Kostis Velonis

Mount the Air

26 November 2015 - 16 January 2016

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Kostis Velonis (b. 1968) lives and works in Athens. He is represented by Kalfayan Galleries (Athens – Thessaloniki).





PhD, Department of Architecture, N.T.U.A University of Athens.


Cultural Studies (MRes) at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, 2000), London.


Visual Arts at the Paris VIII University, (Maitrise, D.E.A), Paris.



Scholarships–Artist in residence-Awards


Research Fellowship at Princeton University, USA.

“Kardamili Project” (residency and group show), Kardamili, Greece.


Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (October-December 2016)


Casa Maauad, Mexico City, Mexico.


MAK Schindler Scholarship, Architect in Residence at MAK Center, Los Angeles, USA.


IASPIS (The Swedish Arts Grants) Artist in Residence, Malmo, Sweden.


Artist in residence at CORA-Kunststiftung Hamburg and Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Hamburg, Germany.


Illy Prize, Art Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Deste Prize, Athens, Greece.


Onassis Foundation Scholarship, Greece.



Recent Curatorial project


‘Mr Robinson Crusoe stayed home. Adventures of design in time of crisis’ (curated by Polina Kosmadaki, Kostis Velonis), Benaki Museum, Athens.



Recent public sculpture commissions


“Straw Falling on Concrete Floor”, 2023 ΕΛΕVΣΙΣ European Capital of Culture, in collaboration with the Aeschylia Festival 2022, Open theatre, Old Olive Mill, Elefsina.


“Life Without Tragedy” installation on view at Governor’s Island, New York, from 2 May – 31 October, 2019. Commissioned and produced by Onassis Culture, as part of the Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy Is Coming (during which it could be seen on Astor Place, April 10-30, 2019). The festival was organized by the Onassis USA and The Public Theater, NYC.



Solo Exhibitions (selected)


“Almanach des bergers”, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens.

“Straw Falling on Concrete Floor”, 2023 ΕΛΕVΣΙΣ European Capital of Culture, in collaboration with the Aeschylia Festival 2022, Open theatre, Old Olive Mill, Elefsina.

Slapstick Mansory’, Monitor Lisboa.


‘199’, DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra island.

‘Ghost Beggar’, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens.


“A Puppet Sun” (solo show. Curated by Vassilis Oiconomopoulos), organized by NEON, Athens, Greece.

“Precision German Craftsmanship” (solo show), Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany.


NOVA, Art Basel Miami Beach, Kalfayan Galleries.

“Part Company”, Casa Maauad, Mexico City, Mexico.(MX)


“Mount the Air”, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens.(GR)

“This probably will not work”, Lothringer 13-Städtische Kunsthalle München (Three Person exhibition- Stefan Burger, Federico Delfrati) Cur. Jörg Koopmann, Dana Weschke, Munich (DE)

 “The Traveler and his Shadow”, Art Proposals, Nicosia (CY).


The Future Lies Behind Us", (double solo) AD Gallery, Athens (GR).


“The Grammary of Puppetry”, Monitor Gallery, Rome, (IT).


“The promise of Happiness”, Signal Center for Contemporary Art, Malmo Sweden (SW).

 “Bulding the Stage”, Omikron Gallery, Nicosia, Cyprus (CY).


“Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams”, National Museum of Contemporary Art (cur.Daphne Vitali), Athens (GR).

“Pastoral Dreams in the Days of Bankruptcy”, Dana Charkasi Gallery,Vienna (AU).

2010 “Marx in Arcadia”, AD Gallery, Athens (GR).


How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple",  Kunstverein in Hamburg  (cur. Florian  Waldwogel)-Hamburg (DE).


“Craft Boy”, Monitor Gallery, Rome  (IT).

“Revolution Essentielle”, Academy of Fine Arts, Sarayevo (BiH).


“The Folklore of the Universe“, Z. Athanassiadou , Salonica (GR)

BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle, “...was einmal über heute gesagt werden wird: Köln Show2 (Cur. N. Schafhausen, F. Waldvogel), Cologne (DE).


