Avati, French (1921 - 2009)
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.
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
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
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.
Avati was a member of the Society of French painters and engravers.
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.
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.
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.