Antoine Malliarakis Mayo (French/Greek, 1905-1990)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LOS ANGELES
Antoine Malliarakis Mayo (French/Greek, 1905-1990)

Femme et masque

Details
Antoine Malliarakis Mayo (French/Greek, 1905-1990)
Femme et masque
stamped with the artist's signature ‘mayo’ (lower right); stamped with the artist's signature three times ‘mayo’ (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
18 1/8 x 14 7/8 in. (46 x 38cm.)
Painted circa 1960s
Provenance
The artist’s estate; sale, Le Mouel, Paris, 2003, lot 266.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay


Christie’s is pleased to present two stunning works from Egyptian-born Antoine Malliarakis, a surrealist painter who had built a reputable art-making style upon moving to Paris in his late teens. There, he had met several surrealist painters including Man Ray, Desnos, Picabia and Foujita who had created a foundation for him to evolve and adapt artistically. Composition Surrealiste is a beautifully delicate piece from his time working at his studio in Paris following various group shows. His surrealist compositions sparked primarily from his time studying architecture in Paris, which paved a way for him to meet the aforementioned artists. The clean and balanced structure which Mayo has brought to life stands firmly against a blue sky backdrop, setting a light tone for the overall composition.

Mayo first exhibited his work at the Galerie Quatre Chemins with De Chirico, and the same gallery also hosted his first solo exhibition. In Femme et Masque, Mayo takes a more figurative approach towards his composition, depicting a woman who hides cautiously behind a floating mask. The red and pink brushwork that takes over the canvas merges the setting with the woman’s skin. Mayo’s skilful ability and the ease at which he constructs his subjects speaks clearly in the two presented works.

During the economic crisis of France, Mayo returned to Cairo to continue on his craft. He had contributed to Le Grand Jeu magazine and entered the French cinema industry upon his return, which saw a long-spanning costume and set design career of around 20 years. In the mid-sixties, he decided to leave cinema to focus on his paintings, of which he was making a good living from alone. The Centre Cultural Francais de Rome exhibited a retrospective of his works in 1983.

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