Born in Krokeia, Greece, near Sparta, at age sixteen Daphnis departed for America from Athens, where for the first time he experienced the art of classical Greece and fell under the spell of the perfection and pure geometry of the Parthenon, a unique moment that would remain as a source of inspiration throughout his life. Once in the United States, his early success as a Surrealist painter was interrupted by service in World War II. The Post-War era brought about a biomorphic phase which appeared as a natural outgrowth of his Surrealist period. These works, such as 3-F-51 (1951, The Butler institute of American Art), were purely abstract and predicted the hard-edged surfaces, orderly composition, and exploration of color that would become the essence of Daphnis' work like the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

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