Galerie Kamm,  “Blind Date”  (with Katharina Jahnke), Berlin (DE).

The Breeder Gallery, (with Katharina Jahnke), Athens (GR).


“Bauhaus is not our House”, The Breeder Gallery (GR).







Selected Group Exhibitions (2004-2018)


‘CASTS OF AN ISLAND’  (curated by Nicos Chr. Pattichis), Mercedes-Benz showrooms in Nicosia’

 ‘Parallel Viewing –  Art from the Bank of Greece Collection’, B&M Theocharakis Foundation, Athens.

‘Avarna Fluida’ ( cur. Stela Christofi), Archaeological Space of Niokastro, Pilos, Greece.

‘In Conversation with a Chair. A Place of Rspite. An evolutionary milestone. A work of Art’, MARE Studio, Athens.


“CONFINEMENTS”, NEON Grants, Make Rizes Politismou, Dromokaiteio, Athens.

“Beautiful South”, King George Hotel Athens.

“True Love Leaves No Traces,” (group show) cur. by Burcu Fikretoğlu, Galerist, Istanbul.


‘SYMBOLS & iconic Ruins’, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) (group show), Athens.

‘To Do Without So Much Mythology’, Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna.


‘A.O. – B.C. An audiovisual diary’, State of Concept, Athens.

‘On the edge of the Blade we run” (group show, curated by Alexandros Tzanis), venue: a former textile industry (ets.1936), Votanikos, Athens, Greece.

‘a.O. – b.c. An audiovisual diary’, STATE OF CONCEPT, Athens.

“The Manual of the Perfect Traveller” (curated by Maria Dialektaki), Snehta, Athens.

 ‘Land of Creation. A Tribute to Metsovo’, Averoff Museum, Metsovo.

“Crossing Lines” (curated by Christian Oxenius and Jan Tichy), Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Germany.

A Hollow Place - 'Nurseries of the unconscious. Desiring-productions and group fantasies’ (group show curated by Christian Oxenius and Nikolas Ventourakis), Yellow Brick, Athens.

“Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality”, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI.

 “Voyage around my room” (curator: Kika Kyriakakou), Municipality Art Center, Athens.

‘Pentadaktilos’ (curator: Savvas Christodoulides), Leventis Municipal Museum, Cyprus.

“SLUMBER” (curator: Charlotte Silbermann),
 Galerie Kunstpunkt, Berlin.


“The Value of Freedom”, Belvedere 21, Vienna, Austria.

Refusing to Be Still’ – 5th edition of 21:39 (curated by Vassilis Oikonomopoulos) Organised by Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“Urgent Conversations: Athens-Antwerp. Part III” Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA), Antwerp, Belgium.

Unlimited, Art Basel, Kalfayan Galleries.


ACTOPOLIS, Goethe Insitut in collaboration with the Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens, Greece.

Documenta 14, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany.

“Perished Sun”, Kalfayan Galleries, Athens, Greece.

“Memory of Revolution”, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.

April-August : Eco Art (Akamas Project), Paphos/ European Capital of Culture 2017, Cyprus.

 “The Kids Want Communism” (group show), MoBY Museums of Bat Yam, Bat Yam, Israel.

 “Corfu in Colour” (curated by Sozita Goudouna), Ionian Parliament, Corfu island.


“Urgent Conversations: Athens-Antwerp”, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Greece.


“Urgent Conversations: Athens-Antwerp”, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Greece.

“Genii Loci “, Manege Central Exhibition Hall, Saint Petersburg, Russia

 “The Soft Power Lectures Show”, Panteion University, Athens.


“Birth of Coexistence” (Curated by Hara Piperidou), Hellenic American Union, Athens.

“Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015”, Whitechapel Gallery (Iwona Blazwick, Magnus af Petersens), London (UK).

“Super superstudio”, (Cur. by A. Angelidakis, V.Pizzigoni, V. Scelsi), Padiglione Arte Contemporanea, Milano (IT).

“In the Name of Le Corbusier”, Spiteris Residence, School of Architecture N.T.U.A, Athens (GR).


