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The wizards from “Merlin” street

01 May 2010 / 08:05:41  GRReporter
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Zdravka Mihaylova

Exclusive for GRReporter


Founded in 2004, the Foundation for Fine Arts and Music “Teoharakis” for years now has its authoritative presence in the cultural life of Athens. It is an expression of the multidimensional personalities of its creators - Vassilis and Marina Teoharakis who not only steer the helm of one of the most successful holdings in the auto industry, bank transactions, construction, healthcare, cosmetics, digital systems and shipping, but also contribute as patrons. Vassilis Teoharakis is a student of the famous Greek painter Spyros Papaloukas, debuts with his art works at the World Youth Festival in Moscow in 1957, his paintings were shown at exhibitions in Greece and abroad, he has purchases for private and other collections. He is awarded by the French Government with the title Knight of Honor Legion, and by the Ecumenical Patriarch with the honor title Archon; Marina Teoharaki also has assets in her exhibitions as well as artistic arrangement of a number of publications.

You can not skip (on the corner of Vassilis Sofias Blvd and Merlin Street ) - especially at night – the discretely but noticeably lighted, elegant renovated neoclassical building of the foundation, just opposite to the Parliament. In the heart of Athens, with recognizable silhouette and high aesthetics, it arises before our eyes the after the facade of the Ministry of foreign affairs and before some of the embassies of Great Powers and the Benaki Museum. It shelters the Foundation since 2005; it has been built at the end of the twenty years of the twentieth century and reflects the eclecticism of the inter war period, by combining elements of most of the European styles. In 1985 it was declared a cultural monument. During its renovation it is designed with the characteristic for a multi-functional cultural center spaces: halls for temporary and permanent exhibitions, a concert amphitheater, art souvenir shop, cafeteria and more.

As guid lines for the selection of the thematic exhibitions in the Foundation we will mention the last three of them. "Fellini in the art" (18/04-20/09/2009), reveals a less familiar side of the great Italian director through his sketches and drawings entitled "Dreams and intrusive ideas". Although known to the general public with his films, not all people know that before he started to work in the cinema industry Fellini worked in cooperation with various magazines with his sketches. Together with the “Federico Fellini” Foundation  from his hometown of Rimini, Foundation “Teoharakis” organized the first exhibition in Greece containing 80 of his original drawings.

In the exhibition "The man in the city: the color in architecture and painting (5/10/2009-7/12/2009) the famous Greek painter Alekos Fasianos and the teacher in the Athens Polytechnic Tasis Papayoanou presented 200 works - paintings, models, designs, mural paintings, photographs and drawings, discussing on the formation of modern megalopolises, seeking the answer to the question “How does the appearance of a city change?” Main axis of the exposition was the daily life of people in large urban centers where the architecture and painting are intersecting fields for creative contribution.  

The recent “Modernists era - from Monet to Yves Klein” was followed by “The faces of the Balkan Modernism: Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian Painting 1910-1940” (March 12 to May 9) wide angle look at the major Balkan artists from European caliber. Unchanging focus in the events of the non-profit foundation that supports and promotes art and music from Greece and abroad, are the emergence and evolution of modern art movements from the late nineteenth century until modern days. Among its priorities are also the interdisciplinary approach and the building partnerships relations with similar institutions. It owns one of the richest collections of paintings of the contemporary Greek artist Spyros Papaloukas, as well as of other Greek artists, a significant number of which are among the exhibits in its current event. Exhibitions there are accompanied by chamber concerts and seminars on the history, philosophy of art and music.

The project is cofinanced under the Programme for Culture 2007-2013 of the EU. Core of its concept is the exhibition “Faces of Modernism: Painting in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, 1910-1940”. Bulgarian and Romanian paintings presented in the exhibition are from the National Museum of Art in Romania and the National Art Gallery-Museum of Visual Arts in Sofia. Greek works are from the collection of the Foundation “V & M Teoharakis”, from private collections such as the one of Alpha Bank and Foundation Yannis Tsaruhis, from the National Gallery, the “Averof” Museum in Metsovo, The Thessaloniki Municipal Gallery, the collection of Prodromos and Emfietzoglou and others. From the canvas “Open Door” by Nikos Hadzikikiakos – Gikas, may be derived the symbolic name of the entire exposition which comes to Athens after its successful presentation in Bucharest and Sofia. Curators from the three countries are Irina Genova, Takis Mavrotas and Mariana Vida.  

Tags: Balkan modernism foundation Teoharakis art
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