Alex Leon, also known as Sándor Lőwinger (1907-1944) was born into a poor Jewish family in Petroșani, Romania. During WWI, he moved to Oradea, and began to work as a lithographer. Coming from a poor background, he was always focused on the social aspects of life and became, over time, a supporter of the communist ideology. He published anti-fascist militant graphic works in several left-wing publications. His lithographs, inspired by the lives of poor people, childhood memories, or miners from his hometown, present a dark, nightmare-like world.
In 1928, he attended the Art School in Baia Mare, and after 1930 he held a series of itinerant exhibitions in major cities of Romania. In 1936, he left for Paris, where he studied with many artists, among which Marc Chagall and the sculptor Aristide Maillol. After a while, he returned to Oradea but, unfortunately, in 1942 he was sent to a forced labour camp. Eventually, he managed to escape and joined the Soviet army, but did not survive the war. He most likely died in Ostroh, Ukraine.
Alex Leon. (Image source: Blue Window Gallery)