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Nassos Daphnis (1914-2010) 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 of painting. Daphnis drew on his sensitivity to color and his keen understanding of nature's geometry to develop a precise, hard-edged painting style that harked back to Mondrian and looked forward to minimalism. Its dynamism depended on the tense juxtapositions of primary colors arranged in rectangles, squares and curved lines to create what he called vibrations. At a time when Abstract Expressionism placed a premium on psychological intensity and spontaneous mark-making, he coolly arranged color in precise, controlled patterns on the canvas. In his color-plane theory, black commanded a forward position, while blue, red, and yellow progressively receded toward white, which represented infinity.

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