Mario Avati



2 products

Mario Avati Painter

Mario Avati pittore

Mario Avati was an Italian painter and engraver of the second half of the twentieth century and among the greatest exponents of the black manner technique after Yozo Hamaguchi. Of Italian origins, Mario Avati was born in Monaco on 27 May 1921. While still very young he moved to France, where he first attended the School of Decorative Arts in Nice and subsequently the Scuola Nazionale Superiore di Belle Arti in Paris, the city in which he spent most of his life.
He graduated at the early age of twenty and already in 1947, thanks also to the influence of the master Édouard Joseph Goerg, an icon in the world of engraving and illustration, he begins to explore the techniques of etching and aquatint.
The following ten years are characterized by experimentation for Mario Avati: in fact, he spends them deepening and refining his knowledge in the field of engraving, progressively approaching the black manner, of which, already in 1957, he became one of the greatest exponents at an international level.
The black manner, otherwise known as mezzotint, is one of the techniques more complex and sophisticated engravings ever developed, capable of creating 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-French engraver, in fact, is full of surrealism, despite the fact that the subject of his engravings are generally simple still lifes such as fruits, flowers, animals or musical instruments.
The artist, moreover, he is known for being particularly meticulous, especially when it comes to the choice of materials: he used almost exclusively rag paper of the highest quality. Furthermore, Mario Avati took care of the entire lithographic process alone, aware of how delicate mezzotint was and how fragile the works thus created were.
In 1955 he held 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 one of Mario Avati's most prestigious and extensive exhibitions was held in the Paul Proute Gallery in Paris and for the occasion the artist himself sent a special invitation brochure to a small group of friends and loyal customers, illustrated by himself in black style. From 1969 onwards Mario Avati converted to colour, still using the mezzotint technique, but with the addition of watercolours.
Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and honours, including the Premio della criticism of 1957, 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. Furthermore, he was part of the Society of French Painters and Engravers and was an illustrious member of the National Committee of French Engraving (today called the National Committee of the Press).
Mario Avati dies in Paris, the city in which he has worked and lived for almost his entire life, in 2009.



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