23-D-78, Print, 30″ x 22″

11-57, 1957, Oil on Canvas, 29″ x 19″

#2-A-92, 1992, Oil on Canvas, 19 5/8″ x 25 5/8″

55 1-82A, 21/30, Print, AP, 36″ x 30″

55 17-78, AP, 7/25, Print, 35″ x 35″

A Happy Journey, 1948, Watercolor on Paper, 22″ x 15″

A.B. 23, 1973, AP, Print, 30″ x 30″

PX-9-69, 1969, Enamel on Plexiglass, 30″ x 30″

EME 7-94, 1994, Acrylic on Canvas, 35″ x 35″

Nassos Daphnis

(1914-2010) Nassos Daphnis was born in the village of Krokeai near Sparta. Arriving in New York City in 1930, he found employment in his uncle’s flower shop. Daphnis had been drawing and carving since childhood; his passion for art led to many beatings by the village schoolmaster. In New York, he continued drawing during odd hours until a chance meeting with another florist’s assistant, Michael Lekakis, changed his life. Lekakis offered him the use of his studio and a model for a few days each week. Eventually, Daphnis purchased paints and set up a studio of his own. (The rent was ten dollars a month!) His uncle exclaimed, “Whoever heard of an artist from Krokeai?” His early paintings were based on memories of Greece. Naive in style and characterized by a strong feeling for color and form, a work was eventually sold to William Gratwick. Daphnis would find employment crossbreeding tree peonies on the Gratwick estate for many years. The artist liked to say that he had two real careers, painting and horticulture. Daphnis returned from World War II deeply affected by Europe’s devastation. In a studio he shared with Theodoros Stamos, he began to paint surreal landscapes, laying on images of ruin with a palette knife. In time, his work evolved into biomorphic shapes representing the natural world.  His experience observing nature led him to the following conclusion: “nature works in order to create a form in an orderly fashion.”  This observation along with a stint in the army painting camouflage patterns and a 1950 trip to Greece where the intensity of light reduced all appearances into basic forms led Daphnis to create flat, abstract, geometric paintings. Daphnis has created work that is environmental and presented site specific installations in New York City. His paintings continue to offer viewers a mesmerizing and powerful experience. Daphnis exhibited with Leo Castelli Gallery for over thirty years.

Selected Collections:
Akron Art Institute, Akron, Ohio Albany Mall, Albany, New York
Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Ann Arbor Art Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Baltimore Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
Basil Goulandris Museum, Andros, Greece
Boca Raton Museum or Art, Boca Raton, Florida
Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia
Guggenhiem Museum, New York City
Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC
Ian Vores Museum, Peonia, Athens, Greece
Munson-Willliams-Proctor Museum, Utica, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Pittsburgh Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Providence Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania
Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah
Whitney Museum of Art, New York City