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S. Kontha

(b Budapest, April 17, 1904; d Budapest, Jan 26, 1986).

Hungarian painter, illustrator, mosaicist, tapestry designer, stage designer, poster designer, printmaker, sculptor, teacher and administrator. From 1922 to 1929 he studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts (Magyar Kepzőmüvészeti Főiskolá) in Budapest under Gyula Rudnay (1878–1957) and János Vaszary (1867–1939). In the mid-1920s he became acquainted with Béla Uitz’s General Ludd series (1923; Budapest, N.G.) and in Venice he saw the work of such Russian avant-garde artists as Rodchenko and El Lissitzky and such Italian Futurists as Severini. In 1926 in Paris he studied the works of Léger, Braque, Picasso and others in the collection of Léonce Rosenberg. He was also influenced by the art of Brancusi and Joseph Csáky, as well as André Breton’s Manifeste du surréalisme (Paris, 1924). From the outset, Hincz’s work revealed a number of different objectives. Although he experimented with abstraction, the reference to the figure is always present in one form or another. His profound interest in humanity and its social interaction was based on, and motivated by, this interest in the figure. His early paintings are expressionist in mood and are composed of flattened forms in a shallow space in a manner reminiscent of Cubo–Futurist art. Elements of Purism and Surrealism are also present. After World War II he became increasingly preoccupied with realism, political agitprop art and the problems inherent in creating new symbols; a study trip to Korea, China and Vietnam in ...

Article

Athena S. E. Leoussi

(b Istanbul, 30 July (ns 12 Aug) 1916; d Eygalières, nr Avignon, Oct 23, 1985).

French painter, illustrator, stage designer, tapestry designer and writer of Greek descent. He moved to Paris in 1922, registered at the Sorbonne in 1932 and briefly attended the studio of the French painter Clement Serveau (b 1886). Through his father’s literary interests he became acquainted with Surrealism, meeting Paul Eluard, André Breton, Salvador Dalí and others in 1934, and decided to become an artist. From 1932 to 1936 he worked in a Surrealist style, introducing procedures of automatism and formal ambiguities that he retained in his later work. From 1938 to 1947 he painted portraits of women and cats in an Expressionist style before experimenting briefly with abstraction.

In 1951 Prassinos settled in Provence, where he painted landscapes from nature in which he created a personal formal vocabulary of signs inspired in part by Chinese ideograms. After visiting Greece in 1957 he explored his national origins and childhood years in portraits of his grandfather entitled ...