“The Theater of the World”, Museo Tamayo (Cur. by Andrea Torrenblanca) Mexico City (MX).

“No Country for Young Men”, Palais des Beaux Arts (BOZAR), (Cur. by Katerina  Gregos) Brussels (BE).

This is not my Beautiful House”, Kunsthalle Athena (GR).

“Tout Feu Tout Flamme”, Lefebvre & Fils,  Paris (FR).


“Direct Democracy”, MUMA /Monash University Museum of Art, (Cur.by Geraldine Barlow) Melbourne (AU).

“HELL AS PAVILION”, Palais de Tokyo, (cur. by Nadja Argyropoulou), Paris, (FR).

“At Table and in Bed”, Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos Gallery, Athens (GR).


“Newtopia. The State of Human Rights” Mechelen Cultural Centre, The Old Meat Market, The City Museum Hof Van Busleyden, Lamot Conference and Heritage Centre, The Academy of Fine Arts, Scheppers Institute (Cur.by Katerina Gregos) Mechelen, (BE).

“Material and Culture” - MAK Center for Art and Architecture-Schindler House, Los Angeles, USA.


“Melanchotopia”, Witte de With Contemporary Art Center (cur. by Nicolaus Schafhausen,  Anne-Claire Schmitz), Rotterdam (NL).

3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, (Cur. by Paolo Colombo, Mahita El Bacha Urieta, Marina Fokidis) Thessaloniki (GR).

“Dirty Humanism”, Faggionato Fine Art Gallery, (Cur. by N.Argiropoulou), London (UK).

“An Elusive Object of Art", Dana Charkasi Gallery (cur. Iara  Boubnova),  Vienna (AU).

“The Marathon Marathon project”, Acropolis Museum (cur.Hans Urlich Obrist, Nadjia Argyropoulou), Athens (GR).


"Politics of Art", National Museum of Contemporary Art (Cur.Anna Kafetsi), Athens (GR).


2nd Biennial Athens, “The World Question Center” (cur. Chus Martinez), Palaio Faliro (GR)

Palazzo Rospigliosi “Mediterranean” (cur. Elena Scipioni), Rome (IT).

Vlassis Caniaris. In Contrapunto. Institute for Contemporary Art and Thought with MIET (cur. Els Hanappe) National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens (GR).


Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art, “Show me, don’t tell me”, (cur. Nicolaus  Schafhausen, Florian  Waldvogel), Former Post Sorting Center, station Bruxelles Midi, Brussels (BE).

“Laugh track”, (Cur. Oliver Martinez Kandt & Ehsan Fardjadniya) YUM 21C,  Brussels  (BE).

“Unfair fair”, (Curated by Cecilia Canziani,Vincent Honoré) Rome (IT).

“Collage. Cut, paste” (cur. T. Markoglou), State Museum of Contemporary Art, Salonica (GR).


9e Biennale de Lyon, “The History of a Decade that Has not Been Yet Named”  (Cur. S. Moisdon & H.U. Obrist),  Institut d'art contemporain, Villeurbanne (FR).

“In Present Tense “, (cur. T.Pandi, S.Sxizakis, D.Vitali)  National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (GR).


“Don Quijote”, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, (cur. N. Schafhausen,  Sophie von Olfers),  Rotterdam (NL).

“The Grand Promenade”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, (Cur.A.Kafetsi), Athens (GR)

Give(a)way”, EV+A  Biennial, (cur. K.Gregos) Limerick, Ireland (IRL).

“Poetry in the backyard”, Art-Concept Gallery, Paris (FR).


“Beyond Stereotypes”, Art Caucasus 05, 2nd International Contemporary Art Exhibition & Convention (cur.K.Gregos) Tbilisi, Georgia.

DESTE foundation prize, Deste foundation for contemporary Art, Athens (GR).

Resemblance Somehow”,  (Cur.T.Moutsopoulos) Benaki Museum, Athens (GR).


“EUROPEAN SPACE”, 9th Sculpture Quadrennial, (Cur: Aigars Bikse, Kristaps Gulbis) State Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia.

