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Self-portrait in Artists Studio 1931
oil; 38" x 29" framed

Stephen Csoka was born in 1897 in Gardony, a small farming village in Hungary.   At twenty-five, he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, one of Europe's most prestigious art schools.  He studied there from 1922-1927.  By 1933, he was working full time as an artist and starting to win awards.  He then met his future wife, Margaret.  She was born in Hungary but was by then living in the United States.  Stephen met her on her return visit to Hungary.  They were married after a quick courtship, and in 1934, Stephen followed his new bride back to America.

Stephen had established himself as one of Hungary's most promising young painters, but his arrival in America at the depths of the Depression was less than auspicious.  The art establishment was not yet open to foreign artists and Stephen spent nearly eight years with his father-in-law as a house painter in Brooklyn.  Undaunted, he continued to paint and make etchings.

In 1940, at the urging of a friend, he submitted several paintings to the annual Washington Square outdoor exhibition.  When he won the grand prize, he found a patron at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York, which mounted his first one-man exhibition in America.

Csoka's work - especially his paintings and etchings - earned him status in the professional art community and membership in the National Academy of Design, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Audobon Artists Association and the Pastel Society of America.  Awards and prizes continued to come his way and he began a long career as a fine art teacher, first at the Parsons School of Design, at
Hunter College, City College, the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts, and finally, at age 68, at the Fashion Institute of Technology, N.Y.C.  He retired healthy and vigorous at age 83.   Stephen continued to paint and draw and organize a lifetime of work.  He passed away in 1989 at the age of 92.

Prize-winning painting:
Washington Square outdoor exhibition

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Margaret Csoka (wife) 1935
oil on canvas; 35" x 23"

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Untitled  1935
oil on cardboard; 24 1/2" x 20 1/2"

A 100 year retrospective exhibition was held in 1997 at the Hofstra Museum of Art, Hofstra University.  Stephen Csoka's work is  found in museums and private collections throughout the United States and abroad.  You can see his work by contacting Frank Csoka at or in the following U.S.A. gallery locations:  Vail Fine Art Gallery, Vail, Colorado; Beaver Creek Fine Art Gallery, Beaver Creek, Colorado; Aspen Fine Art Gallery, Aspen, Colorado.




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