History

retroAFI is founded in the spring of 1979 by Eva Cheiladaki, Ann Citron, Donna Coson, Corinna Politi-Coutouzi, Patrick Coutouzis, Maria Grigoriou and Yiannis Papadopoulos as a collective of ‘joined forces and skills’. The group sets out to create contemporary crafts using traditional techniques, and to encourage other artists’ pioneering work.
After organizing exhibitions of their work in various galleries. the group opens its own space, the AFI Center, at 25 Tripodon St., Plaka, in March 1983. There it presents exhibitions (featuring work of its members, or of invited artists, exhibitions on specific themes), lectures, seminars, courses in technical skills, a series of exchanges with equivalent groups from other countries, etc. Over the years, other artists join the group: Despina Politi, Inger Carlsson, Meredith Green, Yorgos Polyzos, Despina Pantazopoulou, Theodora Chorafas and Judith Allen-Efstathiou. The AFI Center (1983-1989), a non-profit cultural organization run and financed by the group’s members, with the exception of two subsidies from the Ministry of Culture. Since 1989, AFI exhibits in other art spaces.
After thirty years of collaboration, AFI members, Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Inger Carlsson, Eva Cheiladaki, Theodora Chorafas, Corinna Coutouzi, Maria Grigoriou, Despina Pantazopoulou and Yiannis Papadopoulos. continue to work creatively together.

The AFI collective was founded on two basic principles: mutual esteem for the excellence of each member’s artwork and strong bonds of personal friendship between members. This has resulted in the rare longevity of the group.
The 8 members have each developed their individual artistic creativity and expression, ingreat part due to the encouragement and support of the collective.
AFI remains avant-garde and modern in the sense that members highly value attention to technical skill and absolute quality while creating work which reflects contemporary issues.

2014
2013
“Sense of Touch”, Espace Périple, Brussels, Belgium
2012
“AFI.gr”, Greek Cultural Foundation, Berlin, Germany

“AFI.gr”, Handwerksform Hannover. Germany
2009
“Upside Down, AFI at the Benaki”,at the Benaki Museum and its Peiraeus Street Annex, Athens
2006 “AFI in Paros”, Pontoporos Gallery, Naoussa, Paros.
2003
“AFI at Kleisthenous”, Kleisthenous 9 Gallery, Athens (catalog text: Lina Tsikouta)
2002
“AFI in the Round”, Rethymno Center for Contemporary Art, Ibrahim Khan Mosque, Fortezza, Rethymno, Crete.
2000
“AFI at Monohoros Art Space”, Athens.
1999
“AFI in Thessaloniki”, Terracotta Art Space.
1997
AFI participates in Odhos Peireos,” Metamorphoses of an Industrial Landscape”, Pireos St., VIS Factory, Athens.
1992-94
Corinna Coutouzi, Despina Pantazopoulou and Maria Grigoriou create the archive of Patrick Coutouzis’ entire work and supervise the making of the book Patrikios Koutouzis– Xylourgimata (Patrick Coutouzis, le bois enjoué), Agra and Bastas-Plessas Publications, Athens 1994.
Concurrent retrospective exhibition of the work of Patrick Coutouzis at the French Institute of Athens. Organized, curated and presented by the members of AFI.
1992
“AFI in Epikentro”, Epikentro Gallery, Patras.
1989
“AFI in Crete”, Ariadne Gallery, Herakleion.
“AFI and the Creativ-Kreis International Group at the Community of Athens Art Center”, Athens.
1988
“Light and Shadow”, group show, Theodora Chorafas, Carol Iliou, Margarita Ekklisiarchou and Judith Allen-Efstathiou.
“AFI in Katerini”, Mati Art Space, Katerini.
“AFI in Zakynthos”, Zakynthos Art Space.
1987
Group exhibition of jewelry.
Exhibition of works by AFI members.
1986
Collaboration with the Swedish Institute and the Embassy of Sweden. A Presentation of Swedish artists (members of the ‘Group of Ten’ and ‘Textile Group’), AFI Center.
Patchwork, group show organized by AFI.
Ceramics exhibition, Theodora Chorafas and Carol Iliou.
The European Crafts Council invites AFI to propose artists to represent Greece at the 27th Applied Arts Exhibition organized by the European Community in conjunction with the Japanese Craft Organization and held in Tokyo and Osaka. Members of AFI participating in this exhibition include: Corinna Coutouzi, Despina Pantazopoulou, Patrick Coutouzis and Yorgos Polyzos.
“Kilims” exhibition.
Exhibition of works by AFI members.
“AFI at Ora”, Ora Gallery, Athens
1985
Exhibition of works by AFI members.
Ceramics exhibition, Sjoera Siebers.
“AFI in Serres”, Greek Handicraft Organization, Serres, Greece.
Ceramics exhibition, Menandros Papadopoulos.
Jewelry exhibition, Daphne Krinos, Erato Boukoyanni and Vangelis Polyzos.
“Doll”, group show.
Work by Francoise Dangon.
“Wearables”, group show organized and participated in by AFI.
1984
“Jewelry”, group show organized by and participated in by AFI.
“Box”, group show organized and participated in by AFI.
Exhibition of works by AFI members.
Participation in the “Spanish Month” cultural events, in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy. “Microyfantiki (Miniature Weaving)”, an exhibition
Patrick Coutouzis is invited to represent Greece at the meeting for the founding of the Mediterranean Center Artifex under the auspices of UNESCO in Paris.
Ceramics exhibition, John Jacobs.
“Paper”, group show.
Ceramics exhibition, Richard Launder and Irene Constantinidi. Seminar on low fire and salt-glaze techniques by Richard Launder.
Book show featuring editions on artists and techniques of applied arts, in collaboration with Compendium Bookstore.
Patrick Coutouzis is invited to represent Greece at the World Crafts Council Conference, organized under the auspices of UNESCO in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
1983
Opening of the AFI Center, 25 Tripodon St., Plaka.
Exhibition of works by the AFI members at the group’s new space.
Exhibition of musical instruments (guitar and laouto) by Yorgos Thomopoulos. Laouto recital by Dimitris Nikas and guitar recital by Yannis Manolidakis.
Exhibition of jewelry by Christiane Billet and Lilly Frangaki.
Exhibition of ceramics by Ingrid Keller.
“Toys”, group show organized and participated in by AFI.
AFI members Despina Pantazopoulou, Patrick Coutouzis and Yiannis Papadopoulos represent Greece at the European Crafts Council’s International Conference, Dublin.
1982
“The Four Elements”, an exhibition of the work of the AFI collective at Anemos Gallery, Kifissia.
1980
Organization of “Craftsmen ’80”, a pan-Hellenic exhibition presented at the Hellenic-American Union, Athens.
“AFI at Kreonidis Gallery”, Athens
1979
Foundation of the AFI collective.
First exhibition at Synnefo Gallery, Plaka.
AFI at Zita-Mi Gallery, Thessaloniki.