Exhibition opening – Tender shell geophilia

Share Article

Presentation of the 2022 G & A Mamidakis Foundation Art Prize in Crete

On Saturday 4 June 2022, the George and Aristea Mamidakis Foundation invites you to the opening of Tender shell geophilia, by Ileana Arnaoutou & Ismene King, who were jointly awarded the 2022 G & A Mamidakis Foundation Art Prize.

Tender shell geophilia is an in-situ sculptural network that refers to the geographical landscape of the gulf of Agios Nicholaos as a potent containing space. Elements of the work are rooted in a sculptural language that relates to water, overflow and emptiness, presence and absence. Deriving from a narrative that binds the landscape with eroticism, Tender shell geophilia develops into an active condition of relatedness between the geographical elements and the body. Recently, the two artists have been creating the work in situ, in direct relation to the landscape of the rocky beach and the sea, developing a collaborative sculptural methodology.

The artwork will be presented by the Foundation’s Artistic Director Mr Sotiris Bahtsetzis. It will join the Foundation’s art collection and remain on permanent display at the Sculpture Garden of Minos Beach art hotel in Crete.

Our love for art, combined with the desire to support and promote the advancement of artistic creativity, led to the establishment of the G & A Mamidakis Foundation Art Prize in 2019.

Τhe Art Prize is a culmination of the Foundation’s thirty-year long efforts to strenghten contemporary artistic leadership and innovation. It supports contemporary artists both financially and by offering them the opportunity to create a site specific artwork that will not only become part of the Foundation’s collection and will remain on permanent view at the Sculpture Garden of Minos Beach art hotel in Crete, but will join an important cultural heritage as well.

The art collection of the G & A Mamidakis Foundation comprises more than 70 artworks, the majority of which are exhibited at the Sculpture Garden of Minos Beach art hotel, in Agios Nikolaos, Crete. The collection is constantly growing, as every year, with the awarding of the annual Art Prize, it is enriched with the work of the winning artist. The collection brings together artworks by important Greek and international artists, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lynda Benglis, Costas Varotsos, Maria Loizidou, Rena Papaspyrou, Angelos Skourtis, Costas Ioannidis, George Gyparakis, Georgia Kotretsos, Theodoros Zafeiropoulos and Yiorgos Rimenidis. In addition to the annual Art Prize, the G & A Mamidakis Foundation organizes educational activities, festivals, group and solo exhibitions, publications, as well as an International Research Residenct Programme in Crete.

A few words about this year’s winners:

Ismene King (b.1993) is a sculptress and ceramist, graduate from the MFA Sculpture programme of the Slade School of Fine Art, London, where she received the Jeanne Szego Award. She currently lives and works in Athens. Recent exhibitions include ‘True Love Leaves No Traces’, Galerist, Istanbul (2022), ‘Encounters in wreath-knot-chain formations’ (solo exhibition), The Breeder Gallery, Athens (2021), ‘(dis)placement’, Jacaranda, Rio de Janeiro and Off- Quay, London (2017).

Ileana Arnaoutou (b.1994) graduated in 2017 from the Slade School of Fine Art, and in 2018 from University College London from the MA Art History programme. She currently lives and works in Athens, focusing on painting, drawing and sculpture. Recent exhibitions include ‘ATHENSYN II: Going Viral’, Steinzeit gallery, Berlin (2022), ‘21! Contemporary Greek Painting’, Archeological Museum of Agios Nicholaos, Crete (2021), ‘APOTROPAION’, 16 Fokionos Negri – The Felios Collection, Athens (2021). Ileana has received the ARTWORKS fellowship in 2020 funded by Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center.

Art Prize Selection Committee 2022:

Sotirios Bachtsetzis – G & A Mamidakis Foundation Artistic Director, Art Historian & Curator

Georgios Gyparakis – Visual Artist, Professor at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens

Polina Kosmadaki – Art Historian, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art-Benaki Museum

Nikos Navridis – Visual Artist, Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts

Alexandros Psychoulis – Visual Artist, Professor at the Department of Architectural Engineering, University of Thessaly


Πανεπιστημίου 56, Κτίριο ΕΡΜΗΣ
Τ.Κ. 10678, Αθήνα
Τηλ +30 215 500 7712