Collector behind the nonprofit Athens institution the DESTE Foundation
Not content with Deste’s art space in Athens, and the project space on the island of Hydra, Joannou’s foundation has been increasingly taking up residence in various museums. Works from the collection are now an almost constant presence in the Benaki Museum, Athens, for instance, where this year Joannou cocurated a survey of work by the late Greek sculptor George Lappas. In June, while artist Roberto Cuoghi and his team were kiln-firing dozens of ceramic crabs as part of the artist’s Deste commission on Hydra, The Equilibrists opened at the Benaki, featuring a survey of young Greek art selected from open submission and through a hundred studio visits by New Museum curators Gary Carrion-Murayari, Helga Christoffersen and Massimiliano Gioni. The last of these was on hand again to curate Urs Fischer – False Friends at the Museum of Art and History of Geneva, in which sculpture by the Swiss artist was buddied up with works by the likes of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Robert Gober – all owned by Joannou.