Rethymno, May 15, 2009
A new space completed the old Municipal Gallery «L. Kanakakis» and the Center for Contemporary Art, says from now on the new Contemporary Art Museum acquired the island of Crete. The old Venetian property was in the early 20th century one of the first industrial sites on the island, the soap factory that housed until the mid-70, today is a modern museum space high standards.
The friends who knew the artists the space of two small rooms, as initiated and expanded gradually, and certainly will be surprised. By integrating the well-known building in the adjacent, restored the building fabric in the historic city center in a single area of approximately 1000m. The form of the old Venetian and industrial shell was developed internally, based on modern design specifications by Tassos Biris - Architect, Professor at the NTUA, the full funding of the Third Community Support Program. The extension work and full restoration lasted about three years.
A central feature of the study is the roof so absolutely modern, is the dialogue with the preserved beams of the old building and offers the possibility of day lighting, ventilation and air conditioning.
We recall that the L. Kanakakis Municipal Art Gallery began operation in 1992 and the Center for Contemporary Art in 1995 with a contract signed between the Municipality of Rethymno and the Ministry of Culture. In this way all these years the central area and alternative sites used by the institution for contemporary art, has managed to surpass the most optimistic expectations by raising the nationwide and sometimes the international community of art. Reports of international content, programs and partnerships with relevant agencies in Greece and abroad and representatives of institutions implemented, theorists and artists from Europe and the U.S. met at the premises with our artists and the University community. Specifically, from 1992 to today, organized 88 exhibitions, thematic and monographic and issued 60 lists.
The new site was formed by the permanent exhibition of works by Lefteris Kanakakis and part of the permanent collection upstairs. The ground floor has been designed to accommodate temporary exhibitions (this period you can see the exhibition “I like to be adorned”), screenings, lectures, small music performances and the kind of cultural entertainment that combines the café to the library and museum shop.
With the new museum space and optimism that gives hope to our vision into a strong and continuous activity. The Contemporary Art Museum of Crete in which occurs and the Municipal Art Gallery is opening up from the city of Rethymno to the entire island, a city that traditionally use the title "city of arts and letters and names the new large square incorporating the historic Square Cultural Center.
The new museum opened only with works in the permanent collection organized an exhibition entitled «Between two centuries». This is an indicator of the presence of Greek artists’ mainstream, from 1960 until today. The main body of the exhibition revolved around the human form as art dietrexe these years of abstraction in representational art, the narrative element and concepts. A specific reference to the political art of yesterday and today and in the environment for the unity of man and nature appears. Even the geometric projects, included in the exhibition, linking their existence to the visible or imaginary «shell» which houses man.
The curation of the exhibition, which presented 180 of the 400 works in the permanent collection, was done by Maria Marangou. The exhibition lasted at least a year to give the chance, both foreign visitors and people of Crete and schools, to learn this valuable acquisition.
The transfer and installation of works held by the generous sponsorship of the Society of Transport Works of Art A. Bergeles and technical support of the new exhibition space was the sponsorship of Michael Gavrilos.