GREEK ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Watercolor on paper, 15 x 11 inches
Nassos Daphnis was born
in 1914 near Sparta, in the village of Krokeai, and emigrated to the United
States in 1930. While working as a floral assistant in Manhattan, Daphnis was
offered the use of a studio by Michael Lekakis, who had seen some of Daphniss
His early paintings,
based on memories of Greece, were naive in style and characterized by a strong
feeling for color and form. After his return from serving in World War II, he
began to paint surreal landscapes, laying on images of the devastation he had
seen with a palette knife.
In time, his shapes
grew less tortured and his colors brighter. After a 1950 visit to Greece he
experienced the sunlight reflecting off the white houses with such intensity
that it appeared to dissolve everything but shape. Geometric shapes in primary
colors and black and white took over Daphnis's work.
His work continued to lighten further into the 1980s and 90s, and he utilized enamel to obtain the brilliance of his jewel-like palette.