(Originally published in The Boston Phoenix, March 1990)
Teacher, moving spirit, and artist in light and paint, Gyorgy Kepes has been a luminous presence in the Boston art scene since he arrived here in 1946 as Professor of Visual Design at MIT.
Kepes was born in Hungary in 1906. Like his friend Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, he has always been fascinated by light. He worked with light as a creative medium in large-scale light murals, and there’s always a sense of light coming through in his abstract paintings, now on view at Alpha.
His paintings combine the forms of geometry with the colors of land, water, fire, sky, and light. He paints with a mixture of oil paint and sand, which gives his work a rough, earthy texture.
Kepes likes to tell the story of Antaeus, a hero who was the son of Mother Earth and could never be defeated as long as he touched the earth. Painting with sand is Kepes’s way of touching the earth.
And bringing more light into the world.
by Rebeccca Nemser for rebeccanemser.com