Mallász Gitta

1907 - 1992

Mallász, Gitta

Mallász, Gitta

Gitta Mallász was a graphic artist, swimming champion and writer. Besides her work as a graphic artist, she is also known for her spiritual book titled Talking with Angels.

While studying graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts, she met Hanna Dallos, and they later became best friends. After finishing her studies, she joined the atelier of Hanna Dallos, and her husband Joseph Kreutzer. During the 1930s she designed wonderful Art Deco travel and commercial posters, often together with Dallos. Their travel posters are promoting Hungarian locations. The designs show the influence of folk art, combined with modernist clarity.

Because of the growing anti-Semitism in the country, Mallász, the only non-Jewish member of the group of friends took over the management of their atelier. Nevertheless they soon had to close. During the Second World War Gitta Mallász intended to save her friends by hiding them with other Jewish workers in a military factory. She saved hundreds of women and children, but her friends (Hanna Dallos, and Lili Strausz) were deported and sent to death.

After the war she wrote her book about the spiritual instructions of an angel, received and mediated by Hanna Dallos, which occurred during the war. The book was published in French after she emigrated to France in 1960. Until then, she worked as a successful graphic designer in Hungary.

Her posters from the 1930s represent the harmonic mixture of modernism and traditional graphic elements, such as folk art. They were among the most successful travel posters of the age. Her poster for "Hungary", which shows a young boy wearing folk costume, was the most known travel poster of the age; it was published several times in foreign journals. Folk art was very much in fashion in the interwar period in Hungary, maybe partly because of the growing nationalism. However for Mallász and Dallos it wasn't just about fashion, they shared serious interest and knowledge in this field. They collected and copied rural artworks, and they spent great attention towards the costumes of different landscapes. This knowledge was apparent in their commercial and touristic designs; they loved to show the figures in rural costumes.

After 1945, Gitta Mallász's style didn’t change much. Her posters remained clear, well-crafted works. She designed a poster for the communist party, that depicted dancing children of the countryside. Other works by her advertised the rebuilding of the country. Her poster for Budapest shows the reconstuction of the city; it is a monumental representation of the new start after the war. She continued to design travel posters in the 1940's as well. 

Alongside this work, she regularly designed costumes for the Hungarian Folk Ensemble (Magyar Állami Népi Együttes), for which she could use her knowledge about folk art. She also designed publications, albums and leaflets about the Ensemble. She also got the oppurtunity to travel abroad with the ensemble, which gave her the chance to emmigrate.

After the 1960s she was living in France, working on illustrations for children's books and besides she finished her world famous book, Talking with Angels.

In addition to posters and costumes, she created many illustrations during her career, alone or together with Hanna Dallos. They created successful leaflets for the tourism propaganda of Hungary, on which they also used elements of the folk art. They illustrated books as well, among others cook-books, childrens' books, etc.

Their drawings always show a certain charm. They are very lovely, the figures are cheerful and kind.                                                          .

Available posters by this artist