“Breakthrough”, (D.Zacharopoulos, S.Pappa, K.Gregos), Arcala 31, Madrid (SP).


Catalogues (selected)

“Ghost Beggar – Kalfayan Galleries”, published by Faux Editions, Athens, 2019 (limited ed., numbered and signed)

“A Puppet Sun”, publication on the occasion of the artist’s solo show organized by NEON, Athens, Greece.

“The Marathon Marathon project” Catalogue, Acropolis Museum (edit. by Hans Urlich Obrist, Nadjia Argyropoulou , Athens.

“Artistic Practices: Housing as social agreement”, Οngoing archive, cur. by Giorgos Papadatos & Sofia Dona, Greek Pavilion, Giardini, 15th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 2016.

 “Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015”,  Texts by  Iwona Blazwick, Magnus af Petersens , Briony Fer, Tom McDonough, Jiang Jiehong, 9Prestel :Whitechapel Gallery, 2015)

“El Theatro del Mundo/The theater  of the World” , text by  Andrea  Torrenblanca, (Museo Tamayo : Mexico City, 2014)

“No Country for Young Men”, text  by Katerina Gregos  (Petit palais des Beaux Arts : Brussels,  2014 )

“Direct Democracy”, text  by Geraldine Barlow, (Melbourne:  MUMA /Monash University Museum of Art, 2013)

“HELL AS PAVILION”, text by Nadja Argyropoulou, Yorgos  Tzirtzilakis  (Castaniotis / Palais de Tokyo , 2013).

“Newtopia. The State of Human Rights”, text by Katerina Gregos, Elena Sorokina (Mechelen: Ludion, 2012)

“Utopia”, Collection Pattichis, text by Elena Parpa, Maria Stathi, Phileleftheros, Limasol,  Lanitis Foundation  , 2012)

“Politics of Art”, text by Anna Kafetsi (National Museum of Contemporary Art :Athens  : Emst,  2010)

“How one Can Think Freely in the Shadow of a Temple”,   Graphic Design Christoph Steineggerl  ( Hamburg :Kunstverein in Hamburg- Interkool, 2010)

“How one Can Think Freely in the Shadow of a Temple”, Kunstverein in Hamburg, edit. Florian Waldvogel, Graphic Design Christoph Steineggerl, Interkool. Hamburg, 2010.

“LoneKunsts on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams”, National Museum of Contemporary Art  texts by Miltos Frangopoulos, Chus Martinez, Daphne Vitali  and Florian Waldvogel (Athens:National Museum of Contemporary Art,2010).

“Creamier”, Contemporary Art in Culture. Text by Chus Martinez (London: Phaidon, 2010.

“Heaven”, 2 Biennial of Athens, “The World Question Center”, text by Chus Martinez, 2010, Athens.

“Two in One” Contemporary Art from Witte de With & De Appel. Christies Amsterdam, 2009

“Witte de With Source Book: Changing Roles Artists’ personal views and wishes”, Interview. (Rotterdam :Witte de With, 2008).

 “Collage. Cut, paste”, text by T. Markoglou, (Salonica: State Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008).

Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art, edit. Barbara Vanderlinden  (Brussels :Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig,2008)

Kostis Velonis-Armando Uribe Arce, Dice En Su Corazon El Insenato, Collectif Generation, 2008

“Craft Consciousness - Class Consciousness“, edit. M. Fokidis, texts by S.Bachtsetzis,  X.Kalpaktsoglou, F.Waldvogel A.Zenakos  (Ministry of Culture :  Athens, 2008)

Köln Show2, European Kunsthalle, text by  Julia Honer (koln: 2007).

Βiennale de Lyon 2007, L’histoire d’une decennie qui n’est pas encore nommee.(texts by H.U.Obrist and Stephanie Moisdon),   Les presses du reel, 2007.

 “Don Quijote”, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, text by  N. Schafhausen,  Sophie von Olfers),  Rotterdam, 2006.

