Desmos art gallery was established in 1971 by Manos Pavlidis and Eppie Protonotariou. Its original location was at 4, Syngrou Avenue in Athens. In 1973, the gallery was expanded by the addition of an extra room. From its first year of operation, Desmos focused on modern art forms and attracted many young artists, mostly Greek, who experimented with various artistic mediums. It was one of the first galleries in Greece that showcased conceptual works, installations and performances. Many significant artists presented their first solo exhibitions in Desmos. At the same time, several events, lectures and discussions for the support and promotion of modern trends in Greek art were organized at its premises.
In 1977, Desmos moved to 28, Akadimias street, an area of great potential at the centre of Athens. The opening of the new Desmos took place with an inauguration event under the title Propositions for a Museum of Contemporary Art, signaling an open discussion on a hot topic: The establishment of a museum which would support and promote modern art in Greece.
In 1981, Desmos returns to the building of Syngrou Avenue and, two years later, in 1983, it moves to a new Athens location (2, Dionysius Areopagite & Tziraion street) where it will remain until 1993, its final year of operation.
In 1999, Deste Foundation organized the P + P = D exhibition, which presented a significant part of the gallery’s activities, highlighting its historical importance for greek art. Two more similar exhibitions followed in 2000, entitled Desmos Archive, which were held in the Lefteris Kanakakis Municipal Gallery (Rethymno, Crete) and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki).
In 2009, Eppie Protonotariou donated the complete archive of Desmos, to the newly created Institute of Contemporary Greek Art. The archive which had been accumulated during the 22 years of its operation (brochures, texts, letters, photographs etc.) constitutes a valuable testimony of the significant moments in the Greek art scene.