Kamill Major



Major Kamill studied at the Art High School in Pécs and took part in the work of the creative group organized around Ferenc Lantos. In addition to Lantos, he considered Endre Bálint, Tiham Gyarmathy and Béla Simon to be his master. Pécs has been an advanced cultural center since the mid-1960s, thanks to art historian Lantos and Ferenc Romváry. The city’s progressive atmosphere provided an opportunity for young artists to experiment with form-breaking paths. Major Kamill was able to exhibit in 1967, at the age of nineteen, in the József Attila Cultural House in Pécs.


As a young painter open to anything, eager to learn, Major sought to keep up with the current art events of the era, and also sought to connect with artists of the older generation. As a high school student, he spent his summer school internship at the Enamel Factory in Bonyhád through his parents, who lived in the Mecsek. He made enamel paintings in the factory and made reliefs by experimenting with bent metal sheets. With his work in the enamel factory, Major inspired Ferenc Lantos to initiate the Enamel Symposium in Bonyhád, which was held between 1968 and 1972 and was attended by, among others, Tihamér Gyarmathy, Oszkár Papp and Gyula Pauer.He moved to Budapest in 1970 and rented a studio with Simon Csorba at 99 Váci út. He was admitted to the Budapest College of Applied Arts twice without success. He became involved in the activities of the Studio of Young Artists, and at that time he began to make photographs in addition to black-and-white geometric compositions, and, under the influence of Endre Bálint, to use collages.


Major emigrated to Paris in 1972. With the help of Endre Bálint and Ferenc Martyn, he made contact with the Hungarian artists who had been living there for a long time. The most influential people were Ervin Pátkai, Anna Mark, Etienne Hajdu, Vera Székely, Judit Reigl, Magda Frank, Simon Hantaï, Vera Molnár, Jean-Pierre Yvaral (Vasarely) and Lucien Hervé. Already in the year of his arrival, he was admitted to the third year of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, the College of Applied Arts in Paris. He earned a degree in graphics and a high degree in screen printing from Eric Seydoux’s workshop. He has been a teacher at this institution since 1981.


In Major Kamill's painting and graphic work, geometric abstraction has become a dominant mode of expression since his years in Pécs. He followed this direction in his work in France, gathering spiritual inspirations such as the epic Gilgamesh, or the Pére-Lachaise and other cemeteries in Paris, where he took hundreds of photos. His first release, Le Livre des Morts (The Book of the Dead), was born in 1978 and was well received. Since then, in addition to his graphic work, Major has been involved in painting and relief sculpture. It explores the metamorphosis between black and white, color and color, full and empty, the eternal transformation of matter, the transience of man and culture.

Related artworks

Composition (1972)

Kamill Major

35,000 USD