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Who is Julius Podlipny?

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By Gwylym Owen

Julius or Iulius Podlipny (most common renditions of the Slovak: Július Podlipný; Czech: Julius Podlipný; Hungarian: Podlipny Gyula; Romanian: Iuliu Podlipny; April 12, 1898–1991) was an Austro-Hungarian-born Czechoslovak and Romanian artist, best known for his put-on in drawing and his long period as speculative at the Art Lyceum in Timișoara. First standard as a supporter of liberal art during the interwar period, Podlipny was a contributor to the enlightened and socialist magazine Ma, edited by Hungarian critic and supporter Lajos Kassák.

Having adopted a style which echoed Expressionism, he influenced Romanian art mainly as a pedagogue: among the critically venerated contemporary painters to have been inspired by his views is Ștefan Câlția. Podlipny’s widow, Annemarie Podlipny-Hehn, is an art and scholarly critic. Part of her research is dedicated to her husband’s artistic contributions.

Of Slovak origin, but plus honoured in the context of Czech culture, Podlipny was born in Pressburg, Austria-Hungary (today Bratislava, Slovakia). His childhood was marked by two train accidents: the first, at age six, during which he at a loose end his right arm; the second, occurring three years later, killed his father. With his mom Renata and his eight siblings, he wandered through Central Europe, moving with Pressburg and Budapest.

Like many in the protester environment, Podlipny began flirting gone socialism, and played some allowance in the European revolutions of the 1910s. As historian Victor Neumann writes, “his political orientation had been left-wing, and it sometimes slid into the far-off left”. Art critic Pavel Șușară completes the image: young Podlipny was “moved by the pain of others, fascinated by risk and hunted by police”.

During the before 1920s, Podlipny studied at the Hungarian Art Academy, which wise saying him joining the Central European protester art movement. He made his first visits to the Romanian Kingdom, having earned scholarships to attend the Baia Mare School. In 1926, he made Timișoara his enduring residence.

In Timișoara, where he taught draftsmanship, Podlipny led the Free School of Painting previously joining the teaching staff at the Decorative Art School (later restructured as the Art Lyceum). During the similar to period, he was joined with Hungarian-language advocate magazine Ma, published in Vienna by the socialist artiste Kassák. Literary critics Cornel Ungureanu and Paul Cernat note that the links created between Ma and the Bucharest-based magazine Contimporanul, centered on the good relations between their two editors, Kassák and Ion Vinea, may with have keen a drifting group of supporters from Timișoara. Alongside Podlipny, they were ethnic Romanian politico Aurel Buteanu and German poet and anarchist campaigner Robert Reiter, together bearing in mind the Hungarian writers Rodion Markovits and Károly Endre.

At the time, Podlipny’s art was a sample of Romanian Expressionism, focusing especially upon depicting images of suffering, marginality and despair, including portraits of the physically disabled, or landscapes seemingly painted in absolute solitude. Writing in 1931, critic G. Stoienescu sampled two of Podlipny’s characteristic subjects: a society of “crippled pilgrims”, “obsessed by a vision”, huddled in front of their “tin Christ”; and “a traveller and his gentle beasts of burden”, going roughly their matter inside “an unreal world.”

During World War II, while nevertheless residing in Romania, Podlipny elected to become a national of the Slovak Republic. He represented that short-lived divulge at a 1942 propaganda exhibit, attended by officials of the Ion Antonescu regime, where he exhibited charcoal drawings landscapes and rural scenes. He was nevertheless in Timișoara taking into consideration Romania left the Axis Powers and Slovakia disappeared. A visitor of his 1946 exhibit noted: “With his and no-one else arm, the left one, Iuliu Podlipny has produced haunting graphics, where shadows fraternise as soon as the light, and destiny in the same way as man and bearing in mind God.”

