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Francis de Erdely
1904-1959

Theme/Style – Modernism, figurative art, still lifes, Abstraction

Media – Oils, watercolors, charcoal, graphite and pastel drawings

Artistic Focus – De Erdely’s works are considered a masterful extension of a humanistic tradition that has its roots in ancient Greece, Rome and the Italian Renaissance. His early volumetric treatment of images gave way over the years, to a style that uses flat shapes and the angularity of Cubism to simplify its subject matter.

Career Highlights –

• Born in Budapest, Hungary, Francis de Erdely studied art in his native city, as well as in Madrid and Paris, and began his career in Europe. But his depictions of the atrocities he witnessed there in the 1930s angered the Gestapo, forcing him to flee.
• After living for a time in New York and Detroit, de Erdely settled in Los Angeles around 1944. He continued to use his work to document the times in which he lived – creating respectful, yet mournful, images of blacks and Mexicans living in Los Angeles, and works that decried the impact of technology on man, the loss of democratic rights to Communism, and the ensnaring of individuals in a 9-to-5 routine.
• De Erdely taught art at the University of Southern California, the Pasadena Art Museum School and the Jepson Art Institute – and in doing so, strongly influenced a new generation of Southern California artists.

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