overlooked yet important Greek artists who were active in the second half of the 20th century with “Exception: Aspects of Expressionism in Greece.” The main part of the exhibition is dedicated to painter Giorgos Bouzianis and engraver Giorgos Economidis, local pioneers of the the expressionist scene developed in Germany and France, as well as to other artists who shaped their personal idiom regardless of the strict academic edicts that influenced many artists at the time and the pull of modernism.

Opening hours are Tuesdays from 10.00 to 21.00, Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10.00 to 19.00 and Sundays from 10.00. to 15.00.

Leonidou & Myllerou, Avdi Square, Metaxourgeio

JEFF WALL

The George Economou Collection, June 18-April 2020

The first solo exhibition of Canadian artists Jeff Wall’s work opens at the George Economou Collection on June 18. The artist’s fine art photography, created between the late 1980s and the 2010s, is presented in three sections, reflecting his involvement with various historical narratives.

Opening hours are Monday-Friday 10.00-18.00.

Find more information here.

80 Kifissias Avenue


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