Mario Avati, French (1921 - 2009)

Mario Avati

Mario Avati is a French painter and engraver (born 27 May 1921 in the Principality of Monaco and died in Paris on February 26, 2009), who lived and worked in Paris.

With the passing of Yozo Hamaguchi, Mario Avati stands alone as the foremost living mezzotint artist. In 2001 Fitch-Febvrel held a small retrospective to mark the artist's 80th year, as well as the publication of Volume VII of a catalogue raisonné now spanning more than 50 years of printmaking.

After studying at the National School of Decorative Arts in Nice and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Mario Avati practice, from 1947, all printmaking techniques. Ten years later, he turned almost exclusively to noire2 way, first in black, then, from 1969, in color. In doing so, he helped revive this graphic technique as a medium of popular expression.

Several of his engravings were taken to stamp issue. Thus, in 1980, the postal administration reproduced on the occasion of the "Stamp Day 1980", etching Letter to Molly.

Mario Avati was a member of the Society of French painters and engravers.

Mezzotint is among the most demanding mediums in art, one tried and quickly abandoned as "too difficult", for example, by the great printmaker M.C. Escher. A copper plate is "rocked" with a curved, notched blade until the surface is entirely pitted. At this stage, an inked plate would print a rich, uniform black. The artist then uses a scraper or burnisher to flatten the raised parts, a little for dark grays, a lot for light grays, completely for white (after inking and wiping, the plate holds no ink where it is smooth). Colors are achieved by similarly working one or more supplementary plates.

The result of this process is an image emerging from pitch black "nothingness" -- a true analogue to Creation. Outlines are simplified by absence of line, while substance is rendered with a virtually infinite range of tonal subtlety. Avati's mastery of the medium is most remarkable in his still lifes, which convey both the volume and dimension of his subjects, combined with a sense of timelessness.

Avati's international stature is confirmed by numerous awards, documentary films made in Japan, the U.S., and Europe; over thirty solo exhibitions in museums and public institutions, and more than sixty gallery exhibitions worldwide. His works are included in more than 100 public collections including, along with some 40 French institutions, the Victoria & Albert (London), The Gemeente Museum (The Hague), Le Musée des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), Uffizi (Florence), Metropolitan & MOMA (New York), Art Institute of Chicago, Library of Congress & National Gallery (Washington, D.C.) inter al.

Awards and Distinctions
1957: Critics Award, Paris
1969 Gold Medal at the first international exhibition of graphic art in Florence
1981 Grand Prix of Arts of the City of Paris
1997 Price burning, Portland Art Museum (en)
1997 Price Nahed Ojjeh Academy of Fine Arts

From classic inspiration, the work of Avati, turns almost exclusively around the still life - fruit , flowers, objects staged ... - or animals ( eg butterflies . ), With a treatment of a wide geometric rigor , but do not miss the occasion , humor , starting in the title.

Very appreciative and inspired by the work of Giorgio Morandi, Mario Avati and had organized his prints in a manner recalling the composition tables Morandi .

In addition to performing hundreds of prints, Mario Avati illustrated books , especially for bibliophiles among lesquels3 :

Lewis Carroll, Chimera , two photographiques4 tales , translated by Bernard Citroën , frontispiece Edouard Goerg , unrepentant , Paris , 1955
Villiers de l' Isle- Adam, Cruel Tales Circle Grolier , 1956
Brillat -Savarin , Aphorisms , menus and varieties, bibliophiles5 Francs , Paris , 1961
GA Dassonville , La Perle : A Christmas Tale , Bagnolet, 1982
Nostradamus, Jams , The Bibliophiles de France, 2010

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