Vasile Kázár (1913-1998), a Romanian-Jewish illustrator, was born in Máramarossziget (today Sighetu Marmației, Romania) into a Jewish intellectual family. He attended art schools in Baia Mare, Budapest, and Paris, but eventually he returned to Romania. In 1944, he and his family were deported to a Nazi concentration camp by the Hungarian authorities, which he survived. This tragic experience pushed him later to convert to Christianity.
His artworks were inspired by social themes, peasants, mystical imagery, and simple countryside life in Maramureș. He mostly used ink, pencil, or coal to create drawings and wood and linoleum cuts. His art is sensible and expressive, and is marked by his experience during the Holocaust.
He participated in various biennales and exhibited his works internationally. Among other prizes, he won the State Prize, the ”Ioan Andreescu” Prize of the Romanian Academy, and the Grand Prize of the Union of Plastic Artists.
Vasile Kázár. (Image source: Blue Window Gallery)