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 Antoine Malliarakis Mayo  (1905 - 1990)

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Lived/Active: Greece/France/Italy/Egypt      Known for: modernist painting-portrait, still-life and historic ruins

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Biography from Papillon Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Antoine Mayo was born in 1905 in Port Saïd, Egypt.  His father was Greek and his mother was French.  He moved to Paris in 1924 and met Man Ray, Desnos, Tzara, and Salmon in Montparnasse.  In 1927, René Crevel introduced him to André Breton, leader of Surrealism*, but Mayo had no interest in participating in a collaborative movement.  Two years later in 1929, Mayo exhibited with Chirico at the Galerie des Quatre Chemins.

During the 1934 economic crisis in France, Mayo returned to Egypt where he continued to work.  He eventually moved back to France.  Mayo spent the six years of French occupation in Cannes with Prévert; he designed theatre costumes among other work. 

At the end of the war, Mayo continued to develop his oeuvre painting of expressionistic* works of realistic images as well as still lifes and images of fishes and bottles.  Mayo traveled extensively in Greece and Spain where he discovered luminescent, iridescent colors and the importance of light.

In 1966, Mayo moved his soon-to-be demolished Paris studio to Rome at Via Magutta. Following this move, Mayo began a new body of work. He painted historic ruins from antiquity.  This period of Mayo's work is known as "Période Romaine."

In 1983 the Centre Cultural Français de Rome exhibited a retrospective of Mayo's work, including the recent images of historic ruins.  In 1985 Mayo returned to France. He received the Grade de Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Mayo died in 1990 in France on his houseboat at Seine Port.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

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