Georg Mayer-Marton

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Georg Mayer-Marton (3 June 1897 – 8 August 1960) was a Hungarian Jewish artist who was a significant figure in Viennese art between the First and Second World Wars,[1] working in oil, watercolour and graphics. Following his forced emigration to England in 1938, he continued to paint in watercolour and oil. He pioneered the technique of Byzantine mosaic in the UK.

Biography[edit]

Mayer-Marton was born in Győr, Hungary in 1897, and grew up during the final years of Austro-Hungary. He served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War. From 1919 to 1924 he studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. He settled in Vienna, and in 1927 became Secretary, later Vice-President, of the leading progressive society of Viennese artists, the Hagenbund. In 1928 he provided illustrations in the Chinese style for "Der Kreidekreis" ("the Circle of Chalk") by Klabund and submitted paintings to the art competitions at the 1928 Summer Olympics, but did not win a medal.

In 1938 following the Anschluss of Austria and the enactment of Hitler’s Nuremberg laws, Mayer-Marton and his wife fled to England. In 1940, during the London Blitz, his studio home in St John's Wood was burnt by an incendiary bomb. The majority of his life's work and personal possessions was destroyed. He was not in a position to paint in oil again until 1948. Mayer-Marton's parents had remained in Gyor and were eventually deported and killed. When, in 1945, Mayer-Marton learned of their deaths he painted the work Women with Boulders, showing two figures in a bleak rock-strewn landscape.[2]

In 1952, Mayer-Marton took up the post of Senior Lecturer in the department of painting at the Liverpool College of Art. He executed a number of mosaic commissions from the Roman Catholic Church, decorating schools and churches in the North West of England. The Roman Catholic church of Holy Rosary in Fitton Hill, Oldham, opened in 1955, contains a significant mosaic.[3] A mosaic of the Pentecost was moved from the Church of the Holy Ghost, Netherton, when it was demolished in 1989 and installed in the Chapel of Unity in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Mayer-Marton died from leukaemia in Liverpool in August 1960, leaving several of his mosaic designs unfinished.

Exhibitions[edit]

(Selected)

  • Memorial Exhibition, 1960, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1976
  • Hagenbund, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, 1978
  • Die uns verließen, Österreichische Galerie, Vienna, 1980
  • Retrospective, Österreichische Galerie, Vienna 1986
  • Art in Exile, Berlin, London, Vienna, 1985/86
  • Centenary Exhibition, Györ, 1997
  • "Unspeakable” - Imperial War Museum, London, 2008
  • Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain c 1933 – 45, Ben Uri Gallery London, 2009
  • Galerie bei der Oper, Vienna, 2014
  • Hagenbund, Unteres Belvedere, Vienna, 2014-15

Bibliography[edit]

  • Austrian National Gallery - Georg Mayer-Marton Retrospective Catalogue, 1986
  • “The Hagenbund - The Lost Modernists” Oesterreichische Galerie, 1993
  • George Mayer-Marton Memorial Exhibition Catalogue, 1997
  • Georg Mayer-Márton, Galerie bei der Oper, Exhibition Catalogue, Vienna 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ Regine Schmidt, Catalogue to the Retrospective of G Mayer-Marton, 1897 - 1960 Austrian National Gallery; Unteres Schloß Belvedere, Wien, 19. November bis 21. December 1986
  2. ^ Jessica Talarico & Gemma Lawrence. "Artists' Responses To The Holocaust". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Catherine Pepinster (26 February 2017). "Church closure threatens masterpiece by Jewish artist who fled Nazis". The Observer. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 

External links[edit]