Art philanthropy

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Dmitris Daskalopoulos OBE is a financial services and investment entrepreneur, he amassed across several decades some 500 artworks by 220 artists.

He has appeared numerous times on the ARTnews annual Top 200 Collectors list, and has described his collection as focusing “on works that explore the human struggle to create and leave a mark during our short, fragile lives.”

In April 2022, Daskalopoulos announced a gift of some 350 artworks by 142 artists; in addition to giving 140 pieces to Athens’s National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) and 110 to Tate, around 100 works are to be shared by the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Important artists in the Collection include; Marina Abramović, Kutluğ Ataman, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Vlassis Caniaris, Helen Chadwick, Paul Chan, Bruce Conner, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Jannis Kounellis, Stathis Logothetis, Sarah Lucas, Paul McCarthy, Steve McQueen, Ana Mendieta, Marisa Merz, Annette Messager, Wangechi Mutu, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Cornelia Parker, Pipilotti Rist, Dieter Roth, Doris Salcedo, Kiki Smith and Paul Thek.

He said, ‘I wanted these works, which are important artworks of the last 30 years by some of the most prominent artists in the world, to become more accessible to a wider public.’

Stathis Logothetis Torso (1981) donated to EMST in Athens

Talking of the works for the EMST, Dr Lina Mendoni, the Hellenic Minister of Culture and Sports, said: Aſter decades of anticipation, two years ago Athens inaugurated its own Museum of Contemporary Art, filling a large gap in the city’s museum landscape. Today, EMST welcomes a unique donation from Dimitris Daskalopoulos, a collector with a deep knowledge and love for contemporary art. The Ministry of Culture and Sports expresses its immense gratitude…’ Katerina Gregos, Artistic Director of Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) said: This is the most significant giſt in the twenty-year history of EMST in terms of both size and importance.’

Helen Chadwick’s Piss Flowers 1–12 (1991) donated to Tate London

Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director of Tate, said: This giſt is an extraordinary act of generosity by Dimitris Daskalopoulos and it marks a significant moment for Tate’s collection. This is not only because of the large number of works involved, but also because of the exceptional calibre of the artists, from Louise Bourgeois to David Hammons to Mona Hatoum.’

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation director. Richard Armstrong. pointed to a group of works by Joseph Beuys and early pieces by Gilbert and George, as well as ‘crucial pieces’ by Mike Kelley, on whose work the museum was “a little thin.” The gift will also include the first pieces in the collection by Rosemarie Trockel and Lucas. Other boons to the collection are a cluster of Kiki Smiths and a tranche of Matthew Barneys that, Armstrong said, could well make the Guggenheim the museum with the greatest collection of Barney’s art.

Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is getting its first artworks by Gober, Chan, Ghada Amer, Karla Black, Sarah Lucas, and Rebecca Warren. The works will enable the MCAto ’tell a proper story of the 1990s’… ‘This giſt will have a galvanizing effect on the narrative of contemporary art for our present and future audiences.’

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