While Greece is known for its rich culture, ancient philosophers, and celebrated historical monuments – the country also boasts world-class art galleries, showcasing the work of local and international artists.
It is no wonder that now, due to its exciting emerging art scene, grassroots artistic run spaces, and established museum collections Greece has become a popular art destination. The art scene is particularly incredible in its variety, where avant-garde contemporary art spaces are situated alongside the country’s iconic historical sites. Laying the groundwork of this vibrant creative landscape is a strong community of artistic foundations, artists, curators, and more, championing the arts scene in its diversity.
Here, we meet 5 of those women laying the groundwork and leading the art scene in Greece.
Christina Papadopoulou is the Director of Gagosian in Athens, Greece. Based between London and Athens, she has been at Gagosian since 2009, working with and hosting exhibitions of some of the world’s leading artists and estates, including Pablo Picasso, Cy Twombly, Georg Baselitz, Brice Marden, Giuseppe Penone, Sterling Ruby, Taryn Simon, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry. Through her directorship, she has supported the exhibitions of leading international artists in Museums and Institutions in Greece and abroad. Christina specializes in modern and contemporary art, building international collections. She headed the opening and has been directing the new Gagosian in Athens ever since. The gallery opened in September 2020, launching a solo exhibition of American artist Brice Marden. This exhibition, which marked the artist’s first solo show in Greece in four decades, was followed by solo exhibitions of L.A.-based artist Sterling Ruby and Italian master Giuseppe Penone. Before opening the gallery in Athens, she has worked at Gagosian in London and previously at the Richard Gray Gallery in New York. Christina holds an MSc in Economics and Management in Arts, Culture, Media and Entertainment from Università Bocconi and a BSc in Marketing and Communications from the Athens University of Economics and Business.
Christina can be found on Instagram here @papadopoulou___christina
Marina Vranopoulou is an art historian and curator. She is the owner of Dio Horia Gallery in Athens and the Project Coordinator of DESTE Foundation Project Space, the Slaughterhouse, in Hydra. Vranopoulou graduated from Athens College and then studied at University College London (UCL), Christie’s Education and Goldmsiths University. Her research interests focus on the contemporary art collector and how collecting affects the work of art at the stage of its creation while, Dio Horia Gallery entertains a desire to revisit the past and unleash inveterate institutional art conventions, by focusing on post digital art, queer art, female empowerment and all that is current and relevant.
Marina can be found on Instagram here @vranopoulaki @diohoria
Polina Kosmadaki is an art historian and curator living and working in Athens. She holds a Ph.D in Art History from the University of Paris-IV-La Sorbonne. She is currently Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Head of the Department of Paintings of the Benaki Museum, Athens, and a Lecturer of Art History in the European Studies program of the Hellenic Open University. Since 2008 she is an associate researcher of the French School at Athens’ Modern Section, currently the Head Researcher of a project on the editor and art critic Christian Zervos and his journal Cahiers d’art. Her research interests lie in the avant-garde periodicals and exhibitions of the interwar period, the reception of Antiquity in contemporary art, institutional critique and exhibition history, the ethnographic turn of contemporary art, craft and materiality as critical practices. She has curated many contemporary art exhibitions and organised symposia and workshops both in Athens and Paris. She has contributed with articles and academic papers on modern and contemporary art in a number of journals and books.
You can find out more about Polina via her website here | Instagram: @polina_kosmadaki
Atalanti Martinou was born in Athens in 1987. She holds a BA in History of Art & Architecture from Brown University (2007). She also holds a degree in fashion design from Parsons The New School for design,(2008). After holding positions at MoMA, Sotheby’s and Skarstedt Gallery in New York, she moved back home to Athens in 2013. She has been involved with the Cycladic Museum, as an advisor to the contemporary art program since 2014. In 2019 she founded ARCH, an independent, non-profit arts organization that provides opportunities for professionals in the contemporary visual arts to develop their practice, explore connections and build collaborations with colleagues, communities and institutions in Athens through its exhibition and residency programs. In 2021, she launched ARCH workshop – a collection of artworks, objects, ceramics, jewelry and printed materials created by artists and designers from and or residing in Greece. She also makes and paints ceramics.
You can follow Atalanti via her Instagram here @atalanti
Katerina Gregos is a curator, lecturer and writer. After spending 12 years in London, 16 years in Brussels and working internationally, she became artistic director of ΕΜΣΤ | The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens last year where she has been charged with revitalising the institution after the years of the financial crisis which severely disadvantaged public institutions in the country. Her programme for the museum began on the 16th June with an opening attended by more than 5000 people. Since taking up the post she has already established a new mission and collection policy for the museum, made improvement’s in the museum’s interior and staged a number of thought-provoking exhibitions and events including the large-scale international group exhibition Statecraft (and beyond) which she curated herself. From the beginning of her professional activity, Gregos has become known for her steadfast and coherent curatorial practice which has consistently explored the relationship between art, society and politics with a particular view on questions of democracy, human rights, economy, ecology, crisis and changing global production circuits.She has curated numerous large-scale international exhibitions and nine international biennials, including Manifesta, the Göteborg and Thessaloniki Biennials, among other. Most recently she was chief curator of the 1st Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA1): Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, which she also instrumental in setting up as an institution (the exhibition was selected by both ArtNet and Hyperallergic as one of the top 20 international exhibitions of 2018). Gregos has also curated three National Pavilions at the Venice Biennale, Denmark (2011), Belgium (2015), Croatia (2019). Apart from her activities as an independent curator since 2016 she is curator of the visual arts programme of the non-profit, Munich-based Schwarz Foundation.
You can find out more about Katerina via her website here www.katerinagregos.org and the museum’s website is www.emst.gr