Kurt Larisch was born in Vienna, Austria in 1913. He was first exposed to art in the photography and antique atelier of his father who painted miniatures on ivory. Establishing himself as a graphic artist, Larisch was one of the first in Europe to involve himself in the new field of animated film. In 1938 political instability interrupted his work and Kurt Larisch found himself in England, then in India. He became art director in one of India’s new and most progressive advertising agencies. There were 25 major languages to deal with; it was a challenge which left a deep impression on him.
At the same time he continued to paint in the conventional manner having five one-man shows during his eight years in India. There were troubled times, and he was not unaffected by what he saw prior to India’s independence. For five weeks he was interred as an enemy alien. Released, he became art director for the firm recruiting for the British Armed Forces in India. He met his wife in Calcutta in 1939 and in 1947, with a daughter, the family moved to the USA.
At each stage Kurt Larisch acquired another view, another inspiration. He absorbed what his new environment in New York offered, and then opened his own Graphic Art Studio. He continued to paint in a conventional manner, but began to feel that something was lacking. In 1970 he decided to move his family to Mexico. They traveled widely in the country, sensitive to yet another history and culture until he was propelled into abandoning traditional techniques for an art form influenced by every culture he had encountered.
He became one of Mexico’s most celebrated contemporary artists (as listed by AMISTAD – magazine of the American Society in Mexico). He developed a style and technique, which have now become the central theme of a unique and very personal statement on modern times. Kurt Larisch was obsessed with man’s predicament in a world hell-bent on self-destruction. His Kafkaesque message is, as one critic put it, “ a civilized protest against dehumanization.” Alphonso deNeuvillate referred to him as a “ master of the geometric style in its most elevated form. Kurt Larisch is a true professional, intellectually motivated and a stupendous artist”. One can readily recognize the composite influences of Vassarely, Escher, Mondrian and Magritte, but Kurt Larisch flaunts his definitive concepts in bold designs and with the daring use of color contrasts and subtle shadings. His paintings are noted for large geometric elements that include masses of tiny, little people seemingly intent on going somewhere, but getting nowhere, in a blend of surrealistic abstraction which is uniquely his own. Kurt Larisch passed away on January 21, 2009.