From the 6th of October until 20th of January, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art has an exhibition dedicated to Alexander Iolas. A man, who had a big influence on art and discovered many great artists. This exhibition is the largest that has been organised to honour him.
Alexander Iolas (Constantinos Koutsoudis) was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1908 to a Greek family. He wanted to become a ballet dancer. At age 17 Iolas ran away from home, ending up in America. He gave up his dancer career and started to work in an art gallery. That is the moment, when Alexander Iolas’ journey as a collector began. His life gives enough material for a novel. 30 years after Iolas’ death, Nikos Stathoulis published “Iolas the Great”, the first biography about Iolas in English.
Alexander Iolas is considered an important person in the evolution of art, especially contemporary art. Iolas started working in an art gallery in New York, from there on he became a collector and opened many art galleries all over the world. He also discovered many artists, one of them was Andy Warhol, who was a close friend of him. Iolas followed his own instincts instead of trends around him. He was working with young artists that became the biggest names in 20th-century art history, for example René Magritte, Joseph Cornell, Max Ernst, Yves Klein and so on.
At the exhibition, visitors can see artworks that Iolas has donated for the museum and it focuses on the artworks of the artists that Iolas collaborated with. Visitors also get to learn about his life and get a personal glimpse of Iolas. There are handwritten letters from Rene Magritte to Alexander Iolas on display and pictures of him that are accompanied with facts from his life. Also Iolas’ chair and coat, glasses, notes and other personal items can be seen.
The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art is the perfect place for hosting this exhibition, because of Iolas’ contribution to make the first centre of contemporary art in Greece, in Thessaloniki. With time, this centre became the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art.
The exhibition opening hours:
Thursday 10:00 – 22:00
Friday 10:00 – 19:00
Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Sunday 11:00 – 15:00
Admission: 4 euros regular ticket and 2 euros for students