May 19, 2022 - Sale 2605

Sale 2605 - Lot 53

Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500

ISTVÁN IRSAI (1896-1967)


36 3/4x24 inches, 93 1/4x61 cm. Athenaeum, Budapest.
Condition B+: expertly-repaired tear at bottom edge, into text; minor repaired tears and creases at edges; minor creases in image.

Irsai, who also went by the name Pesach Ir-Shay, was a Hungarian poster artist, graphic designer and architect. He served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War, though an injury ended his original career as a violinist. He went on to start a career in architecture and graphic design, gaining knowledge about lithography through his work at Globus Printing House. Upon moving to Israel in 1952, he furthered his entrée into the graphic world, developing the first modern Hebrew font, the "Haim," and establishing himself in the world of theater and stage design. Later returning to Hungary, Irsai held onto Modernist styles of graphics and typography for many years, this image being one of a few commercial designs for Lampart. Other corporate commissions were created for companies such as Tungsum, Modiano and Nor-coc. During WWII, Irsai was able to escape the concentration camps and settled in Israel via Switzerland.