HAJDU, Etienne (1907-1996)

TRACES OF WATER
Aluminium high relief
198.5 x 95 x 20 cm
Date of entry at UNESCO
Country of origin Romania
Donation made to UNESCO by the artist
© Photo: UNESCO
Adagp, Paris 2012

Abstraction appears in Etienne (or Istvan) Hajdu’s work as of 1932-1934, but it is essentially from the 1950s onward that he truly defines his own style. Hajdu has made sculptures, low and high reliefs, out of wood, marble and onyx, bronze, lead, aluminum and copper.

Passionate about biology, he primarily drew his inspiration from nature. Through his use of curved and spiral-like lines, he created strong and dynamic organic shapes, such as those found in his work "The Traces of Water" located at UNESCO.

Biography of the artist

Étienne Hajdu was born on August 12, 1907 in Turda (Romania) to Hungarian parents. After studying at the Technical School of Decorative Arts in Ujpest, Budapest, from 1923 to 1925, and then the School of Decorative Arts of Vienna in 1926, he moved to Paris in 1927, where he completed his training under Bourdelle and Niclausse. He discovered, in 1930, the works of Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi and Fernand Léger which would influence him throughout his entire artistic career. It is during that period that Hajdu produced his first abstract sculptures.

After the war, he began teaching in Fernand Léger’s studio while simultaneously continuing with his research in the field of sculpture. He explored sculpture through a variety of diverse materials, such as marble or aluminum. In 1950 he moved to Bagneux where he built his home-studio.

Etienne Hajdu passed away in Bagneux on March 24, 1996.