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Tibor Pataky Painter

1901 - 1978

Tibor Pataky Budapest, 1901-1978, Florida About the Artist Tibor Pataky’s story is an interesting one because his personal development as an artist parallels the journey that other artists also took as abstract expressionism came to be the dominant art movement in post war United States. Pataky was born in Hungary in 1901 and received his art training there. In the late twenties he met and fell in love with an American woman in Paris, married her, and moved to her home in Central Florida in 1931. At that time Orlando, where they settled, was filled mostly with orange groves and was not exactly a hotbed of artistic activity. He brought with him the folk-inspired style that he had developed in Hungary and translated it into paintings that reflected the American regionalist school as seen from a Florida perspective. He took up a teaching post at Florida Southern College (while pursuing a master's degree) and supplemented the family income with the sale of oranges from a grove he and his wife owned nearby. Then things started to change. As related in a 2001 article in the Orlando Sentinel, “By the mid-1930s, he had struck up a friendship with Mulford Foster, an artist and horticulturalist who operated a tearoom on Magnolia Avenue in Orlando. In 1935, the pair traveled to Mexico, Pataky in search of new subjects, Foster seeking exotic plant species for import to the States. In the Mexican bullfight, Pataky found a subject well-suited to his style…In his Mexican paintings, Pataky's palette softened into the oranges and ochres of the Mexican countryside. More important, his drawings from this period show increasing fascination with the abstract masses and overlapping forms of that landscape. By 1937, the artist had come under the influence of Milton Avery and the other artists who gathered at Andre Smith's Art Research Studio in Maitland.” By 1952 Pataky came to the realization that he needed to broaden his horizons. He took the momentous decision to travel to Provincetown, MA to study with Hans Hofmann, the German emigre and teacher of New York abstract expressionists, and essentially the leading proponent of the movement. Pataky spent the next six summers in Provincetown, becoming fully committed to abstract expressionism and to the teachings of Hofmann (he even copied Hofmann’s critiques of his paintings onto the back of some of his works). He passed away in 1978. Besides numerous private collections, especially in his native Hungary, Tibor Pataky’s work is held in the collections of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Florida, The Polk Museum at Florida Southern College, and the University of Central Florida Art Gallery. Retrospectives of his work were held at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in 2001 and the Polk Museum in 2013.

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1111 Budapest, Bartók Béla 34.
(Gárdonyi tér)

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