Born in Szeged Hungary, Jozsef Alexandre CSAKY (1888-1971) was enrolled at the ‘Ecole Supérieure des Arts décoratifs’ of Budapest by the age of fourteen. Despite his talent and successes, his independent nature urges him to quit the school’s academic training in order to learn the ‘stone direct-cut’ technic on construction sites with his friend Gusztav Miklos.

Csaky had always aimed for perfection and was a huge admirer of Rodin’s work. Thus he moved to Paris over the summer of 1908 and settled at ‘La Ruche’ the following year, later on joined by Miklos and then Archipenko.

Csaky’s talent as a sculptor is brought to light for the first time during the 'Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts’ of 1910. His sculpture of a “Woman’s Head” whose academic features highlight his taste for cubistic and pure profile portraits, catches the attention of the critics at the salon.
In 1912, Csaky under the patronage of Marcel Duchamp, participated at the first ‘Salon de la Section d’Or’, alongside major artists such as Brancusi, Léger and Picabia.

Between 1914 and 1919, Csaky joined the French army and signed upon his return an exclusive contract with the great art dealer Léonce Rosenberg, an avid supporter of cubism who saw Csaky as a pioneer of modern sculpture. Concerned by spatial geometry and the meaning of shape, Csaky transformed his powerful drawings into architectural sculptures and bas-reliefs with antic and almost rigid accents.

The feminine subject and the human figure were then mainly his favourite themes. Convinced by the idea that the artist’s eye was the direct expression of beauty in its most profound and spiritual meaning, he reinterpreted the curves and angles of his creations through breathing mystery into them. The critics as well as the art collectors of the time received his artworks with great interest.

As of 1923, Csaky was now defined by a singular artistic identity. He started to explore the theme of Animal representation: big cats, birds, fishes and stags became, under his stylus, creatures that were light as well as powerful. His talent as a sculptor, who naturally was sympathetic to the material he worked with, resulted in a bestiary of pure and fine lines which implicated a cubist’s brute force.

In 1926, during his animalier period, Csaky produced a “Stag” in white marble, the work serves as an excellent representation of the extent of his talent. Presented from the side, with solids and voids, it lies on a base structured with ornamental elements in the Art Deco style. The strength of the stone as well as it’s shine underline the natural elegance of the animal, whilst the craftsmanship successfully captures the dynamism of the stag in a fixed moment.

Towards the end of the 1920’s, an encounter with Marcel Coard, a renowned interior designer, marked a new turning point within the Csaky’s Work. He then started creating sculpted ornaments for furniture products in collaboration with other artists. Starting in 1928 all through until the end of his artistic career, the curves of his sculptures were gradually getting smoother and more sensual. The expression of his artistic interpretation becomes subtler and less figurative.

In 1930, Csaky participated, as a founding member, in the first ‘Union des Artistes Modernes’ (U.A.M) exhibition with the likes of the Martel brothers, Charlotte Perriand and Sonia Delaunay.
In 1937, he was commissioned to design monumental pieces for the ‘Pavillon de l’Elégance' as well as the terrace of the ‘Pavillon de l’U.A.M’, on the occasion of the international expo for art and technology hosted in Paris.

Joseph Csaky’s artworks, less recognised than his contemporaries for a long time, are nowadays exhibited in the major museums around the world, his “Tête Cubiste” can be admired at the ‘Musée National d’Art Moderne’ in Paris.


2020.06.20 – 2020.08.01
38 rue de l’Université - 75007 Paris
2018.09.22 – 2018.10.12
Galerie Dumonteil Paris
2018.06.20 – 2018.08.30
New York, USA