Hugó Scheiber, a prominent figure in modern Hungarian painting, was born in Budapest in 1873 and developed his artistic talents mostly through self-guidance. Early exposure to painting came from his father, the title painter of the Prater, during the family's residence in Vienna. Although he briefly attended the College of Applied Arts in Budapest from 1898 to 1900, he did not complete his studies.
Scheiber served as a soldier in World War I and, until 1914, painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, showcasing influences of Impressionism. By the 1910s, German expressionism left its mark on his style, leading to the creation of a new, stylized world of colors and shapes.
In the 1920s, Herwarth Walden, founder of the Der Sturm gallery and art magazine, recognized Scheiber's talent during a visit to Budapest and invited him to Berlin. This partnership provided financial support and exhibition opportunities. Scheiber's prolific and fast-paced artistic output, primarily on paper and cardboard, resulted in thousands of works. Some remain undiscovered, but over a thousand are known.
His drawings and paintings gained international recognition with exhibitions in London and New York, including participation in the Brooklyn Museum's Modern Art exhibition in 1926. In 1933, he joined the Roman exhibition of the Futurists at Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's invitation, where Marinetti acknowledged him as one of the most important contemporary painters.
Scheiber faced constant existential challenges, often selling his works for minimal sums. He survived the Holocaust in the Budapest ghetto, but his health suffered. In 1949, the Association of Fine Artists rejected his membership application. He passed away in obscurity in 1950, with his grave located in the Jewish cemetery on Kozma Street.
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