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 Endre Szasz  (1926 - 2003)

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Lived/Active: Ontario/California / Hungary      Known for: surreal portrait and figure painting, tapestry design

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
Mystical Old Couple with Cat - egg tempera on board, 24" X 28", signed and dated 1979.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Endre Szasz was a painter, illustrator, graphic artist, printmaker, muralist and ceramics decorator who was born in Csikszereda, Hungary.  He subsequently lived in Toronto, Canada, (1970 to 1974) and then Los Angeles, California.  He returned to Hungary in 1982, where he later died in the town of Várda.
 
His mediums were oil, acrylic, tempera, pencil, ink, charcoal, monotype, drypoint, lithography, etching, aquatint, mixed mediums, felt tip pen, posters, books and porcelain.  His subjects were portraits of imaginary people, fantasy, mystical figures and faces.  His styles were surrealist and symbolist.  He described himself as a “Folk Surrealist” .
 
One of his most famous works is a series of paintings he did in the late 1960’s for a calendar, depicting 12 women, each representing a virtue or vice.  Animal heads perch on each woman’s head symbolizing the trait portrayed, for example, the lion for courage.
 
He studied at the University of Fine Art in Budapest.  He worked as an illustrator from the 1940’s to the late 1960’s.  He illustrated several hundred books including those of Chekhov, Gorky, Emily Bronte, Sandor Weores and Imre Madach.  In 1959, he won the book illustrators' gold medal at the Leipzig Fair.   His etchings for Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat were included in the 1964 British Museum exhibition titled, “The Thirty Most Beautiful Books Of The Twentieth Century”.
 
His works have been exhibited in many museums including; the British Museum (London), the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City), Auschwitz Museum (Poland),and the Hungarian National Gallery (Budapest). He has also exhibited in Madrid, Copenhagen, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Oslo, Johannesburg, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Budapest, Amman (Jordan) and Tokyo.
 
His works are in many private collections.  The public collections include the Museum of Bruno (Czech Republic); the Museum of Auschwitz (Poland) and the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City).  His work as a muralist can be viewed at the Budapest Hilton.
 
There have been at least 3 television specials about him, one in Hungary and two in Canada by the CBC.  In addition he was interviewed by Harry Reasoner on the CBS show “60 Minutes”.

He is listed in The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar, published by Westbridge Publications Ltd. (4 volumes) and in E.Benezit (1999) published by Grund.
 

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke

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