Erdely Adalbert

Nude 58x71 cm, oil on canvas, second quarter of the 20th century
About work

(Українська) “Оголена” одна з яскравих робіт художника виконана блискуче і дуже експресивно. Вона нагадує нам твори улюбленого художника А.М. Ерделі, Поля Сезанна. Ця картина очищена від усього несуттєвого і мінливого, від тих поверхневих настирливих характеристик, які зазвичай нам нав’язує салонне мистецтво.

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Date of Birth: 1981

In the art space of Ukraine, rich in bright personalities, there are only a few names that have the power of hypnotic influence, both on specialists and on the general public. Among these chosen ones is the name of the Uzhgorod painter, one of the founders of the Transcarpathian school of fine art, Adalbert Mikhailovich Erdeli (1891-1955). The master of landscape and portraiture, still life, due to his courage and “new” color schemes, created extraordinary works, most of which took a worthy place in the expositions of museums in Ukraine and around the world.

A. M. Erdeli was a hereditary intellectual. His father, Mikhail Gryts, worked as a teacher in the village of Klimovitsa. The surname Erdeli (which means “forest country”) was adopted by his father as a subject of Hungary in 1901.

In 1913, while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest under the direction of I. Reves and A. Grunwald, the young artist is already exhibited with the masters of Hungarian painting. The talent of the artist was noticed by the famous Hungarian artists T. Zempleni and K. Ferenczi, who suggested Adelbert Erdeli to work together. Then he improved his skills in Munich. Soon he will become the author of the novels “Dimon” and “Names”, where the cult of love, under the sign of which the artist’s life will take place, will take shape as a philosophical credo. He will also envelop his students with love: A. Kotsku, A. Boretsky, E. Kontratovich, 3. Sholtas, L. Kremnitskaya, F. Seman and others at the schools of Mukachev and Uzhgorod, where, together with I. Bokshay, he will become the founder of art centers.

In 1914, the artist returned from Munich to Uzhgorod. In 1927, Adalbert Mikhailovich Erdeli, together with I.I. Bokshay, teaches at the first specialized art institution throughout Transcarpathian Ukraine – the Uzhgorod public school of drawing. But the artist does not stop painting and constantly exhibits his works in Europe. His success in 1929 in Prague, where 50 paintings were presented, provided the artist with an internship in Paris on a business trip from the Czechoslovak Ministry of Education. A flurry of overwhelming impressions from acquaintance with the work of post-impressionists Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Andre Derain, Amedeo Modigliani and others, unusual plastic tricks, innovative thinking of the “children of Montmartre”, their artistic independence amazed and fundamentally rebuilt the consciousness of an already established artist. Paul Cezanne will remain Erdell’s idol for life.

Having already returned to Uzhgorod forever, his colleagues supported him, having elected in 1931 the chairman of the community of artists in Subcarpathian Russia. In 1939, he initiated the establishment of the Union of Artists of Subcarpathia, dreamed of creating the Academy of Fine Arts in Uzhgorod.

Due to his innate intelligence and European education, Erdely suffered numerous moral humiliation from ignorant communist authorities. He was stripped of his posts and salaries in the institutions of which he was the founder. Despite the fact that in the early 50s, at exhibitions in Kiev and Moscow, interest and respect for the Transcarpathian school of painting, and, accordingly, for A. Erdeli, significantly increased, the artist remains under the pressure of provincial-suffocating ideological supervision. And in 1955, Adalbert Mikhailovich Erdeli died in Uzhgorod.

The work of A. M. Erdeli “Nude”, one of the most striking works of the artist from this cycle, was performed brilliantly and very expressively. The work reminds us of the work of the beloved artist A. M. Erdeli, Paul Cezanne. This painting by A. M. Erdeli is cleansed of everything inconsequential and changeable, of those superficial intrusive characteristics that salon art usually imposes on us.

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