The George Economou Collection is a private collection located in Athens, Greece. Rooted in history, social awareness and aesthetics, the collecting activity began evolving in the 1990s with a focus on early twentieth-century European art and has expanded to include an important holding of postwar and contemporary art.
Central movements of the early twentieth century such as German Expressionism and New Objectivity are collected in depth. Unique to the collection is the complete graphic oeuvre of Otto Dix and Otto Mueller. Works by artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky and Neo Rauch continue the German dialogue into the contemporary sphere alongside works by noted international artists such as Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Cady Noland and Jenny Saville.
With a desire to share the creativity of the artists represented in the collection, the George Economou Collection organizes two to three exhibitions per year in the space in Athens and collaborates regularly with international institutions and curators. Reflecting the interest for sociocultural awareness and the historical dialogue, these projects aim to create new opportunities for the public in Greece and abroad to engage with art.
George Economou was born in Athens, Greece and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He began his career in shipping, expanded in offshore drilling and real estate, and has shared a passion for art throughout his career. His collecting activity began evolving in the 1990s with a focus on early twentieth-century European art and has grown to include an important holding of postwar and contemporary art. In 2012 he opened an exhibition space for the collection in the suburbs of Athens, Greece where he organizes several exhibitions per year and collaborates regularly with international institutions and curators. Also, Mr. Economou is a member of the Tate Foundation Board of Trustees and of the Dia Art Foundation Board of Trustees.
Before joining the George Economou Collection in 2012 as director of the collection, Skarlet Smatana has worked in leading contemporary art galleries such as Pace Gallery in New York, Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago, and L&M Arts in New York for five years, where she was recently director. Throughout her career in galleries and independently, she has built some of the most important collections worldwide and advised institutions within the United States. Skarlet has accomplished a Master of Arts in Art history, Theory and Criticism at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on postwar and contemporary art with a specialization in German art. She served on the board of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art and worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.