CULTURE

Fix venue’s latest acquisitions

There is good news for the National Museum of Contemporary Art. By the end of spring, the architectural study for the to-be-refurbished museum building in the old Fix factory will be ready (the museum will be temporarily rehoused in another building from May), while the first phase of the works will have been completed by June 2004. The announcement was made by the museum’s director, Anna Kafetsi, at a press conference recently at the opening of a new exhibition running to February 23. «Acquisitions 2001-2002: Drawings and Installations» will display the 250 works bought by the museum over the past two years as well as important donations by artists and non-artists alike. Works include pieces by Daniil, Michalis Katzourakis, Nikos Kessanlis, Dimitris Kokkinidis, Christos Botsoglou, Pantelis Xagoraris, Pavlos, Sotiris Sorogas and Chryssa, among others. The exhibition traces the different trends in modern contemporary art, starting at the end of the 1950s, with the main representatives of the so-called 1960s generation – artists who used materials such as carbon, cloth, paper, cement, and who also tried new techniques. Important works in the exhibition are the large donations by Nikos Kessanlis, works from the periods of art informelle and Mec art by Chryssa, «Cycladic Books» by Dimitris Kokkinidis, works that refer to the junta period, works by Zafos Xagoraris, Pantelis Xagoraris and Bia Davou. The ’70s generation is represented by artists such as Dimitris Alithinos and Christos Botsoglou, and the ’80s by Georgios Hadzimichalis and Marios Spiliopoulos, among others. Works by Ilya Kabakov and Vadim Zacharov represent the Moscow school of conceptualists. One of the works on view is «The Circle, 10 Characters» by Ilya Kabakov, while his monumental work «The Boat of My Life» (acquired in 2001) will be presented after the first phase of the museum’s refurbishment is completed. Finally, the exhibition will display works by young artists, showing the latest developments in modern Greek art. Anna Kafetsi referred to the «minimalist» policy followed by the Museum of Contemporary Art. While the institute’s broader strategy, in accordance with the museum’s founding charter, provides for the acquisition of works by Greek and foreign artists, the only financially feasible purchasing tactics instituted in 2001 and approved by the museum’s administration could be summed up in the phrase, «quality rather than quantity.» This policy was continued into 2002, with 510,000 euros being set aside for the purchase of artwork. Of this sum, the Ministry of Finance gave 400,000 euros to enrich the museum’s permanent collection. More money (65,000 euros) came from the museum’s 2002 budget after expenditures were cut in other areas and another 45,000 euros was granted by the I.F. Costopoulos Foundation for the purchase of works of art. Proposals for the purchase of works of art were required with the aim of enhancing historical continuity, acquiring more works by Greek artists, giving precedence to paintings, with choices of units rather than isolated works, further enriching the photographic and video art collection and reaching out to young artists.