ALMA Gallery’s tenth anniversary in an opportunity to reflect. Nothing today is reminiscent of the art scene of 2010, and clearly there is no evidence upon which to base any predictions for future developments. However, there are certain constants, or at least we can opt to focus on those creative forces that insist, admittedly with great difficulty, on offering to the public the opportunity to connect and communicate with contemporary art.

ALMA Gallery first captured my attention many years ago, somewhat by chance, through multiple complimentary mentions in the arts and culture section of the press. It stood out to me for two reasons. Firstly, because it was based in Trikala instead of Kolonaki or Metaxourgio or some other Athenian district. Secondly, and most importantly, because the exhibitions it presented were carefully selected and curated, inviting exemplary contemporary artists to showcase their work to a different –more demanding– audience.

The artists exhibiting in this anniversary exhibition all have an organic and emotional relationship with ALMA. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to see, in Trikala, a curated sample of the Greek contemporary art scene and to honour both the artists and Maria Almpani who continue, with passion, to encourage us all.

Nikos Vatopoulos, December 2020

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

View of the Gallery

Inaugurating an art space is the equivalent to opening a new portal to adventure. Opening this - door, or art space - in a town in the suburbs, however, is a commitment to an expedition into uncharted waters. These last 10 years have been, for all of us, an unending adventure into unmapped lands. With new elements being continually added, the trip is always becoming more treacherous, more valiant, excitingly interesting, unyielding and, finally, very decisive. In some ways life has come to resemble a video game where new levels are being added, leading into the unknown. But, isn’t this what exploring Art is all about? An adventurous, intrepid, unpredictable and very exotic journey.

I first became acquainted with ALMA even before it took flight in the exotic suburb of Trikala, and I have been a close observer of this fascinating journey for the past 10 years, having participated in its inaugurating exhibition. I admire the way my friend Maria Almpani steers the wheel, like a virtuoso captain. I consider it, therefore, a great honour to write about this exhibition, on the occasion of the gallery’s tenth birthday, and in such a trying year as well. It isn’t easy to write about my colleague’s work, but the long friendships that bind me to most of them definitely make the task easier. I somehow feel like the person who arrived first at the birthday party, before everyone else, and therefore I’ve been assigned the task of welcoming and introducing everyone to this digital exhibition, in the hope that better days are yet to come, and soon the physical gallery space will welcome everyone back with tsipouro from Tirnavos and traditional treats from Trikala and the surrounding villages.

Manolis Charos, December 2020

The following observations regarding the work of all participating artists are written by Manolis Charos.

In the works of Stergios Stamos, bold lines on paper become forms that occupy space; his works an artistic narration of stories, fragments of ruins, that contain light, energy, lives, emotions.

Stergios Stamos, Contact, 2020, iron and cement, 78 x 46 x 46 cm

Stergios Stamos,
Contact, 2020,
iron and cement,
78 x 46 x 46 cm

Stergios Stamos, Untitled I, 2013-20, acrylics and pencil on paper, 48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos,
Untitled I, 2013-20,
acrylics and pencil on paper,
48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos, Untitled II, 2013-20, acrylics and pencil on paper, 48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos,
Untitled II, 2013-20,
acrylics and pencil on paper,
48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos, Untitled III, 2013-20, acrylics and pencil on paper, 48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos,
Untitled III, 2013-20,
acrylics and pencil on paper,
48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos, Untitled IV, 2013-20, acrylics and pencil on paper, 48 x 35 cm

Stergios Stamos,
Untitled IV, 2013-20,
acrylics and pencil on paper,
48 x 35 cm

The canvases of Nikos Lagos are filled with colour, the ideal agent to communicate the stories unfolding in the artist’s mind, and to guide viewers, through introspection, to their own personal path.

Nikos Lagos, The 3 Villages Puzzle, 2015, oil on canvas, 160 x 120 cm

Nikos Lagos,
The 3 Villages Puzzle, 2015,
oil on canvas,
160 x 120 cm

In the works of Michalis Manousakis the artistic act, the course, the transfer of the original image unto his materials all serve a single purpose; the search for a way to become the reflectors onto which the artist, followed by the viewer, will discover their selves.

Michalis Manousakis, Untitled, 2013, acrylics on wood, 50 x 70 cm

Michalis Manousakis,
Untitled, 2013,
acrylics on wood,
50 x 70 cm

Michalis Manousakis, Untitled, 2018, acrylics on wood, 45 x 55 cm

Michalis Manousakis,
Untitled, 2018,
acrylics on wood,
45 x 55 cm

The nuanced, deconstructed spaces that Kyriakos Mortarakos proposes (just like children who fill-in with colour the rooms they draw) are filled with concealed silences, immovable burdens, perforations and carrying weapons of the reality that surrounds us all.

