Biography of Gyorgy Kepes

György Kepes was born in 1906 in the parish of Selyp in Heves County.

In Budapest, Gyorgy Kepes studied painting under Istvan Csok at the College of Art. Then in 1930, surrounded by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in Berlin he was introduced to the „new vision” provided by the possibilities of modern art techniques. From 1938 as the leader of the light course in Chicago, then as the instructor of the School of Design, the social effects of visual design began to interest him.
In 1967, Kepes founded the Institute of Center for Advanced Visual Studies within the Massachusettes Institute of Technology. This was the first Institute where artists, scientists, technician specialists searched together for the artistic possibilities of the new scientific and technological results.

He was one of the lasts of the greatest artists, whom “with scientist brain” understood the holiness of renaissance human literacy, and looked at nature as “homo universal”, understanding its functioning and bringing it parallel with the breath-taking results of science and technology. Kepes’s multi-functioning and branching activity (painter, teacher, photographer, writer and editor) resulted in the birth of new artistic divisions.

Gyorgy Kepes made numerous momentous pieces in connection to lighting. A few for example: the very first programmable lightwall made by an artist in 1949 on the elevation of Radio Shack in Boston; the kinetic lightwall of the KLM headquarters carried out in 1959; New York Times Square’s kinetic wall; Cambridge Harvard Square subway station; and all of his decoration works. In addition, we could list numerous places from Chicago to San Fransisco where his lighting artwork is presented.