What to expect in Athens’ cultural scene this summer

What to expect in Athens’ cultural scene this summer

©Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki

As expected, most art exhibitions this summer express the dystopian reality brought on by the pandemic. On the bright side, it has never been a more prolific, creative spell for artists to revisit the anarchic potential of art to capture our fractured, fast-changing and unpredic­table reality. A lowdown on what to expect in Athens’ vibrant art scene.

Athens Open Air Film Festival

WHAT: Few capitals do summer as Athens does, with over 60 open-air summer cinemas promising drama, romance, high-jinx action, and rip-roaring comedy. Timeless classics, indie gems and blockbusters are screened under the starry Athenian sky at iconic landmarks such as museums, squares, gardens, and archaeological parks.

WHEN: Until August 31

WHERE: Please refer to the festival’s website for the programme.

Music at SNFCC with Vaggelis Germanos

WHAT: Vangelis Germanos recapitulates a long journey that began in the early 80s with the album Ta Barakia, produced by Dionysis Savvopoulos. In his concert at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), Vangelis Germanos, plays acoustic guitar selections from his story, directly reflecting the human relationships in songs that unite universal and eternal issues. A journey through time with references to diverse musical genres.

WHEN: July 16

WHERE: SNFCC, Syggrou Ave 364, Kallithea. Tel: +30 216.809.1000, Website

4th Athens Tango Week

WHAT: Athens Tango Week, now an annual festival that celebrates the passion and intricate dance steps that have come to define Argentinean culture in Greece, will run for a whole month , with lessons, milongas (organised evenings of tango dancing) and music to spread the universal language of tango to Athenians.

WHEN: Until July 29

WHERE: Danzarin, Thessalonikis 17, Tel: +30.211.409.7741, Website

A life-affirming show

WHAT: An exhibition that pays tribute to works of art that were conceived during the quarantine as a defiant affirmation of life. An existential quest that questions our way of life, ruled by deadlines and agendas, that were rendered meaningless and irrelevant by the lockdown.

WHEN: Until July 31

WHERE: Zoumboulakis Galleries, Kolonaki Sq 20, Athens. Tel: +30 210.360.8278, Website

The Adventure of Human Form in 20th Century Greek Painting

WHAT: The B. & M. Theocharakis Foundation and the National Gallery present an exhibition with masterpieces that belong to the splendid collection of the Museum. Featuring the theme of the human form and its various transformations in 20th century Greek painting.

WHEN: Until August 23

WHERE: B & M Theocharakis Foundation, Vas. Sofias 9 & Merlin 1. Tel: +30.210.361.1206, Website

The lost statue of Athena Parthenos

©Acropolis Museum. Photo by George Vitsaropoulos.

WHAT: The Acropolis Museum brings to life, digitally, the statue of Athena Parthenos. Made of gold and ivory, this masterpiece was designed by Pheidias for the Parthenon. The Museum invites you on a walk of knowledge about the materials used, the techniques employed, the myths and allegories surrounding it, its radiance and its adventures.

WHEN: Until August 31

WHERE: Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens. Tel: +30.210.900.0900, Website


WHAT: A summer group exhibition that is as eclectic and promising as the 30 Greek and foreign artists it features. Transformations includes some of the most iconic artists of our times such as Jeff Koons, Alexis  Akrithakis, Lucas Samaras (who represented Greece at the Venice Biennale) and Haris Lambert.

WHEN: Until September 12

WHERE: Roma Gallery, Roma 5, Athens, Tel: +, Website

Robert McCabe – Katerina Lymperopoulou: ‘’The Last Monk of Strofades’’

WHAT: The exhibition brings alive the history of a monastic complex (a fortified monastery) that is of unique historical, architectural and cultural significance, dating back to the 13th century. The complex dominates a secluded corner of the Ionian Sea, a small island, just one-third the length of a typical airport runway, called Stamfani, part of the Strofades complex of islands. Despite its diminutive size, the island has a unique history and preserves rich flora and fauna, thanks to its remarkable geological features.

WHEN: Until September 13

WHERE: Benaki Museum, Koumbari 1 St. & Vas. Sofias Ave, Tel: +30. 210.367.1000, Website

Kostis Velonis – Ghost Beggar

WHAT: Ghost Beggar opens at Kalfayan Galleries with the artist presenting an exhibition of works that respond to the full spectrum of his visual media: sculptures, drawings on paper and canvas. Pierrot’s historical figure, with his familiar passivity, is at the heart of the sculptures, drawings and paintings.

