31 May 2016
Mario Prassinos, who was born in Istanbul into a Greek-Ottoman family and began his artistic career in Paris, among the 20th century avant-gardes. Here’s a brief look at the life of the artist!
Born into an artistic family of Greek-Italian origin in Pera, İstanbul in 1916, Mario Prassinos moved to Nanterre, France with his family when he was six years old. Surrealism was the popular art movement in Europe during his youth. Although he never received an academic art education, he continued to express his dreams in a Surrealist style.
Gravitating towards collective works after 1945, Prassinos spent the 1940s and 50s working on book illustrations and designing stage sets and costumes for the theatre. In the 1950s and 60s, he gained more individual experience amidst nature in the South of France and the island of Spetses, Greece. In the 1970s and 80s; however, he focused on the “Turkish Landscapes” and “Trees” series. Having left behind over one hundred and thirty solo exhibitions and produced rather striking and powerful works in different genres and techniques, Prassinos died in 1985 at the age of 69.
Bringing together dreams, nature, and images filtered through recollections, Prassinos’ artistic line is shaped around his memory. For him, painting is a game that contains intricacies and is a means for understanding the world, which leads him to present to viewers an original story woven with strong images. Sometimes, the foothills attain a calligraphic form and drip onto the canvas in ink, whereas at other times, faces are knotted together in his tapestries; his unparalleled black-and-white trees reveal the most straightforward explanation of life itself.
On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Mario Prassinos returned to İstanbul and his place of birth Pera, where his story began, to share, through this exhibition, the many things he took with him in his memories. Mario Prassinos, In Pursuit of an Artist: Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul exhibition took place at Pera Museum between 25 May - 14 August 2016.
About a year ago, Ela was dead for seven minutes. Death had come to her as she was watching her younger brother play gleefully in the sandpit at the park. A sudden flash that washed her world with a burning white light, a merciless roar resembling that of a monster…
I remembered a game as I was waiting in the passenger lounge for the ferry to arrive just a few minutes ago. A game we used to play at home when I was young, in my country that is very far away from here, a relic from the distant past; I don’t even remember how we used to play it. The kind of game that makes me feel a thousand times lonelier than I already am among the crowd waiting to get on the ferry.
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