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Mario Prassinos

In Pursuit of an Artist: Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul

May 25, 2016 – August 14, 2016

The Pera Museum, Meşrutiyet Cad 65, Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


This exhibition is a homecoming of sorts – the art of Mario Prassinos, who was born in Istanbul to a Greek-Italian family in 1916, will return to his birthplace, Pera, Istanbul, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. A large selection of the artist’s works will be featured, ranging from paintings and book illustrations to portraits, engravings and tapestries, like the striking piece ‘Othello’, pictured below.

Prassinos’s family, having lived in Istanbul for many years, fled to exile in France in 1922. It was here, specifically in Paris, that the artist began and developed his artistic practice, learning from the 20th-century avant-garde artists also in Paris. Curated by Seza Sinanlar Uslu, with assistance from Catherine Prassinos and Thierry Rye, the exhibition reveals the striking and unique character of Prassinos and his distinctive style, which shifted from Surrealism to a more realistic approach.

The artist is especially known for his Turkish Landscapes series, which always feature a tree or something resembling a tree. These works were inspired by his childhood memories of life in Constantinople, which he remembered as ‘relatively flat and sprinkled with groups of isolated trees’. He wanted to ‘revisit the image of a horizon cut by a tree, a tree that stands against the light’.


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