A hip gallery with personality
Eclecticism and a multicultural angle that encompasses antique artifacts and contemporary art are the fundamental ideas behind Cats & Marbles, an elegant, unusual exhibition space of art, antiques and objets d’art that opened in Kolonaki two years ago. To celebrate its second anniversary, the gallery is now hosting a group exhibition that includes paintings, jewelry, ceramics and installations by nine contemporary artists. It is a fresh, youthful and varied exhibition with reasonably priced works. The mood changes on the upper floor, where a permanent display of furniture and unusual antique objects – mainly from the Middle East – weave a voyage back in time and across different civilizations. Seen together, both displays reflect the gallery’s taste for mixing styles and periods. The background of the gallery’s proprietor, Marina Coriolano-Lykourezos, in art history and anthropology explains this bent. An elegant young woman, half Brazilian and half Greek, Coriolano-Lykourezos was born in England, where she later returned to study at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and raised in Paris. Before settling in Athens around 10 years ago, she also lived in Brazil. Prompted by a love for beauty and having cultivated an ease with different cultures, Coriolano-Lykourezos opened Cats & Marbles with the architect Dimitris Zografos but for some time now has been running the space on her own. In the current group exhibition (which follows a photo exhibition on the celebrated photographer Simon Norfolk) the focus is mostly on craftsmanship. Examples include thread-made necklaces by artist Anna-Maria Lambert or ceramic animal statuettes by Nikos Karalis. One of the unusual works is an installation by Yiannis Argyriadis, Thodoros Gougas and Popi Mavromatidou. The installation is made of wooden shoe-stretchers that the artists have painted or decorated with various materials, a homage to traditional shoemakers. The work’s old-time quality ties the exhibition with the permanent display on the upper floor where wooden African statues and traditional 18th and 19th century furniture from Greece, Persia, Turkey and other areas in the Middle East are beautifully displayed in a warm and elegantly designed space. At Cats & Marbles (12 Fokylidou, Kolonaki, 210.3613.942) to November 18.