Anton Prinner (1902 – 1983)
Anton Prinner was born in Budapest on 30 December, 1902. His mother was a pianist and pupil of Franz Liszt and his father was an accountant. He was never formally educated as a child and he taught himself to read and write. He learned French from his father until he left when Prinner was fourteen. This prompted Prinner to journey to Paris in 1927 posing for reasons unknown as a man, which he continued until the end of his life.
After initially living on the streets, Prinner learned engraving in Hayter where he invented the papyro engraving method, a technique which avoided the cost of copper and zinc. At this point he began his first sculptures working in clay and wood and also a mixture of plaster and sand. This mixture created an effect more beautiful than stone, yet easier to handle, and it attracted the attention of his fellow artists, including Picasso.
Prinner was one of the earliest artists of Constructivist abstraction. Some works are reproduced in the catalogue of the exhibition organized by Gladys Fabre in Paris in 1930, Abstracto Arte – Arte Concreto, Circle and Square, IVAM Center Julio Gonzalez Valencia 1990. All the pieces were sculptures and reliefs in wood formed of inverted triangles, contrasting shapes and colours. From 1937 Prinner began to explore figurative sculpture inspired by the post-war return to painting in the 60s.
Increasingly poor and isolated he ended his life in 1983.
In addition to exhibiting regularly in Paris throughout his life, a retrospective of his work was held in the Ernst Museum in Budapest in April 2007. His work is in numerous public and private collections to include:
- 1930 – Exhibition at the Galerie Pierre Loeb
- 1942 – Exhibition at Jeanne Bucher
- 1945 – Exhibition at Gallery Pierre
- 1945 – Exhibition at Galerie Drouin
- 1948 – Second show at the Pierre Gallery
- 1962 – Exhibition at the Gallery Katia Granoff
- 1965 – Exhibition of his work at Galerie constructivist Yvon Lambert