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Vilmos Huszar

Le masque, circa 1920

19.68 x 15.75 inch

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Vilmos Huszar

Vilmos Huszar

Biography of Vilmos Huszar ( 1884-1960 )

Vilmos Huszár was a Hungarian painter, designer, graphic designer and interior decorator. He was born in Budapest on January 5, 1884.  

After his studies at the Applied Arts School of Budapest and the Hollosy studio of Munich, Vilmos Huszár established himself in the Netherlands in 1905. There, he created his first works emphased by the realistic movement but also by the admiration he had for Vincent van Gogh. 

Afterwards, he evolved towards Nabi’s art favourising flat tints and simplified forms mixed with obvious futurist and symbolist allusions. Over these years, he primarily painted portraits for the High Society and designed his first stained-glass windows. His palette became simpler with the influence of Londonian and Parisian avant-garde artists.  

In 1917, he met Bart van der Leck who deeply left his mark on him. He then chose to follow the aesthetic and artistic principles of neoplasticism. During this period, his paintings were only made by colored surfaces and geometrical forms placed in a bidimensional space. This commitment gave birth to the De Stijl movement whose Vilmos Huszár was one of the founders.  

Indeed, Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg created with Vilmos Huszár the De Stijlmovement which combined every field in art, from painting to architecture by way of sculpture, graphic design, cinema and design. He was one of the most high ranking and avant-gardiste european movement at the beginning of the XXth century. Those artists refused every naturalist form and cut back their compositions to horizontal and vertical elements. Their palette is composed of primary colors (blue, red, yellow) additionned to black and white. 

In association with Theo van Doesburg, Vilmos Huszár founded the De Stijl magazine and devised the cover of the first magazine issue. This palate for graphic design was significant during his whole career, attentive to apply his artistic research in everyday life. He carried out numerous typographic and graphic design works, particularly for the tobacco firm Miss Blanche

In 1923, he left the De Stijlmovement and diverted of the neoplasticist orthodoxy to came back to a more figurative painting. " The  Mask " falls under this figurative period even though we encounter the special tones and the geometry inherited from the De Stijlmovement. This work also highlights the fundamental interest of Huszár for spatial depth and bidimensionality. The Centre Pompidou owns a reproduction relative to this artistic period, « Fleurs » (1922). 

Until the beginning of the WWII, he worked in industrial and trade graphic design in Hierden, a little city in the Netherlands. The following years appointed a dedicated time to the painting of the neighbouring landscape in a naturalist style. Until his death in 1960, he focused himself on the search of a pure and objectif language. 

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