Kyriakos Mortarakos, Interior, 2008, oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm

Kyriakos Mortarakos,
Interior, 2008,
oil on canvas,
100 x 120 cm

In her work, Natassa Poulantza deals with knowledge, communication, the function of memory, reality and its digital counterpart. These photos bring together the entire thought process behind her work, in these otherworldly imprints of plants and flowers.

Natassa Poulantza, Inside-Outside Spring_47_21520, 2020, Digital printing on 350 gr paper, pasted on DiBond, 40 x 26,5 cm (1_3)

Natassa Poulantza,
Inside-Outside Spring_47_21520,
2020,
Digital printing on 350 gr paper,
pasted on DiBond,
40 x 26,5 cm (1_3)

Natassa Poulantza, Inside-Outside Spring_33_1-2520, 2020, Digital printing on 350 gr paper, pasted on DiBond, 40 x 26,5 cm (1_3)

Natassa Poulantza,
Inside-Outside Spring_33_1-2520,
2020,
Digital printing on 350 gr paper,
pasted on DiBond,
40 x 26,5 cm (1_3)

Natassa Poulantza, Inside-Outside Spring_8_21520B, 2020, Digital printing on 350 gr paper, pasted on DiBond, 40 x 26,5 cm (2_3)

Natassa Poulantza,
Inside-Outside Spring_8_21520B,
2020,
Digital printing on 350 gr paper,
pasted on DiBond,
40 x 26,5 cm (2_3)

Natassa Poulantza, Inside-Outside Spring_DSC_0940BB_22420, 2020, Digital printing on 350 gr paper, pasted on DiBond, 40 x 26,5 cm

Natassa Poulantza,
Inside-Outside Spring_DSC_0940BB_22420,
2020,
Digital printing on 350 gr paper,
pasted on DiBond,
40 x 26,5 cm

Katerina Giannaka's ceramics are suspended somewhere between the fragility of the material and that of its form. Her works communicate a tenderness in the way they stand in space, as if actively deciding what purpose to serve, whether to be useful objects or sculptures, but in the end they are true, honest works of art.

Katerina Giannaka, Platter, ceramic

Katerina Giannaka,
Platter,
ceramic

Katerina Giannaka, Vase I, ceramic

Katerina Giannaka,
Vase I,
ceramic

Katerina Giannaka, Vase II, ceramic

Katerina Giannaka,
Vase II,
ceramic

The spaces of Mandalina Psoma, filled with mystifying energy, describe unfamiliar houses of an eerie world, ultimately describing a world full of what no longer exists.

Mantalina Psoma, Untitled, 2007, oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

Mantalina Psoma,
Untitled, 2007,
oil on canvas,
60 x 80 cm

However, in the portraits of Angelos Antonopoulos, where the metaphysical white (carrier of light) contrasts with the black, the portraits tell stories of people whose three-quarter black and white profiles become the space where their personal stories unfold.

Aggelos Antonopoulos, Portrait I, 2019, acrylics on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

Aggelos Antonopoulos,
Portrait I, 2019,
acrylics on canvas,
40 x 40 cm

Aggelos Antonopoulos, Portrait II, 2019, acrylics on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

Aggelos Antonopoulos,
Portrait II, 2019,
acrylics on canvas,
40 x 40 cm

In the images proposed by George Avgeros, the pencil scribbles a black and white, almost whispered, description of events, while his colours compliment, very discreetly and economically, the elements that he has deemed necessary to emphasise in this way.

Giorgos Avgeros, Untitled, 2016, mixed media, 90 x 120 cm

Giorgos Avgeros,
Untitled, 2016,
mixed media,
90 x 120 cm

Giorgos Avgeros, Untitled, 2016, mixed media, 120 x 100 cm

Giorgos Avgeros,
Untitled, 2016,
mixed media,
120 x 100 cm

Similarly, Io Aggeli, pairing a meticulous use of colour with a harmonious palette, explores fluid spaces, which contain elements both threatening and protective, and lures the viewer into this enigma.

Io Aggeli, Untitled II, 2020, acrylics on wood, 50 x 70 cm

Io Aggeli,
Untitled II, 2020,
acrylics on wood,
50 x 70 cm

Io Aggeli, Untitled, 2020, acrylics on wood, 50 x 70 cm

Io Aggeli,
Untitled, 2020,
acrylics on wood,
50 x 70 cm

Theofilos Katsipanos constructs his own personal universe, with his protagonists watching the spectators, as if in a game of role switching. His models gaze at the viewer intensely, and through a series of visual tricks they invent their own rules in a world proposed by the artist.

Theofilos Katsipanos, They're here, 2020, acrylics and oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm

Theofilos Katsipanos,
They're here, 2020,
acrylics and oil on canvas,
80 x 60 cm

Christos Kechagioglou creates his worlds, endless encounters between the earth and the sea, day and night, twilight or dawn, full of elements like houses, trees, open windows, all of which narrate the memories of people from their future.

