MCA Chicago

Athens, September 24-28, 2021

  • Private visit of “Portals” exhibition with Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn and NEON Director Elina Kountouri, along with Founder Dimitris Daskalopoulos at NEON, former public Tobacco Factory.

  • Private visit to The George Economou Collection with director Skarlet Smatana

  • Private visit of “Anti-Structure” exhibition at DESTE Foundation


The emblematic building of the former Public Tobacco Factory opens its doors for the first time, introducing a new contemporary cultural centre in Athens, open to all. This project is the result of a collaboration between the Hellenic Parliament and NEON to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence.

The new 6,500m2 cultural space, renovated with funding from NEON, will be inaugurated by an international group exhibition, Portals, featuring 59 artists from 27 countries including 15 new site-specific installations commissioned by NEON. Among them, 18 Greek artists are exhibiting new works or works whose framework of creation and presentation have been renewed to make them site-relevant.

The George Economou Collection

Rooted in history, social awareness and aesthetics, the collection began evolving in the 1990s with a focus on early twentieth-century European art and has expanded to include an important holding of postwar and contemporary art. Central movements of the early twentieth century such as German Expressionism and New Objectivity are collected in depth. Unique to the collection is the complete graphic oeuvre of Otto Dix and Otto Mueller. Works by artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky and Neo Rauch continue the German dialogue into the contemporary sphere alongside works by noted international artists such as Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Cady Noland and Jenny Saville.

DESTE Foundation

The DESTE Foundation is a non-profit institution founded by art collector Dakis Joannou in 1983. After 15 years of organizing exhibitions and supporting projects both within Greece and internationally, DESTE settled into a permanent home in Neo Psychico, Athens in 1998. In 2006 the foundation moved into a disused sock factory in the district of Nea Ionia, renovated by Greek architect Christos Papoulias. Its diverse exhibition program derives from a mixture of the Dakis Joannou Collection and, more recently, collaborations with other organizations such as the British Council. It includes showcases of both emerging and established names, with highlights including Jeff Koons’ A Millennium Celebration (1999–2000) and Monument to Now (2004), a group show of over 60 artists from the collection. The biannual DESTE Prize, established in 1999, is awarded to a young Greek artist as part of the foundation’s mission to promote contemporary art in the country.

Bernier/Eliades Gallery

Bernier/Eliades Gallery was founded in 1977 in Athens and has since continued working dynamically in the field of contemporary art in Greece. After completing twenty-one years in its old space in Kolonaki, the commercial center of Athens, the gallery has moved into a Neoclassical building in Thission, the historic center of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis, in January 1999.

  • Visit to Bernier/Eliades Gallery with welcome by director and owner Marina Eliades – coffee and introduction to Valérie Mannaerts exhibition

  • Experience dining at world-class restaurants and the best of Greek cuisine

  • Visits to world-renowned contemporary artist's studios

  • Private collection visit and dinner hosted by MCA Trustee Dimitris Daskalopoulos

  • Visit to Breeder Gallery with director Nadia Gerazouni

  • Private collection visit and dinner hosted by art collectors Dakis and Lietta Joannou

  • Special guided visit to EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens with new artistic director Katerina Gregou

  • Private visit to Kalfayan Gallery to see exhibition “Both Sides of the Moon” by Farida El Gazzar.

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens

Since its inception in 1995 Kalfayan Galleries have been a pioneer in the expansion of the contemporary art scene in Greece. With a particular focus on Greece, the Balkans and the MENASA region, the gallery's roster reflects the unique character of acting as a bridge between Eastern and Western visual culture. The gallery has established a strong international profile globally through a broad spectrum of projects, participations in art fairs and collaborations with galleries, museums, art institutions, curators and artists.

*Please note that this programme will be subject to change.