Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery, Benaki Museum

Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery, Benaki Museum, photo: Mathias Völzke

This house, which belonged to the modernist artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, is a typical example of interwar Athenian architecture. The mansion was a meeting point for the Athenian intelligentsia of the era, often photographed in international magazines. Today a visitor can visit Ghika’s atelier on the fifth floor, where some of his most representative paintings are on display. Other permanent exhibitions cover modern Greek cultural history, from the Smyrna Catastrophe of 1922 to the junta’s dictatorship of 1967–74. On exhibition during documenta 14 are a series of Ghika’s photographs from the 1930s—visual notes from his travels throughout Greece, some of which were taken while on the famous CIAM 4 cruise.

The project-in-progress of Zafos Xagoraris is the restoration of a chapel built in the 1930s for the first open-air school in Athens and relates to the work of two prominent figures in the Ghika collection, the renowned architect Nikolaos Mitsakis and painter Spyros Papaloukas. A small selection of paintings from the holdings of the National Gallery of Art in Tirana introduces an alternative modernity, acting as a foil to this primarily Greek-themed collection.

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