Exhibition of János Mattis Teutsch, 2021
Exhibition: June 12 – July 30
Venue: Virág Judit Gallery
János Mattis Teutsch was born in 1884 in Brasov, Transylvania, where he spent a significant part of his life and taught at the local technical school for the timber industry. Almost without exception he made his paintings, graphic works, and sculptures at home, mostly in complete artistic and intellectual isolation. Despite the apparent seclusion of his life and work, Mattis Teutsch made outstanding contributions to the European Avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s. His works in each artistic period defined the program of Modernist exhibition venues in Western and Eastern Europe and the layout of many Avant-garde journals. He turned up in Munich, Paris or Berlin, yet remained faithful to his much-beloved city: almost every year in his active career he organized a solo exhibition of his latest works in Brasov.
Mattis Teutsch’s work can be divided into a number of artistic periods that can well be distinguished from each other on sight, while his enormous oeuvre is not heterogeneous at all in terms of the underlying theoretical and ideological content. The vibrant landscapes of the 1910s, the Post-First World War Soul Flowers turning into total abstraction, the monumental figural compositions of the late 1920s, and the “constructive realist” genres of the 1940s and 1950s were all created along a coherent artistic program, which Mattis Teutsch has explained in several theoretical writings throughout his life. The basis of his art was always the man, and his goal was to create the “new man”. He reached towards the genre of landscapes, total abstraction, and the forms of Constructivism from this position.
Mattis Teutsch originally graduated as a sculptor, studying in Brasov, Budapest and then in Munich. He turned towards painting and graphics during his trip to Paris where he learned about the radical changes of the art scene taking place between 1906 and 1908, and became acquainted with Post-Impressionist, Fauve and early Cubist artists.6 He matured his distinctive painting style in Brasov during the first half of the 1910s. Through his hometown and his own identity Mattis Teutsch was connected to three different environments: he felt at home in both Hungarian, Romanian and German culture. As a result, in the 1910s and 1920s his works were simultaneously present in the modern art life of all three countries.
Mattis Teutsch’s oeuvre is of European rank: a logical and well-structured work by a technically skilled, socially committed, philosophical artist. He drew inspiration from the ancient source of man and nature’s coexistence. The creation of his works was as much defined by the discovery of the beech forests of the mountains surrounding his hometown as by the observation of contemporary art trends
With the processing and presentation of Miklós Éber’s collection, there is now another opportunity to familiarise oneself with the oeuvre of Mattis Teutsch even more fully.