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Mario Prassinos

An exhibition of works by the great Greek painter and printmaker Mario Prassinos will open at the Hambis Municipal Printmaking Museum in Nicosia on Monday 15 April at 18:30. 

The exhibition will be opened by the Deputy Minister of Culture, Dr Vasiliki Kassianidou. The Mayor of Nicosia, Mr. Konstantinos Yiorkatzis, will address the event.

This is the first time that the printmaking work of this acclaimed Greek artist is exhibited in Cyprus in its entirety.

The opening will be accompanied by a guided tour of the exhibition by the curator Manos Stefanidis, Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens. A welcome address will be given by George Kostopoulos, publisher and art collector.

Even though Mario Prassinos is a leading figure of the Greek artistic diaspora, he is little known in our country. He worked alongside the founders of Surrealism in his youth, he illustrated classic books of the French avant-garde, of which he was a pioneering printmaker, he worked in the theatre as a key collaborator of Charles Dullin and Jean Vilar, he created unique tapestries, and he wrote texts that are both poetic and enigmatic.

Mario Prassions represents an entire artistic era and a variety of equally significant art forms. His first solo exhibition in 1939 at the Billiet-Worms gallery was introduced by René Char and seen by his distinguished friends Breton, Eluard, Duchamp, Man Ray, Benjamin Péret, Max Ernst, Dali, Arp, etc.

From 1942 he collaborated with Raymond Queneau and the NRF publications. During the war he also met Camus, Sartre, Bachelard and Michel Gallimard. In 1947 he designed the costumes for a play by Paul Claudel, staged by Jean Vilar at the Avignon Festival. In 1951 he made his first tapestries and started exhibiting regularly at the Galerie de France. In 1966 he made his first appearance in Greece at the Merlin Gallery and in 1973 and 1978 his work was shown at the Athens Art Gallery, the French Institute of Athens, Medusa, Titanium, etc.

Prassinos was an admirer of the magical dimension of images, of the dramatic dialogue between light and shadow, and treated painting as the most archetypal form of writing. For him, art was always the amalgam of knowledge and insight.