What Remains is Future, (City of Patras: Cultural Capital of Europe,  text by Nadja Argyropoulou, 2006)

“The Grand Promenade”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, text by A.Kafetsi,( Athens :EMST, 2006).

Deste prize 2015, Athens : Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, 2005.

“European Space”,  Quadrennial of Sculpture Riga  (Riga :  2004).

“Breakthrough : Grecia 04”, Arcala 31, Madrid, 04. Textsby K.Gregos, D.Zacharopoulos, S.Pappa.


Publications (selected)


: Between the Private and the Public, the Intimate and the Political: Kostis Velonis, 2017

Zoe Cooper,More Than Documenta/Athens, Flash Art, 1 May 2017.

 “Frieze Online: https://frieze.com/article/critics-guide-athens-0

Michelangelo Corsaro, “Kostis Velonis at Kalfayan Galleries, Athens”, Art Review, March 2016.

Gallerytalk.net. “Sickness is Rebellion”, reviews,  text by Quirin Brunnmeier, 2015.

Frieze Magazine, Jennifer Higgie “This is Not My Beautiful House”, Nov. Issue 167, 2014.

Art Forum Magazine, Stephanie Bailey on Nikos Markou and Kostis Velonis, Sept. 2014.

Milenio.com, Manuel Guillen “Muestran los vínculos de la arquitectura con la teatralidad”, 14/06/2014.

Metropolis M, Maaike LauwaertAnger, resistance and hope- Interview with Katerina Gregos”,  24/03/ 2014.

Le Monde, ”Puzzle grec”, κειμ.Marie Zawisza, 13.03.2014.

Art Review, Mike Watson, “Kostis Velonis, Gra(m)mary of Puppetry”, issue. 69, Summer 2013.

Maya Jovic “Political history in the Arts”, Neos Kosmos Journal, April 2013.    

Robert Nelson, “Pencilling in fight for democracy”, The Age, 05/ 29/ 2013.

Marta Veltri Kostis Velonis: mondi alternativi di marionette, Art tribune magazine, 30.04.13.

Gabriele Girolamini “Master of Puppetry”, Drome Magazine 29.03.13.

Frieze.com, Matthew Rana on Kostis Velonis-Signal Center for Contemporary Art, 20/12/11.

Art Forum Magazine, Barry Schwabsky on Kostis Velonis, Reviews, April 2011.

New York Times, "In Athens, Musing About Art and the World Beyond" text by Joanna Kakissis, January 14, 2011.

"Politics and History: Reclaiming Greek Identity" by Stephanie Bailey,  Aesthetica Magazine, Issue 38, Dec-Jan.2011. 

Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, “Recontextualising Revolution : Yang  Fudong  and kostis Velonis at the National Museum of Contemporary Art", text by Stephanie Bailey,  Nov-Dec  2010, vol.9, n. 6.

Art forum.com, “Kostis Velonis, National Museum of Contemporary Art”  text. Chris Bors, 2010.

INSIDER, “Reconstructing Dreams” text. Stephany Bailey, issue 86, 19/08 2010.

Kaput Magazine, “The Certainty of our Death Turns Everything Around” An interview to  Thanos Stathopoulos  n.09, 2010.

Art Pulse Magazine «Between Direct Democracy and Socialist Politics”, text by Daphne Vitali, Summer 2010, σ.38-41.

KUNSTFORUM, «Kostis Velonis -Tatiana Trouve-Daniel  Milohnic” , text by  Rainer Unruh, τευχ. 197, 2009.

Die Welt, "Kunstverein wird zur Schule des Sehens" by Belinda Grace Gardner, 08.02.2009.

Spike Art Magazine, Review : «Kostis Velonis, Tatiana Trouvé, Daniel Milohnic», Hamburg,issue 20, 2009.

Artnet.org, «Postrevolutionäres Kulissenschieben»  Dominikus Müller,  16 Ιουνίου, 2009.

Artnet.org, «Postrevolutionäres Kulissenschieben»  Dominikus Müller, 16 Ιουνίου, 2009.

New York Times, Michael Kimmelman, "Twombly in the Land of Michelangelo", March 16, 2008.