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New venue on the modern and the old December 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece.

Eclecticism and a mix-and-match aesthetic is the idea behind “Kriezotou 6, Art, Design, Antiques”, a sophisticated exhibition space and the latest venture by the Zoumboulakis Galleries.

Designed by architect Thodoris Zoumboulakis in bold black and white contrasting elements, this modern space juxtaposes the contemporary with the antique and brings together contemporary design, art and traditional artisanship in an aesthetic of relaxed chic and playful interior design.

The fluid-like shape of “Aqua Table” designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid for the British company Established & Sons, stands out for its sculptural quality and bold-yet-visually-soothing form. The version on display at the Zoumboulakis gallery is in white gloss-finished polyurethane but the table also comes in black and in red. A curving bench also by Hadid seems, like the table, more like a work of sculpture than actual furniture.

Almost every piece presented in the space has that one-of-a-kind feeling even though many of them are editions in limited series. Yet what makes them seem unique is the way they have been arranged to create the sense of personal involvement rather than standardized aesthetic.

The outcome seems effortless and playful. Greeting the visitor is a children’s car from the 1950s. Mounted on the wall just above is one of Rauschenberg’s limited-edition works from the 1970s and on the opposite wall a large painting by contemporary Greek artist Yiannis Kottis, one of the Zoumboulakis galleries’ collaborating artists. Other artworks include one of the early magnetic works by Takis and a work on wood by Alexis Akrithakis.

Traditional Greek chairs from Epirus and an 18th century French hutch evince an appreciation for craftsmanship and the antique. Close by, round, metal tables on wheels represent contemporary, Italian design. A complete pewter dining set from France represents a contemporary re-edition of the antique as do the Astier de Villate ceramics. This play between the old and the contemporary is the theme of a video that Anastassios Agathos directed especially for the Zoumboulakis galleries, Tatiana Karapanayioti is the producer.

It is also what Thodoris Zoumboulakis had in mind when designing the space. The rough-looking, black metal that “unfolds” throughout the largest part of the gallery is meant to evoke the patina of time, while the white areas in the galleries express the contemporary. The lighting has also been carefully designed by Thanassis Kanellias.

The proximity of this new venue to the other two branches of the Zoumboulakis galleries (the well-known contemporary art space run by Daphne Zoumboulaki and the gallery, also on Kriezotou Street, that includes graphics and editions and is just across the street) enables the visitor to acquire a full understanding of the profile of the Zoumboulakis galleries. Interestingly, this latest venue is located just across from the premises where the gallery first opened in the late 1960s. Peggy and Tassos Zoumboulakis, the parents of Daphne and Thodoris, opened their first gallery on Kriezotou but moved to the present-day space in Kolonaki Square a few years later. The gallery opened with an exhibition on Takis and hosted some of the most innovative projects in art at that time. “Kriezotou 6” continues this tradition of the Zoumboulakis. It adds a new angle and expresses the growing status that design has acquired in our lives.

Kriezotou 6, Art, Design, Antiques, 6 Kriezotou Street, Athens, tel 210 3640264

Related Links > www.zoumboulakis.gr

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