Offered by Galerie Meier
Old master and modern paintings
Tempera on cardboard
Size: 30 x 20 cm
Born in 1873 in Budapest, Hugo Scheiber moved with his family to Vienna at the age of eight, where he worked alongside his father as a sign painter in the theatre. At the age of fifteen he returned to his home town and began to attend the School of Industrial Design and the School of Decorative Arts. In the early 1900s, he painted in a post-impressionist style. It was not until around 1910 that he turned his attention to German expressionism and futurism. In the memoirs of the composer Paul Arma, Scheiber is described as "almost self-taught, almost illiterate, [...] a kind of primitive genius, a force of nature [...], a virtuoso by instinct". In 1915, he met Filippo Tommaso Marinetti who invited him to join the Futurist movement. In 1921, with the support of Lajos Kassák, he exhibited with his friend Béla Kádár in Berlin at Max Hevesi. This event gave him his first recognition and the money to continue his activity. At that time he was fascinated by the images of metropolitan life, painting the interiors of cafés, theatres, cabarets and circuses that were frequented by the socialites. Kassák's letter of recommendation led him to the gallery of Herwarth Walden, who took a keen interest in his expressive portraits, which - along with other works - were regularly reproduced in his magazine from 1924. His compositions were also exhibited in the gallery during the solo exhibitions of 1924, 1925 and 1927. He also participated in group exhibitions until 1928.
Thanks to his success in Berlin, he began to exhibit in London (Rehearsal Theatre, Popler Town Hall) and New York (Brooklyn Museum, Gallery Anderson, Little Reviev), invited by Katherine Dreier's Société Anonyme. In the 1930s, his exhibitions travelled as far as La Paz. In 1933, invited by Marinetti, Scheiber participated in the great exhibition of the Futurists in Rome. In the last years of his life, he presented his futuro-expressionist works at the National Salon and at the Ernst Museum in Budapest. After the war, like his friend Kádár, he lived in poverty and oblivion until his death in 1950.