Bela de Kristo was an Hungarian artist born in1920. He studied at the University of Vienna and in 1939 began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Budapest. Kristo was involved in several disciplines: he worked on film sets and created the first film club in Hungary. Some of his drawings were published in Hungarian newspapers. After graduation, Bela de Kristo moved Paris, where he organized an exhibition of Hungarian artists in 1947 at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés. When his country was occupied by the Soviet army, he decided to settle in Paris.
Kristo regularly attended the Académie Julian and the Grande Chaumiere. In 1948, he exhibited at the Duncan gallery in 1950, and the Carlton gallery in Cannes. That same year, he was a faithful pillar of the Academy of André Lhote (rue d'Odessa) with whom he shares the theories of Cubism. In 1954, he moved into a studio in the rue Vignon. At that time, many of his drawings and paperboard were published in Paris MATCH and other publications. However, he spends most of his time painting. He later moved to Normandy which he discovered through his friend Fernand Léger, the French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker.
The work of Bela de Kristo is extremely varied. He continued to renew his mode of expression, making models, photomontages, illustrating children's books, and making theater and film sets with his friend Alexandre Trauner. Early in his career, he was influenced by the Russian Constructivists such as Malevich. Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1915. Abstract and austere, constructivist art aimed to reflect modern industrial society and urban space. The movement rejected decorative stylization in favor of the industrial assemblage of materials.
Bela de Kristo was inspired by every day life events. He used abstraction the same way that the Surrealists did but with his approach to cubism he excelled. His work displays a rigorous sensitivity to Cubism loaded with humor and poetry. He remained faithful to Normandy until his death in May 2006.
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