MarioAvati, French (1921 - 2009)
MarioAvati is a French painter and engraver (born 27 May 1921 in the Principality ofMonaco and died in Paris on February 26, 2009),who lived and worked in Paris.
Withthe passing of Yozo Hamaguchi, Mario Avati stands alone as theforemost living mezzotint artist. In 2001 Fitch-Febvrel held a smallretrospective to mark the artist's 80th year, as well as the publication ofVolume VII of a catalogue raisonné now spanning more than 50 years ofprintmaking.
Afterstudying at the National School of Decorative Arts in Nice and the Écolenationale 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, incolor. In doing so, he helped revive this graphic technique as a medium ofpopular expression.
Severalof his engravings were taken to stamp issue. Thus, in 1980, the postaladministration reproduced on the occasion of the "Stamp Day 1980",etching Letter to Molly.
MarioAvati was a member of the Society of French painters and engravers.
Mezzotintis among the most demanding mediums in art, one tried and quickly abandoned as"too difficult", for example, by the great printmaker M.C. Escher. Acopper plate is "rocked" with a curved, notched blade until thesurface 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 theraised parts, a little for dark grays, a lot for light grays, completely forwhite (after inking and wiping, the plate holds no ink where it is smooth).Colors are achieved by similarly working one or more supplementary plates.
Theresult of this process is an image emerging from pitch black"nothingness" -- a true analogue to Creation. Outlines are simplifiedby absence of line, while substance is rendered with a virtually infinite rangeof tonal subtlety. Avati's mastery of the medium is most remarkable in hisstill lifes, which convey both the volume and dimension of his subjects,combined with a sense of timelessness.
Avati'sinternational stature is confirmed by numerous awards, documentary films madein Japan, the U.S., and Europe;over thirty solo exhibitions in museums and public institutions, and more thansixty gallery exhibitions worldwide. His works are included in more than 100public collections including, along with some 40 French institutions, theVictoria & Albert (London), The Gemeente Museum (The Hague), Le Musée desBeaux-Arts (Brussels), Uffizi (Florence), Metropolitan & MOMA (New York),Art Institute of Chicago, Library of Congress & National Gallery(Washington, D.C.) inter al.
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