30 June 2016
Red Alpilles, 1978, Aquatint, etching and engraving on copper, 57 x 76 cm.,
FNAC 35371, Centre National des Arts Plastiques
In 1951, Mario Prassinos and his wife Yollande moved to Eygalières in the south of Avignon. The immovable model he encountered every time he stepped out of the house, this self-tattooed hill took Prassinos under his spell. The struggle he experienced as he worked on the hill ink drawings contained both an inner conversation and questioning for Prassinos, culminating in the striking Alpilles series that, at times, attained a calligraphic nature with the artist’s brush dipped in ink.
Alpilles, 5 July 1972, Chinese ink on Arches vellum, 100 x 150 cm.,
FNAC 35288, Centre National des Arts Plastiques
“I made the blind, the deaf, and the mute speak. I covered it with images. Our relationship grew closer with each passing year. Each chaos became a battlefield between its obsessive spectacle and my zeal for giving it life. Each one of its fissures, shrubs that grew over the years, the tears that became imperceptibly deeper were points and runs, ink and paper, and the hill became an immense drawing of mine. Of my own.” (1983)
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.
Among the most interesting themes in the oeuvre of Prassinos are cypresses, trees, and Turkish landscapes. The cypress woods in Üsküdar he saw every time he stepped out on the terrace of their house in İstanbul or the trees in Petits Champs must have been strong images of childhood for Prassinos.
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