Mario AVATI | Biography, catalog raisonné, quotations and prices


Mario Avati was one of the most important painters and engravers of the second half of the twentieth century, recognized as one of the most influential figures of black way dopo Yozo Hamaguchi.
Avati, of Italian origin, was born in Monaco on May 27, 1921. Still very young he moved to France, where he first attended the School of Decorative Arts in Nice and then the National Higher School of Fine Arts in Paris, the city where he will spend most of his time. of his life.
He graduated at the age of twenty and already in 1947, thanks to the influence of the master Édouard Joseph Goerg, at the time an icon in the world of engraving and illustration, he began to explore the techniques of indirect etching through etching and aquatint.
The following ten years, for Avati, were characterized by experimentation: in fact, he spent them deepening and refining his knowledge in the field of engraving, gradually approaching the black manner, of which, already in 1957, he became one of the greatest exponents, also renowned internationally.
The black way, otherwise known as mezzotint, is one of the most complex and sophisticated engraving techniques ever developed, capable of giving life to works of great visual impact thanks to the contrast between light and shadow. The well-known art historian Jean Adhemar wrote in his works: "Avati's mezzotint expresses a strange and devastated universe". The black manner of the Italian lithographer, in fact, was full of surrealism, although the subject of his engravings were generally simple still lifes such as fruits, flowers, animals or musical instruments.
The artist, moreover, was known for being particularly meticulous, especially as regards the choice of materials: he almost exclusively used rags of the highest quality. Mario Avati also took care of the entire lithographic process alone, aware of how delicate the mezzotint was and how fragile the works thus created were.
In 1955 he created four prestigious exhibitions in London, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo and in 1967 he collaborated with the Tamarind Institut, one of the most renowned lithography laboratories, a branch of the University of New Mexico based in Albuquerque.
In 1965 in the Paul Proute Gallery in Paris one of the most prestigious and vast exhibitions of Avati was held and for the occasion the artist himself sent a special invitation brochure, illustrated by himself in the manner Black. From 1969 onwards Mario Avati converted to color, always using the mezzotint technique, but with the addition of watercolors.
Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1957 Critics' Prize, the gold medal at the first Biennial of Engraving in Florence in 1969 and the Nahed Ojjeh Prize of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1997. In addition, he was a member of the Society of French painters and engravers and he was a distinguished member of the French National Engraving Committee (now called the National Press Committee).
He died in Paris, the city in which he worked and lived for most of his life, on February 26, 2009.


  • Roger Passeron, Catalog raisonné of the engraved work, 7 volumi, Edizione inglese. The Library of Arts, Paris, 1977-2000


  • 2019 Mario Avati. June 28 - July 20. Galerie Sagot - Le Garrec, Paris, France.
  • 2018 Artist Letters. June 26. Cloister of San Sebastiano, Biella, Italy.
  • 2015 Empreintes Animales - Mario Avati works. May 28 - June 28. Galerie Documents 15, Paris, France.
  • 2014 Summer Hanging - Mario Avati works. July 2 - September 17. Galerie Documents 15, Paris, France.
  • 2014 Stop on collections - The engraved work of Mario Avati. June 7 - September 7. Center for Engraving and Print, La Louvière, Belgium.
  • 2014 Mario Avati works. April 17 - September 28. MUDO - Musée de l'Oise, Beauvais, France.
  • 2014 Mario Avati - L'art De La Manière. February 20 - March 29. Galerie Documents 15, Paris, France.
  • 2012 Mario Avati works, Museum of the Biellese Territory, Biella, Italy.
  • 2011 Mario Avati works. September 10 - September 29. Galleria Sant'Angelo, Biella, Italy.
  • 2010 Avati. February 21. Galerie Jonas, Cortaillod, Switzerland.
  • 2004 Letters to Anselmo by Mario Avati. September 18 - November 13. Panizzi Library, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • 2002 Mario Avati. April 13 - May 12. Garden room of the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • 1996 Landscapes. December. Sant'Ilario Library, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • 1993 Characters. June. Rubiera Library, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
  • 1989 Animals. Cavriago, Italy.
  • 1973 Fruit. Museum of the Risorgimento, Turin, Italy.
  • 1971 Mario Avati works. 15 - 28 October. Galerie Lubin, Angoulême, France.
  • 1965 Mario Avati opera. Galleria di Paul Proute. Paris, France.
  • 1963 Avati. February 8 - March 2. Galerie Sagot - Le Garrec, Paris, France.
  • 1962 Mario Avati works. Cabinet of Prints of the Uffizi, Florence, Italy.
  • 1959 Mario Avati. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England.
  • 1958 Avati. January. MoMA, New York, USA.