GUSTAVE MIKLOS (1888-1967)


Gustave Miklos arrived in Paris in 1909 from his native Hungary after studying painting at the Fine Arts School in Budapest. Joining his compatriot Joseph Csaky, who had arrived a few months earlier, he settled in La Ruche and very soon exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, before joining the French Army in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. Serving in the Orient battalion, he was posted to Salonica. There he discovered Byzantine art, a revelation that proved a major influence in his aesthetic development. Back in Paris in 1919, Miklos became closely involved with the artistic avant-garde while developing the range of his technical skills. He spent time in the lacquer workshop of Brugier, before taking an interest in the art of enamelling. In 1921 he was introduced to Jean Dunand and worked occasionally for the famous lacquering artist and coppersmith, exploring alongside him the skills of metalwork. In the following years he mainly dedicated himself to sculpture and developed a very pure style in which his formalized concepts inspired a connection with the structural essence of all things, 'preserving an element of mystery that draws us insistently back, provoking close observation, and reflection'. He took an active role in the execution of his sculptures, taking personal care of a precious finishing, sensitive to the ways surfaces could catch and play with light. Jacques Doucet discovered his work at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1920 and commissioned Miklos over the next few years to create carpets and a series of enamelled objects. These included a pair of enamelled and gilt bronze andirons in the form of stylized animals, made in 1925 for his mansion avenue du Bois, and bronze-mounted crystals for the chimney mantle of his studio. His relationship with Doucet lasted till the death of the collector in 1929.

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