Macskássy Gyula

1912 - 1971

Macskássy, Gyula

Macskássy, Gyula

Gyula Macskássy was a cartoon director and graphic artist. He was one of the founding fathers of Hungarian animation, and was a prolific advertising artist as well.

He studied at Sándor Bortnyik’s private school Műhely, then, one of the greatest poster artists of the time, Róbert Berény became his master.

He started in the 1930s as a graphic artist by designing posters for the oral care products of thr company called Diana among others. They had some joint projects with his brother János Macskássy for big companies, like Tungsram (manufacturer of light bulbs and vacuum tubes) and Nikotex (tobacco products).

Their style emerged from the clear and monumental modernist design that was developing in Hungary during the second half of the 1920s. This advancement of the modernis style was led by Macskássy's master, Berény in cooperation with Bortnyik and Kassák. It also drew inspiration from the style, and resembled some graphic elements of cartoons, and their works were mostly characterized by light-heartedness.

In the 1940s he worked on animated commercials together with Félix Kassovitz and János Halász (John Halas).

In the 1950s he founded the Hungarian animation production. His films were influenced by the work of Walt Disney, but he soon developed a typical Hungarian, unique style. Caricature, abstract painting and folk art also had an impact on his works.

In the 1950s he still worked as graphic designer as well: he created many poster designs national companies. He often worked together with Gyula Fejes in the late 1940s and early 1950s, on commercial posters. In the 1950s they designed posters together with his brother János Macskássy for tobacco products, lottery, and for the national travel agency, Maszovlet. Their style never changed into socialist realism; their approach was always playful, cartoon-like and humorous.                                                                                                                     .

Available posters by this artist