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Zoltan Kemeny

(1907—1965)


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Hungarian-born sculptor and designer who became a Swiss citizen in 1957. He was born in Banica (now Băniţa, Romania). He studied in Budapest, 1924–30 (at the School of Decorative Arts until 1927, then at the School of Fine Arts), lived in Paris 1930–40, and then in Marseilles until 1942, when he settled in Zurich. Early in his career he worked mainly as a fashion designer, but in 1946 he began making reliefs on the borderline between painting and sculpture, incorporating many different materials and creating swirling surface rhythms. In 1951 he began making translucent reliefs intended to be set up in front of electric lights, and from the mid-1950s he produced the ‘Relief Images’ for which he became chiefly known. These were metal reliefs into which he incorporated curious agglomerations of industrial metal products and mass-produced articles. He devoted himself entirely to sculpture from 1960 (giving up his fashion jobs) and in his last years received several large commissions. In 1964 he won the main sculpture prize at the Venice Biennale.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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