János Mattis-Teutsch

Born 1884, Brassó, Kingdom of Hungary

Died 1960, Braşov, Socialist Republic of Romania


Late 1890s   Attends the German-language Honterus Secondary School.

1901-1903   Studies sculpture at the National Hungarian Royal School for Applied Arts in Budapest. 

1903-1908   Attends the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and then studies in Paris.  His style progresses from Art nouveau to Post-Impressionism and Fauvism during this time, eventually encompassing Der Blaue Reiter ideals as well. 

1908   Returns from France and begins teaching at the State Woodwork School.

1909   Marries Gisella Borsos. 

1910   Replaces János Kupcsay as professor at the State Woodwork School.  Exhibits his first sculptures in a show in Pest, Hungary.  Becomes a member of the Sebastian Hanna Verein artists’ group, associating with Friedrich Miess, Gustáv Kollár, Hans Eder, Gyula Tutschek, Hermann Morres, and Fritz Kimmel.      

1915-19   Publishes linocut drawings in the modern art magazine MA and contributes to joint exhibitions organized by Lajos Kassák.  Exhibitions in Vienna lead him to meet Herwarth Walden and members of Der Sturm.  Mattis-Teutsch eventually alters his style, and is strongly influenced by the abstract nature of Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich’s art. 

1919   After the death of his first wife in 1916, and his subsequent emotional breakdown, Mattis-Teutsch marries his second wife, Marie Conrad.

Mid-1919   Organizes several exhibitions in Transylvania and considers moving to Germany because of the uncertainty of his teaching position’s future.  He ultimately remains in Transylvania and regularly participates in shows.

1920s   Becomes an active participant of the Contimporanual group in Bucharest and Das Ziel in Braşov. 

1924   His works are included in an international exhibition organized by Contimporanul along with other artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Hans Arp, and Paul Klee.    

Late 1920s   Returns to figurative art, which he mixes with his socialist beliefs, creating “socially-aware art.”  Joins the editorial staff of Integral and considers his new style to be a type of “constructive realism.” Mattis-Teutsch, along with many other artists, spends time in Baia Mare, but he never modifies his themes to incorporate the landscape art of the rest of the group, instead choosing to develop his socialist themes.

1933   Mattis-Teutsch’s daughter dies, causing him to stop working until the 1940s.

Post World War II   Because of Soviet occupation and the Communist regime, his works become subject to propaganda attacks.  Mattis-Teutsch attempts to modify his themes through portraits of Joseph Stalin and scenes of workers.