MARIO AVATI ARTIST
Mario Avati was a painter It is Italian engraver of the second half of the twentieth century and among the greatest exponents of the technique of black manner After Yozo Hamaguchi.
Of Italian origins, Mario Avati was born in Monaco on May 27, 1921. While still very young he moved to France, where he first attended the School of Decorative Arts of Nice and subsequently the National Higher School of Fine Arts in Paris, the city in which he will spend most of his life.
He graduated when he was just twenty and already in 1947, thanks also to the influence of the master Edward Joseph Goerg, an icon in the world of engraving and illustration at the time, began to explore the techniques of etching and aquatint engraving.
The following ten years were characterized by experimentation for Mario Avati: in fact, he spent them deepening and refining his knowledge in the field of engraving, gradually approaching the black manner, of which, as early as 1957, he became one of the leading exponents on an international level.
The black manner, 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 in his works he wrote: "Avati's mezzotinto expresses a strange and devastated universe". The black manner of the Italian-French engraver, 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, however, was known to be particularly meticulous, especially as regards 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 the mezzotint was and how fragile the works thus created were.
In 1955 he made four prestigious exhibitions at 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 located in Albuquerque.
In 1965 in the Paul Proute Galleria in Paris one of the most prestigious and vast exhibitions of Mario Avati was held and for the occasion the artist himself sent a small group of friends and loyal customers a special invitation brochure, illustrated by himself in the black manner. From 1969 onwards Mario Avati converted to colour, always using the mezzotinto technique, but with the addition of watercolours.
Throughout his career he has received numerous awards and honors, including the Critics Award of 1957, the gold medal at the first Engraving Biennial in Florence in 1969 and the the Nahed Ojjeh Award of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1997. In addition, he was part of Society of French Painters and Engravers and was a distinguished member of the National Committee of French Engraving (now called the National Press Committee).
Mario Avati died in Paris, the city where he worked and lived for almost all of his life, in 2009.
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