A panorama of modern and contemporary Greek art, the Agrinio Municipal Gallery's digital collection has been published at SearchCulture.gr, the Greek national cultural aggregator developed by the National Documentation Centre
The Municipal Gallery of Agrinio has acquired its collection of 167 works by 125 artists through donations from the artists themselves, their heirs, collectors and benefactors. The collection includes paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, works of mixed media and photography, a compelling narrative of post-war Greek art.
Chronologically, the artworks cover the second half of the 20th century and offer multiple interpretations of the world: views of the countryside and the urban landscape, the human body, dreams, memory, space, time.
2 Women, Konstantina Skordopoulou, CC BY-NC 4.0
The collection brings together works by artists with Aetolia-Acarnanian roots such as the Artistic Director of the Gallery Christos Garoufalis, the painters Christos Bokoros, Giannis Loukas and Ourania Stathopoulou, the engraver Michalis Kotsaris and the sculptor Thodoros, highlighting local artistic production. At the same time, it offers us a rare opportunity to view works by well-known artists, such as Giannis Moralis, George Stathopoulos, Dimitris Mytaras, Giannis Psychopedis and Giannis Gaitis, in conjunction with works of artists who were born in the '70s and '80s and are shaping the contemporary cultural landscape.
Mirror, Dimitris Mytaras, CC BY-NC 4.0
Browsing through the works of the collection at SearchCulture.gr and exploring the local production of the recent decades, one can explore the flavour of artistic creation today. Trends of the contemporary art scene emerge, for example the co-existence of new and old media - with oil painting, an 800-year-old technique, continuing to be a vehicle for many young painters, while mature artists, in the 8th decade of their lives, such as Costas Tsoklis, are experimenting with new media, such as video.
Special mention should be made to the 38 women artists in the collection, a figure which outnumbers the average gender representation in major art collections in Greece. Women make up one third of the artists in the collection of the Agrinio Art Gallery; a fact that testifies to the growing female presence in the Schools of Fine Arts, galleries and the art market, opening prospects for gender equality in today's art scene. Artists with decades of work, such as Aria Komianou and Elli Mourelou, coexist digitally with younger artists, such as the potters Stella Giakoumatou and Christina Morali, the conceptual artist Fotini Gouseti, the engraver Patricia-Eugenia Deligianni, the Agrinio photographer Lena Arkoumani and many others.
One could say that the Gallery's collection embodies the vision of the Greek feminist Kalliroi Parren who, 133 years ago, founded the first art school for women in Greece.
No title, Georgia Giannelou, CC BY-NC 4.0
Art collections in the digital public space
Through the collaboration with the Municipal Gallery of Agrinio, EKT strengthens the network of art institutions and expands the volume of arts content in the digital public space, making it available for art research, creative endeavors, aesthetic cultivation and art education.
The works of the collection of the Municipal Gallery of Agrinio, together with the collections of other museums and galleries in the aggregator such as the collection of the Municipal Gallery of Larissa - GI Katsigra Museum, create a digital panorama of Greek art, documenting the timeline of artistic creation in Greece from the early days of the Greek state until today.
Moreover, the value of digital resources increases exponentially as the volume of data aggregated in SearchCulture.gr augments. Scientists and historians can pose new questions about the history of an artwork or the cultural dissemination of a certain style or technique, and perform micro and macro research that extend the traditional methods of observation and analysis used by art historians and humanists.
Municipal Art Gallery of Agrinio
'The school for learning to appreciate works of art, are other works of art and nothing else ….'
With this thought of George Seferis as a guide, the founders of the Municipal Art Gallery of Agrinio created a cultural organization that is now a landmark, woven into the fabric of the city. Housed in a modernist building of the interwar period, the Art Gallery of Agrinio is not only an ark for artistic expression of the region, but also a space for shaping aesthetics and knowledge. As a dynamic organisation, it promotes modern and contemporary artistic creation and sets clear educational goals for all age groups of visitors. In the past, Agrinio was distinguished as a place of tobacco production and trade, now, however, the modern city claims an expanded identity that embraces culture and promotes art education.
Regional Municipal Galleries: key drivers of creative communities and strong regions
Community spaces for art, local history, creative expression and culture, regional municipal galleries foster regional sustainability and help create vibrant communities. In relation to the large museums of the capital, whose main audience is tourists, the municipal galleries operate on a human scale with and for the local community. They cover the vital needs of the community for cultural information, art education, aesthetic literacy and inspiration for further creation and have an enduring presence in the local narratives. Two of the most important municipal galleries in the country, the Art Gallery of Agrinio and the Art Gallery of Larissa, have recently joined SearchCulture.gr.
Main image: People, Giannis Gaitis, CC BY-NC 4.0