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Nassos Daphnis

b. 1914 – d. 2010

Nassos Daphnis (1914-2010) was a Greek-born American painter and sculptor recognized for his mastery of geometric abstraction and his evolution into what became known as hard-edge painting. In the late 1950s, Daphnis developed his color-plane theory to liberate color from the restriction of form. In doing so, he used multiple planes of solid color to create the illusion of depth, space, and movement amid smooth, uninterrupted surface textures. The interplay of Daphnis’ carefully chosen palette and dynamic shapes results in a vibrating, tension-ridden energy that allows color to be the primary element of the work, unconstrained by line or form. Critical reception of his exhibitions, including a breakthrough solo show with Leo Castelli in 1959, praised Daphnis as being both of the moment and ahead of the next; he remained outside recognized schools and moved fluidly among emerging styles.

Daphnis’ work was represented by long-time friend and iconic dealer Leo Castelli for forty years. Major institutional exhibitions include six editions of the Whitney Annual (1959–67), 64th Annual American Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (1961) and Geometric Abstraction in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1962). In 1977 he received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was later the recipient of the Francis J. Greenburger Foundation Award (1986) and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award (1986). His work is included in the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Baltimore Museum, Baltimore, MD; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece.

“The important thing for me was to place the color in its proper plane, which I feel is the only way that a color can exist.”

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Exhibitions

Transmitting Waves - September 12-November 10, 2018 - Exhibition Views

Transmitting Waves Series

American Pioneers, A Tribute to Nassos Daphnis - February 23-April 15, 2017 - Installation Views

Minimalist Period - Works Featured in American Pioneers Exhibition

Pixel Fields - September 16 - October 25, 2015 - Exhibition Views

Pixel Field Works

Armory Show 2017: are site specific works the remedy against art fairs’ monotony?

The Armory Show returned to New York this past week with a new director, a new design and renewed sense of purpose. Read more here

Artsy: At The Armory Show, Modern Dealers Up Their Game

Pier 92 has historically been the quieter of The Armory Show’s two piers on Manhattan’s west side. Devoted to post-war and modern art from 2009 until last year, it garnered less fervor and foot traffic than its flashier contemporary counterpart…

ODD: ‘Ballet Mecanique’

Inspired by the avant-garde experimental film, ‘Ballet Mecanique,’ released in 1924 by french artist, Fernand Léger, the show revolves around the relationship between nature and machine. “Modern-day living contains a machine-like rhythm: maximized efficiency with production-based values.” — Richard Taittinger Gallery ‘Ballet Mecanique’ forces…

Whitewall: “Ballet Mécanique” Dances between the Natural and the Artificial

An exhibition taking inspiration from Fernand Léger‘s 1924 film Ballet Mécaniqueopened last week at Richard Taittinger gallery in New York. The show explores the intersection of nature and machine in artistic practices, including works by artists like Gregor Hildebrandt, Wim Delvoye, Nassos Daphnis, Mark Hagen,…

ARTSY: Richard Taittinger Gallery: Ballet Mécanique

Modern-day living contains a machine-like rhythm: maximized efficiency with production-based values. A groundbreaking experimental film released in 1924 by French artist Fernand Léger, Ballet Mécanique, expressed concern for an increasingly automated society. Like this cinematic study of the dance between…

The Lo-Down: Happening This Weekend

Some of the things happening on the Lower East Side This Weekend: –The bluesy retro rock band, Peoples Blues of Richmond, plays Bowery Ballroom tonight at 9 p.m. $18. –New York-based guitarist Yonatan Gat has an early gig at Mercury…

Time Out New York: Nassos Daphnis

A Greek-American artist who showed with the iconic Leo Castello Gallery for nearly 40 years, Nassos Daphnis was best known for hard-edged canvases, painted in black, white, and primary colors. In 1985, at age 71, he started using digital graphics…

Elephant: Nassos Daphnis: Pixel Fields at Richard Taittinger Gallery

We have a pretty good idea of the ‘Post-Internet’ aesthetic by now, quick recognise the smoothed-out depiction of a reality that is ever so slightly ‘other’ — perhaps the colours pop a little too much or the movement is still…

Wallpaper*: Future Proof: Richard Taittinger Shows the Prescient Work of Nassos Daphnis

While the late 20th century artist Nassos Daphnis was celebrated in his day – by no less than the stellar dealer Leo Castelli, who feted him with a stunning 17 solo shows – his oeuvre has fallen into the shadows, so to…

Observer: 10 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before September 18

Opening: “Nassos Daphnis: Pixel Fields” at Richard Taittinger Gallery A Greek-American artist who showed with the celebrated Leo Castelli Gallery for 30 years, Nassos Daphnis was known for his hard-edged abstractions. In the late-1980s he started using computer generated graphics…

Neoillusion: Nassos Daphnis Estate to be Represented by Richard Taittinger Gallery

Artnews broke the story of Richard Taittinger taking on the representation of Greek-American painter Nassos Daphnis on August 7th, but the story runs much deeper than the news shares. Speaking to Richard in the office of his six month old…

Artnet: Nassos Daphnis’ Vibrant Digital Landscapes Dazzle at Richard Taittinger

With the fall season just around the corner there’s a serious list of not-to-miss exhibitions. One is by the late painter Nassos Daphnis, who has a compelling solo show with Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York’s Lower East Side. Daphnis,…

Announcing the representation of Nassos Daphnis

Richard Taittinger Gallery is pleased to announce the exclusive representation of the Estate of Nassos Daphnis (1914–2010). Daphnis was a Greek-born American painter and sculptor recognized for his mastery of geometric abstraction and his evolution into what became known as…

ArtNews: Richard Taittinger Gallery Now Reps Nassos Daphnis Estate, Plans Show

The Lower East Side’s Richard Taittinger Gallery announced that it now exclusively represents the estate of Nassos Daphnis (1914–2010). The late Greek-American painter and sculptor, whose work in color theory and geometric abstraction placed him in the hard-edge school, was…