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This year marks half a century since the restoration of democracy in our country (1974) after the collapse of the seven-year dictatorship of the colonels.

Marios Vatzias| Athens Polytechnic School, 1975

However, the two years between 1974 and 1975 were pivotal for the Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe as democracy was restored in Portugal in 1974 with the “Carnation Revolution” and the following year in Spain after the death of Franco.

Konstantinos Parthenis| Head of Athena, 1924

The organization of the exhibition “Democracy” at the National Gallery has been underway since the year Mrs. Syrago Tsiara took over as director. This is the first major, international exhibition that deals with the relationship between art and democracy during one of the most decisive periods in the history of Southern Europe, as three countries, Greece, Portugal and Spain, moved from an authoritarian regime to a democratic constitution.

The exhibition is structured around five main thematic axes “The Face of the Enemy“, “Resistance“, ” Revolt” and “Insurrection” in which the “belated May ’68” experienced by the three countries is highlighted. The experience of the dictatorship, the violence of the regime, the resistance, the revolution, international events such as the Vietnam War, the position of women will be at the centre of artistic creation and will find their place in exhibitions, collectives, publications, posters, etc.

Fernando Botero| Franco, 1986

As the director of the National Gallery and curator of the exhibition Syrago Tsiara notes in her curatorial text: “.…Following the continuities, cracks and rearrangements on the path to democratization in all three countries, we explore the particular texture, color, sounds, composition and response of artists to the radical transformation, the liberating force released in the collective body by the assertion of democratic rights, as well as the visual management of the trauma of the dictatorships.

Yannis Gaitis, The Bird, 1971

The exhibition DEMOCRACY is an overall project in which 55 artists and groups of artists participate. It will include 140 artworks from Greece, Spain and Portugal, as well as posters, video projections and performances. The exhibition will include a film tribute and a conference on democracy and the visual arts.

Yorgos Sikeliotis| Angel Warrior, 1976

Νational Gallery-Alexandros Soutsos Museum

11 July 2024-2 Februrary 2025

Curator: Syrago Tsiara

Main Building-Temporary Exhibition Hall-“Antonios E. Komnenos Foundation”