Amrita Sher-Gil was a Hungarian-Indian painter best remembered as a pioneer of modern Indian art. Widely regarded as one of the early-20th century's greatest avant-garde women artists, Sher-Gil's work has influenced several Indian artists like Arpita Singh and Sayed Haider Raza. Her life and career inspired the 1969 documentary film Amrita Sher-Gil which was directed by Bhagwan Das Garga.
Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely pioneered the Op Art movement, using geometric angles and depth in works such as Vega-Nor. He initially worked as a graphic artist in advertising agencies and then created masterpieces influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. His work Zebra remains one of his best-known pieces.
Gyula Halász, or Brassaï, derived his pseudonym from the city of his birth, Brassó, then in Hungary. Later, he moved to Paris, where he began his career as a photographer. He published his works in volumes such as Paris de nuit. He was also a sculptor and a poet.
Known as an eccentric thinker, Wolfgang von Kempelen is best remembered for his automatic chess-playing machine The Turk and his speaking machine. The Turk eventually turned out to be a hoax, designed by Kempelen to impress Maria Theresa, the Austrian Empress, and had human chess players operating it.
Born into an affluent and academic Hungarian Jewish family, Eva Zeisel was initially interested in painting and learned the art of ceramics to support her painting career. She eventually turned out to be a celebrated industrial designer who used ceramics to create useful things such as tableware and candleholders.
Renowned Hungarian sculptor Amerigo Tot was also a talented actor. Best known to international audiences for his role in The Godfather Part II, he spent most of his life in Rome, a city he had fled to during the rise of the Nazis. His ceramic works usually showcased abstract and mythological figures.
Known for her signature style of art that resembles burned negatives or infrared images, Hungarian artist Gyorgy Kepes has also taught visual art at MIT. His book on design education, Language of Vision, was once a staple textbook for art colleges. He had also turned to filmmaking for a while.
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Inspired by his older war photographer brother Robert Capa’s photos of the Spanish Civil War, Cornell Capa later became a staff photographer for Life magazine. He also joined Magnum Photos, co-founded by his brother. His camera captured many luminaries, such as JFK, Armando Reverón, and Clark Gable.
Austrian portrait painter Friedrich von Amerling was a favorite of the Viennese aristocrats. The court painter of Austro-Hungarian king Franz Josef, he was known for his skilled use of colors. He was well-traveled and had been married four times. He had managed to acquire the Gumpendorf Castle, too.
Born in Austria-Hungary, or present-day Romania, celebrated sculptor Zoltan Kemeny became the only Hungarian to score a win at the Venice Biennale. Trained in carpentry and architecture, he also worked as a fashion designer, before settling in Switzerland, where he became popular for his metal reliefs.
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While he initially wished to be an artist and was a talented painter, Zoltán Huszárik later ended up being one of Hungary’s leading filmmakers. Known for films such as Sinbad and Elégia, he was especially fond of experimental short films. He is also known as the father of actor Kata Huszárik.
Known for his memorial statues, Hungarian Neoclassical sculptor János Fadrusz was born into poverty and initially trained as a locksmith. A woodcarving workshop and, later, a grant to Vienna changed his life. His best-known works include the Christ on the Cross and an equestrian statue of Matthias I.