Video works take pride of place in art museum

With its second exhibit of new acquisitions, the National Museum of Contemporary Art confirms that video installations and works by international artists are fundamental to its art collection. Works acquired last year include videos by Nan Goldin, Gary Hill, Ann-Sofi Siden, Gillian Wearing, Sadie Benning, Sophie Calle and Mona Hatoum. These works complement an already existing body of video work by artists such as Gary Hill, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Bill Viola and Robert Wilson that were first presented to the public last year. An installation by Ilya Kabakov is another major recent acquisition, but this is not yet on display. The museum has also bought works by four young contemporary Greek artists: Dimitris Antonitsis, Dimitra Lazaridou, Lia Nalbadidou and Dimitris Tsoublekas, while Nikos Kessanlis has donated 29 pieces of his best work from the 1960s. These pieces are part of the museum’s collection of post-war art. The collection’s major emphasis, however, will remain on contemporary art. More than half of the museum’s budget, a total of 210 million drachmas (610,000 euros), was spent last year toward the acquisition of new works. The objective is to slowly build a sound collection of contemporary art that will help establish a reputation for strong exhibits as well as promote cultural exchanges with major museums around the world. «Acquisitions 2001» will be on view at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, at the corner of Kallirois Avenue and Frantzi Street (the former Fix factory), through May 18. The Count of Monte Cristo

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