Abstract

Ferenc Martyn (1899 – 1986)

  • Artist
    Ferenc Martyn
  • Title
    Abstract
  • Date
    N.D.
  • Dimensions
    40 × 29.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Bequest of Mrs. Sylivia Cooke-Collis, 1973
Description

Ferenc Martyn was a Hungarian born artist and sculptor whose ancestors had emigrated from Galway at the beginning of the nineteenth century to become soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After fighting on the Italian front during World War I, Martyn spent many years in Paris before returning to Hungary in 1940. In Paris he joined the exhibiting group Abstraction-Création which had been founded in 1931 by Georges Vantongerloo, Jean Hélion, and Auguste Herbin. A loose grouping of international artists unified by their promotion of abstract art, Abstraction-Création grew to have over four hundred members including the Irish artists Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone.

On his return to Hungary Martyn was recognised as one of the first native artists to create non-figurative art. As well as creating abstract works, he was an accomplished illustrator who produced images for texts by Mallarmé, Flaubert and Joyce. A suite of his illustrations for Joyce’s Ulysses are in the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and he is also represented in the collection of the National Gallery, Budapest.

This work belonged to Sylvia Cooke-Collis (1900–73), the Cork born painter who was a student and friend of Mainie Jellett.

Written by Riann Coulter

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