After the opening of the Romanian communist regime, and especially in the 1960s and ’70s, Julius Podlipny focused on his appear in as an educator, helping to create a sure and critically respected artistic trend among Banat youth, and creating a bridge in the middle of early enlightened art and postwar tendencies. In the 1950s, he married Annemarie Hehn. The daughter of middle-class Swabian parents, she had been a displaced person during the unqualified stage of the war, before physical employed as an art historian for the Banat Museum. An amateur performer herself, she met her difficult husband through her two sisters, who took drawing lessons from Podlipny. In 2008, she recalled: “following my marriage and through my pretend at the Banat Museum art section, I ‘submerged’ myself in the ground of fine arts, and hence I could more easily bear the communist dictatorship.” One of her two sisters, Ilse Hehn-Guzun, also became a noted artist.

Podlipny contributed significantly to the artistic go forward of his students. According to Neumann, “e was […] a person in the same way as formative knowledge, some of the best-received Romanian artists mammal indebted to his school.” The latter category, Neumann indicates, was primarily illustrated by Ștefan Câlția. Podlipny was with the hypothetical of Roman Cotoșman, Paul Neagu, Dietrich Sayler,Traian Brădean and Constantin Flondor.

Several texts by Annemarie Podlipny-Hehn, including a monograph, deal subsequent to her husband’s ham it up and its context. Discussing these writings, Cornel Ungureanu writes: “To comprehend the Austro-Hungarian empire in the same way as its left-wing movements, to understand the crepuscular art of Central Europe, Mrs. Podlipny shows, is impossible unless we purposefully follow the improvement of esteemed Timoșoarans, among whom the most important one in her studies is still Julius Podlipny.” In 1998, Podlipny was posthumously granted the title of honorary citizen of Timișoara. A street in the city was renamed in his honour.

Podlipny’s style was developed under the distress of Central European currents. Writer Livius Ciocârlie, who was active upon Timișoara’s cultural scene at the same time as Cotoșman and was an acquaintance of Podlipny’s, describes the latter as “an captivating Expressionist”. According to Șușară, Podlipny remains one of Romania’s “most fascinating”, a “typical” character of Mitteleuropa, with “baroque dichotomies” and “Expressionistic paroxysm”.Adrian Maniu, the Expressionist poet and art chronicler, included Podlipny to the great painters under “accursed spells”, as one who moved freely between “genius and insanity”.

Podlipny’s read to art and his views upon life had a sizable impact upon his pupils’ careers. In particular, Neumann writes, the artist made himself known for imposing discipline, and for familiarising teen artists with unclean media techniques. Ștefan Câlția credits Podlipny and Corneliu Baba later having instilled in him a “respect for school” that replaced his initial “rather nonconformist” approach to art training. He after that recalled Podlipny telling his students that “the most important matter we have been unquestionable is the total freedom of expression.” Constantin Flondor, who was Podlipny’s student with 1950 and 1954, remembers living thing influenced by his “simple, clear and unshakable” pronouncements upon artistic matters, such as: “Art requires an abandonment, a self-sacrifice. Taking your place in stomach of a sheet or a canvass which promises the meeting in the middle of a fragment of vine charcoal or a brush and the white surface is a moment charged gone the thrills of genesis. Nothing and no one has the right to pretend to have one who is in the sacred moment of labour.” Livius Ciocârlie with notes that, although Podlipny “spoke a entirely corrupted form of Romanian […], any phrase he had uttered became memorable.”

Ciocârlie, who describes Podlipny as “one-armed, nervous, intransigent, sarcastic”, recounts the artist’s contempt for painting as in contrast to drawing and graphics: “to him, colorists were a finical bunch lacking in energy, incapable of tracing a single line.” According to Șușară, Podlipny and Baba had a common trait, in that they maxim drawing as “fundamental”. Podlipny had a rather tense attachment with Cotoșman, who, in 1966, created the nucleus for an underground protester platform, Grupul Sigma. Neumann notes that this might not have been a singular situation, and that Podlipny may have likely been seen as “too demanding” by several supplementary of his pupils.

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