Gorka, Géza

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(Nagytapolcsány (town in the Nitra Region of Slovakia)
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Géza Gorka is born on September 4, 1894 in Nagytapolcsány (town in the Nitra Region of Slovakia). He attended the school in his native town, Trencsén. In 1918, he moved with his family to Mezőtúr and upon the influence of Balázs Badár working there. He chose ceramics as his vocation. In 1919-21 he studied with Paul Mann and Max Laeuger in the Majolica Manufacture in Lentkirchen, Germany. Here he learnt the use of cracked glazes. In 1923 he moved to Nógrádverőce and founded the Keramos Ltd. In 1927 he built his workshop. In 1928-29 he pursued studies under the tutorship of Géza Jakó. In 1940-44 he headed the ceramic workshop to Losonc, and returned to Nógrádverőce in 1945. In 1946-48 he carried out experiments for the mass production of high-fired vessels in the Zsolnay workshop in Budapest. In 1970, he undertook the launching of the ceramic course in the Zebegény Free School. One of the founders of modern Hungarian ceramic art, he was influenced by folk pottery, German expressionism and art deco simplified in a modernist spirit.

Ornamental and functional ceramics features with equal weight in his work, and his entire career was accompanied by the investigation of technical and technological innovations. He was master of colours and glaze. From the '60s, his art lived to see a second blooming on the basis of his style developed before the war.
He was member of the directorial board of the Association of Hungarian Designers from 1930. The Gorka Ceramics Museum was opened in his former home and workshop in 1972. Gorka died on September 25, 1971 in Veröce (Hungary) (Text taken from the Gorka Ceramics Museum).

Images: Géza Gorka in his workshop in 1962 (source The Gorka Ceramics Museum); Géza Gorka at elder age, detail and as a whole (source MTVA Achívum); Vaseform with faun (auction Gaverler's Amsterdam, oct 2013).