Basil Rakoczi

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Artist Bio

Basil Rakoczi Basil Rakoczi was born on 31 May 1908 in Chelsea, London. His father was a Hungarian composer and violinist, his mother hailed from County Cork and was an artist’s model. Rakoczi attended Brighton School of Art before studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, and later worked under the artist, Ossip Zadkine (1888-1967).

In 1935, Rakoczi founded the Society for Creative Psychology in London, where he first met Kenneth Hall. The artists were strongly influenced by psychoanalytic techniques, producing what they described as ‘Subjective’ paintings. Such works were later exhibited under the name of the White Stag Group. Deemed ‘Subjective Art’ by Rakoczi and the White Stag movement, their artistic process involved creating from the ‘Unconscious’ in a manner akin to the Surrealism of Andre Breton and Salvador Dali. Adopting a psychological approach to art, Rakoczi’s style often varied, though typically appeared as highly modernist. His more figurative works were still often abstracted by unnatural, vivid colours or by geometric shapes.

In 1939, Rakoczi and Hall moved to the West of Ireland staying in Delphi, County Mayo. Moving to Dublin in 1940, they revived the Society for Creative Psychology and continued to exhibit under the White Stag Group. Whilst in Dublin, they encountered contemporary Irish artists such as Evie Hone and Mainie Jellet. By 1943 around ten exhibitions of twentieth-century art had been held at the White Stag Gallery in Dublin. Rakoczi’s work was included in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Molton Gallery and Archer Gallery in London. His work has been shown in France, Holland, Monaco, and Australia.

Rakoczi left Ireland in 1946, returning to London before settling in Paris, though he continued to exhibit in Dublin during that time.

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