WHEN: Until September 26

WHERE: Kalfayan Gallery Athens, Haritos 11, Tel: +30.210.721.7679, Website

Chisel and Memory: The Contribution of Marble Craftsmanship to the Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments

WHAT: Over forty years of photographs and documentation of the marble craftsmen of the Acropolis at work. Marble craftsmen dominate the worksite, like forms in flight balancing on towering scaffolds, maneuvering the huge blocks of marble and conservation materials into and out of position. Grouped around six themes of self-denial, labour, cooperation, zeal, pride and companionship, the exhibition highlights the human element of this arduous work.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15, Athens. Tel: +30.210.900.0900, Website

Chinese works of art from the Passas Collection

WHAT: An exhibition featuring 100 Chinese decorative objects dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) has opened door this week at the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens. Made of precious and semi-precious stones, the artworks, belong to the Foundation of Greek collectors Ioannis and Dimitra Passas, and present the little-known Chinese art of precious-stone carving to the Greek public.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: Byzantine and Christian Museum, 22 Vas. Sofias Ave, Tel: +, Website

Georgia Sagri – Deep Cut

WHAT:  The Breeder Gallery exhibits Georgia Sagri’s emblematic work on the facade of the gallery building on Iasonos Street. A telling visual commentary of battered humanity and broken systems, of communities hurt and haemorrhaging. The work depicts a magnified, surreal image of a bleeding wound. Is it the artist’s bleeding wound or are the walls bleeding? Does the project imply that the public, the city and the country have been hurt? Is it the result of the pandemic or the economic crisis? Or just existential angst?

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: The Breeder, Iasonos 45. +30.210.331.7527, Website

Ylva Snöfrid – Art in the Light of Conscience

WHAT: Named after the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva’s book, ‘Art in the light of conscience’, the solo exhibition is a summary of the artist Ylva’s artistic and moral life until now, a reflection of the actions she makes, as part of a whole and as part of the machinery we call society and our world.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: The Breeder, 45 Iasonos st. Athens, +30.210.331.7527, Website


WHAT: 2020 has been truly unique! Whether in Athens, New York or London we have all gone through a first time ever experience of fear, isolation, restraint and experienced a sense of solidarity first felt among a broad range of us all.  Our reactions to the imposed discipline and extreme protection measures have varied but  for one… We all stopped! All of a sudden we had time to play, to think, to question our lives and to create… Alibi Gallery hosts 30+ artists working across different media.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: Alibi Gallery, Sarri 12, Psyrri, Website

Children’s imagination is an antidote to isolation

WHAT: An exhibition that brings out the very vivid and fascinating response to the lockdown. The drawings that will hang on the walls of the museum express the very real and imagined fears, joys, hopes and thoughts of children. An insight into children’s imagination and their experience of social distancing.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: B & E Goulandris Foundation of Modern Art, Eratosthenous 13. Τel: +30.210.725.2895, Website

Parontes: A photojournalism exhibition by iMEdD

WHAT: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) hosts a major photography exhibition, entitled “Parontes” (Present), by the NGO iMEdD. The exhibition consists of 43 works of photojournalism captured by reporters and photojournalists, which show everyday life during the lockdown, as well as the return to “normality”. It is a journalism project that includes, in addition to photojournalism, revealing videos and live texts, all telling the stories of people who, over the recent period, found themselves on the front line, fought valiantly against the pandemic, and are now trying to return to normality.

WHEN: Until September 30

WHERE: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Syggrou Ave. 364, Kallithea. Tel: +30 216.809.1000, Website

EMST as a storyline

Andreas Angelidakis, ©Katerina Paraskeva

WHAT: EMST as a storyline presents the museum’s story since it first started operating in 2000.
The exhibitions, the activities, the educational programs and the move of the museum from space to space defined the museum until its installation at its permanent home. Through a narration and historical proofs – photographs, videos, posters, banners, leaflets – visitors have the opportunity to follow the museum’s nomadic existence that has shaped its present.

WHEN: Until December 2020

WHERE: EMST, Kallirois Ave. and Frantzi, Tel: +, Website

Horizon Line Sessions- Where the sky meets the land

WHAT: Greek and foreign artists who participate in the web series Horizon Line Sessions, were called to imagine themselves at the opening of an imaginary group show, where they present until one piece of art. Conceptually at the exhibition, but actually at their studio, home or a space in the gallery, the artists reveal to the (conceptual) visitors and (actual) viewers the aspects and meanings embedded in their work.

WHEN: Every Tuesday and Friday  at noon (GMT +3)

WHERE: A new episode of the Horizon Line Sessions is uploaded on the Blender Gallery’s YouTube channel, Instagram profile through IGTV, and on the Facebook page of The Blender Gallery.

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival

Read the detailed programme below.

Highlights of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival 2020

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