Christos Kehagioglou, Chaikou Ι - Τhe Forest, oil on canvas, 75 x 75 cm

Christos Kehagioglou,
Chaikou Ι - Τhe Forest,
oil on canvas,
75 x 75 cm

Christos Kehagioglou, Chaikou ΙΙ - Vigil, oil on canvas, 75 x 75 cm

Christos Kehagioglou,
Chaikou ΙΙ - Vigil,
oil on canvas,
75 x 75 cm

Tassos Misouras creates carefully directed images while his layered characters, which can only be found in his work, communicate events and emotions to the viewers, who are invited to watch.

Tassos Missouras, Untitled, 2020, acrylics and oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm (each)

Tassos Missouras,
Untitled, 2020,
acrylics and oil on canvas,
70 x 50 cm (each)

It is difficult, almost impossible, to pinpoint the moment of birth of an art work by Manolis Zacharioudakis, since he skillfully integrates his preparation work into the final result. His images, and the medieval-looking figures within them, might originate in contemporary surfaces but in reality are meant to navigate time travellers of the future and past.

Manolis Zacharioudakis, April, 2014, mixed media, 128 x 89 cm

Manolis Zacharioudakis,
April, 2014,
mixed media,
128 x 89 cm

In my paintings, I conceal imaginary stories that I like to tell, without always revealing them. Sometimes, I leave clues in the title. This helps me develop my images visually, in the hope that one day this will serve as a vehicle for the viewer’s imagination and emotions.

Manolis Charos, The peg that holds the universe together, 2020, mixed media, 75 x 60 cm

Manolis Charos,
The peg that holds the universe together,
2020,
mixed media,
75 x 60 cm

Manolis Charos, The Signals, 2020, mixed media, 50 x 43 cm

Manolis Charos,
The Signals, 2020,
mixed media,
50 x 43 cm

The various different periods which Pavlos Samios explores time and again in his art are all characteristically unique. His famous series of Cafes, however, is the most charming. These spaces echoing with silence of crowds just departed, comprise a glorious period in his artistic career and it is interesting that he likes to return to them from time to time.

Pavlos Samios, Cafe with a view, 2020, acrylics on canvas, 70 x 100 cm

Pavlos Samios,
Cafe with a view, 2020,
acrylics on canvas,
70 x 100 cm

Pavlos Samios, Cafe with a view, 2020, acrylics on canvas, 80 x 80 cm

Pavlos Samios,
Cafe with a view, 2020,
acrylics on canvas,
80 x 80 cm

Pavlos Samios, Cafe, 2019, acrylics on canvas, 80 x 70 cm

Pavlos Samios,
Cafe, 2019,
acrylics on canvas,
80 x 70 cm

Vassilis Karakatsianis describes the world in a very personal visual language; the world surrounding him and the points of reference to which he obsessively returns. His subjects and themes, all of which he serves faithfully and persistently, are freely depicted using different materials and visual languages, but the deciding balance always serves to create his personal vision.

Vassilis Karakatsanis, The Unknown Land, 2011, acrylics & oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

Vassilis Karakatsanis,
The Unknown Land, 2011,
acrylics & oil on canvas,
100 x 80 cm

Vassilis Karakatsanis, The Unknown Land, 2007, acrylics & oil on canvas, 60 x 40 cm

Vassilis Karakatsanis,
The Unknown Land, 2007,
acrylics & oil on canvas,
60 x 40 cm

Vassilis Karakatsanis, The Unknown Land, 2006, acrylics & oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

Vassilis Karakatsanis,
The Unknown Land, 2006,
acrylics & oil on canvas,
100 x 80 cm

The colour palette and visual language of Dimosthenis Kokkinidis have come to occupy an important place in the history of this country as well as in our collective unconscious. His art, which can be found in museums, will continue to inspire future generations of artists with the magical places he created and the people who occupy them, carriers of moments and memories. He was an invaluable collaborator of ALMA, he often exhibited in these spaces, and if this anniversary exhibition were to open now, in the physical space, he would undoubtedly be the first to raise a glass of tsipouro in honour of ALMA.

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, Untitled, acrylics on canvas, 104 x 74 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis,
Untitled,
acrylics on canvas,
104 x 74 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, Untitled, acrylics on canvas, 85 x 65 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis,
Untitled,
acrylics on canvas,
85 x 65 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, Untitled, acrylics on canvas, 60 x 70 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis,
Untitled,
acrylics on canvas,
60 x 70 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, Untitled, acrylics on canvas, 109 x 85 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis,
Untitled,
acrylics on canvas,
109 x 85 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, Untitled, acrylics on canvas, 115 x 85 cm

Dimosthenis Kokkinidis,
Untitled,
acrylics on canvas,
115 x 85 cm

Exhibition Texts - English

Exhibition Texts - Greek