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Nassos Daphnis.

BUTLER INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN ART The Butler Institute of American Art, located on Wick Avenue in Youngstown, Ohio, United States, was the first museum dedicated exclusively to American Art.[1] Established by local industrialist and philanthropist Joseph G. Butler, Jr.  

For the past forty years Nassos Daphnis' paintings have embodied a seemingly imperturbable equilibrium. Since 1952 his canvases have been subdivided and proportioned with the snap-string precision and compass-wielding flair of a visionary master planner. He has demonstrated his unwavering faith in the power of abstraction to outweigh the minutiae mi·nu·ti·a  
n. pl. mi·nu·ti·ae
A small or trivial detail: "the minutiae of experimental and mathematical procedure" Frederick Turner.
 of everyday life. His paintings are, as were Piet Mondrian's, the pictorial condensations of a search for harmony--for resolutions of real-world irregularities and discontinuities into disciplined configurations whose chromatic chromatic /chro·mat·ic/ (kro-mat´ik)
1. pertaining to color; stainable with dyes.

2. pertaining to chromatin.

1. Relating to color or colors.
 power provides their animating energy. Daphnis' dedication to the ethereal substance of abstraction emerged from landscapes done in the '30s. These were followed in the '40s by fluid fantasies of submarine plantlife, like the better-known examples from his fellow Greek-Americans, Theodoros Stamos Biography
Theodoros Stamos (1922-1997) was one of the original and youngest Abstract Expressionist artists working in New York City in the 1940s and 50s. He studied in 1936 at the American Artists School with Simon Kennedy and Joseph Konzal.
 and William Baziotes William Baziotes (1912 – 1963) was an American painter influenced by Surrealism and was a contributor to Abstract Expressionism.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baziotes began his formal art training in 1933 at the National Academy of Design in New York
. This hydromorphic underworld of sensuous washes evaporated when, after World War II and on the G. I. Bill in Europe, he stood before the Parthenon and was struck by its stark strength and strange flatness in the glare of Aegean sunlight. Beginning with 2-52, 1952 (from then on his paintings would be titled in sequence, in the year of their making), and after subsequent residences in Florence and Paris where he became familiar with Modernist abstraction, his works have had an architectonic ar·chi·tec·ton·ic   also ar·chi·tec·ton·i·cal
1. Of or relating to architecture or design.

2. Having qualities, such as design and structure, that are characteristic of architecture:
 strength, a planar tautness and a chromatic reductiveness that are the products of a determined and continuous internal refinement. Sustained by his faith in a universal physical order he abjured, on his return to this country, gestural nuance or compositional complexity, in favor of the spiritual potential of painting.

Given the hard-edged exactness of his pristine conceptions, it is important to note at his compositions are actually inspired by a Romantic response to the optical effects of color. For Daphnis, surfaces acquire a kind of pulsating volume through the relative densities of primary hues--enhanced in some works by the opposites of black and white. He creates what he calls "planial space" based on a color plane theory in which black moves forward, with blue, red, and yellow progressively receding toward the "infinity" of white. This schematic spectrum has as its spiritual corollary the life span of cosmic energy, which he believes is ever self-renewing. Springing out of darkness, it heats and then mellows with youth and maturity, fading into whiteness before sinking and emerging again through the density of black.

In the late '60s and early '70s Nassos Daphnis participated in the huge City Walls mural project for tall buildings in Manhattan. His star forms and segmented circles appeared to stretch facades as they reigned above traffic, motion, and noise. In 1975 his huge Continuous Painting, comprised of four-pointed stars that optically popped into diamonds or squares, resembled a colossal mosaic with rhythmic momentum and environmental ambitions. In a recent work, 5-92, tilted white discs, anchored by satiny sat·in·y  
Lustrous and smooth like satin. See Synonyms at sleek.

Adj. 1. satiny - having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light; "glossy auburn hair"; "satiny gardenia petals"; "sleek black fur"; "silken
 black holes and suspended in effulgent ef·ful·gent  
Shining brilliantly; resplendent. See Synonyms at bright.

[Latin effulg
 blue fields, seem to hover just barely off-center like "unseen forces bombarding Bombarding is the process of 'pumping' a Cold Cathode Lighting tube (otherwise called Neon Signs). Information
A detailed process of bombarding can be found here, Bombarding.
 the universe."

Daphnis is an independent who has stuck to his own course. Maturing after the American abstract artists of the '30s, persisting during the regency of Abstract Expressionism and preceding the Minimalists by a good ten years, he maintains a devotion to the mysteries of nature in its cosmic dimensions, still working at his peak--but now, ironically, within the scrappy arena of the revivalism revivalism

Reawakening of Christian values and commitment. The spiritual fervour of revival-style preaching, typically performed by itinerant, charismatic preachers before large gatherings, is thought to have a restorative effect on those who have been led away from the
 of Neo-Geo.

Joan Seeman Robinson
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Title Annotation:Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Author:Robinson, Joan Seeman
Publication:Artforum International
Date:Feb 1, 1994
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