The D.Daskalopoulos Collection Gift to EMΣT | National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, includes 133 artworks by 83 artists, of which 35 are Greek and 48 are international. The integration of this significant group of works in the collection of ΕΜΣΤ – which furthermore is the largest ever single donation to ΕΜΣΤ until today – contributes decisively to the growth and strengthening of its international character. The works of the donation maintain a close correlation to the direction of the Museum’s collection and museum’s collection policy, which centres on the critical geopolitical position of Greece and its geographic surrounds, and the multitude of historical, cultural, and socio-political narratives attached to it. In addition, the donation of works to ΕΜΣΤ enrichens the anthropocentric, existential, and socio-political orientation of the existing ΕΜΣΤ collection while filling relevant gaps in the narrative of the history of contemporary art in Greece, aided by the works of eminent creators.

A significant number of the works included in the donation trace the question of personal identity with the field of the everyday. Works in this category incorporate and re-signify objects and materials extracted from the domestic/everyday environment and transform them through sculptural articulations, meticulous manual procedures, and fragile gestures. The everyday microcosm here constitutes a metaphor for artistic and personal identity. Moreover, the entanglement of the personal and the collective, as well as the field of the political, comprise one of the principal axes of the donation. Works by several artists bring to the fore issues of collective identities and collective memory and their association with contemporary political and social relations. The complexity of human existence and the quest around perennial questions of life and death traverse the works of the donation. In this framework, many of these works revolve around inquiries into the body and the multiple renderings of its meaning in relation to psychoanalysis, gender identities, sexuality, and human instincts. From historical works of the donation to notable examples of recent artistic production, the embodied subject emerges as the quintessential field of grasping and contemplating the world.

With the new exhibition of the ΕΜΣΤ collection entitled WOMEN, together, set to open in December 2023, as its starting point, the donation of the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, in combination with the already existing works of the ΕΜΣΤ collection, offer ample possibilities for the re-interpretation and re-unfolding of the collection itself, of history, and of contemporary artistic and socio-political becoming.

The D.Daskalopoulos Collection was initiated in 1996 in Greece. In April 2022, the donation of over 300 works from the collection to the following four important international museums was announced:

  • EMΣT | National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
  • Tate, London
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago