Etienne Beöthy

“When you want nature to be more human, inevitably you gloss over its accidental aspects”

In both his physical and philosophical output, the avant-garde sculptor, Étienne (István) Béothy (1897–1961) was one of the foremost creative provocateurs of the 21st century.

Béothy studied at the school of architecture in Budapest, Hungary, where he was born, and by 1920 had begun creating small-scale sculptures inspired by his Constructivist sensibilities. Later, he travelled through Europe and settled in Paris in1925. Here, Béothy was swept up in the city’s artistic culture, by this time his work was beginning to soften, endowed with a new, organic sensuality, best articulated by his “Femme” series (1925–1929). The bodies in this work are simplified, a starting point in a quest for verticality. Wherever the viewer stands, he or she sees the same shape. “When you want nature to be more human,” he said, “inevitably you gloss over its accidental aspects.”

Another driving influence throughout Béothy’s career was the relationship between mathematics and art, a concern evident in all his work, but particularly 1939’s seminal manifesto “La Série d’Or” (“The Golden Series”).

Drapery

Amaranth

H 96 cm (38 in.)

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