‘Democracy’ Is Coming to the National Gallery of Athens

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/democracy-is-coming-to-national-gallery-athens/

The exhibition highlights artists’ responses to the fight for suffrage in Greece, Portugal, and Spain during the ’60s and ’70s.

‘Democracy’ Is Coming to the National Gallery of Athens

Nikias Skapinakis, Muhler Leopardo (1969). Gouache on paper, 30 x 21 cm. Nikias Skapinakis Collection. Courtesy Nikias Skapinakis. Photo: Tiago Photos (Tiago Pinto, Paulo Castanheira).

Nearly half the global population will elect their leaders this year. A new exhibition in Athens, widely regarded as the birthplace of democracy, explores artists’ reactions to authoritarian rulers and efforts to overthrow them.

Democracy opens at the National Gallery of Athens on 11 July, where it will continue through 2 February 2025.

The exhibition features 140 works by 55 artists, including loans from Spain’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and Portugal’s Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian and Centro de Estudos Multidisciplinares Ernesto de Sousa.

Fernando Botero, Franco (1986). Oil on canvas, 226 x 168 cm. Donation of the artist, 2003.

Fernando Botero, Franco (1986). Oil on canvas, 226 x 168 cm. Donation of the artist, 2003. Courtesy Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Photo: Joaquín Cortés / Román Lores.

Among the highlights are works by Portuguese artist Paula Rego, Greek artist Alexis Akrithakis, and a plump portrait of General Franco by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.

The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece following the collapse of the Greek junta in 1974. That same year, Portugal’s Carnation Revolution ended the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar. In 1975, the death of General Francisco Franco ended his decades-long dictatorship.

Marios Vatzias, National Technical University of Athens (1975). Vinyl on canvas, 194.6 x 194.8 cm.

Marios Vatzias, National Technical University of Athens (1975). Vinyl on canvas, 194.6 x 194.8 cm. Courtesy National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum. Photo: Stavros Psiroukis.

‘This exhibition serves as a testament to the struggles for civil liberties and the anti-colonial fight, offering a visual narrative of the quest for freedom against authoritarian regimes,’ said Syrago Tsiara, Curator and Director of National Gallery of Athens.

‘At a time when democratic achievements face renewed threats, this showcase of artistic responses becomes more vital than ever, offering insight into the power of creativity in times of turmoil,’ she said. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/art-news/democracy-is-coming-to-national-gallery-athens/