Hugo Scheiber





Born in Budapest, as a child he moved with his family to Vienna where his father found employment as a decorator at an amusement park. The family moved back to Budapest in 1890 where he joined the army from 1894 to 1898. From 1898 he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Budapest, attending evening classes, while working during the day to support his family.


Finishing his studies in 1900, a post-impressionistic plein air landscape period followed, however from the 1910’s he showed an early interest in Futurism and German Expressionism. He met Filippo Tomasso Marinetti in 1915 and they became personal friends. The latter invited him to join the Futurist movement. He developed a unique modernist style which was closer to German Expressionism than Futurism. He depicted the essence of cosmopolitan life using stylised, expressive colours and forms. Needless to say, such avant-garde diversions were contradictory to prevalent Hungarian academic tastes thus his work was disregraded in his homeland.


In 1919 Hugo Scheiber exhibited in Vienna with Bela Kadar at the Hevesy Salon. As a follow up, he moved to Berlin where his work found strong sympathy with Herwath Walden, the founder of Der Sturm, Germany’s foremost avant-garde periodical and a Berlin gallery by the same name. From 1921, Scheiber’s paintings appeared regularly in the journal and exhibitions followed in New York, London, Rome. His friend Marinetti invited him to partake in „Mostra Nazionale d’Arte Futurista“, the momentous Futurist meeting held in Rome 15-30 April, 1933. 


After his expressionism of the 1920’s, he swayed towards art-deco in the 1930’s. Thematically, he stuck to urban cafe- and cabaret-life scenes often with humorous depictions of dancers, musicians and actors while he began introducing portraits, self portraits and landscapes in his oeuvre. He left Germany following Hitler’s advances and returned to Budapest in 1939. Here Hugo Scheiber died 11 years later, aged 77.





Hugo Scheiber               Hugo Scheiber               Hugo Scheiber


Blog entries related to artist

Scheiber, Hugo / Apr 2013;  Scheiber, Hugo / Sep 2012; 


Art Deco

  • from the French art décoratif
  • 1930-s ‘industrialized’ version of Art Nouveau, emphasizing geometric forms as opposed to organic motifs
  • incorporating features of Futurism (hailing modernity) and Contsructivism (geometrical stylization)
  • Primarily prominent in the US but also in Europe and elsewhere