Mattis-Teutsch, Hans (1884–1960) By Kessler, Erwin
Hans Mattis-Teutsch was a Romanian artist, born to a German-Hungarian family in Braşov, where he also died. Exemplary of the diverse modernity of Central Europe, he moved between Realism and other styles, including Jugendstil, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, constructive Abstraction, and Art Deco. His stay in Paris from 1905 to 1908 contributed to the development of his painting style, which was influenced by the fauves, cubo-futurists, and the polychrome sculptures of Paul Gauguin, in addition to the works of Constantin Brancusi, František Kupka, and the Expressionism of Der Blaue Reiter. His stay in Berlin in 1918 was crucial for his affiliation with Der Sturm; the 99th Sturm exhibition in 1921 featured him alongside Paul Klee.
Like his contemporaries, Mattis-Teutsch extracted stylish, spiritual, and cosmic-theosophical visions from fantasized landscapes and depicted the inner workings of the human mind on his canvases. He later erected functional-decorative, rational, and humanistic edifices based on Socialist utopias. Mattis-Teutsch was a keystone of the Romanian, Hungarian, and German avant-garde. Though cosmopolitan, he lived mostly in his Transylvanian hometown of Braşov, exhibiting locally and working as a professor at the art college, nourishing a modern, progressive, provincial art-life. In 1946, he founded the first syndicate of “democratic” artists in Romania.