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Nassos Daphnis (born July 23, 1914, Krokeai, Greece – died November 23, 2010, Provincetown, Massachusetts, U.S.) was a Greek born American abstract painter and tree peony breeder. Originally a florist he brought the sensitivity he cultivated in that profession as well as a profound sense of natural geometry to his new discipline, painting.


Monday in Greece
oil on canvas
28 x 34 inches (71.12 x 86.36 cm)

signature, lower right, Nassos Daphnis 38

Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1939

ID Number: RCA1939:8

As a painter Daphnis was considered to have worked in the Hard-edge and Geometric abstraction style looking back towards the opus of Piet Mondrian.[clarification needed] He was categorized as an abstract imagist a term which arose from a 1961 exhibition in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York called American Abstract Expressionists. For many years his artwork was represented by the Leo Castelli Gallery and in then in his later years by the Anita Shapolsky Gallery.

In 1938 he met William H. Gratwick of Linwood Gardens, New York, a prominent breeder of tree peonies. Daphnis eventually became a partner with Gratwick in the business and art of hybridizing tree peonies, creating many beautiful cultivars and naming them after artists and figures in Greek mythology.

External links

New York Times obituary
Nassos Daphnis at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery


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