Syukhtun Editions


Homage to Byron
Stig Johansson, Svenska Dagbladet, February 24, 1996
Galleri Baggen, Svartmangatan 27, Stockholm

Theo Radic kommer frĺn Amerika, men är sedan länge bosatt i Sverige. Jag har tidigare upplevt honom som genuin kolorist, gör det ocksĺ nu i det han visar pĺ det nyligen öppnade Galleri Baggen. Han arbetar i blandteknik. Collaget spelar en stor roll. Utställningen är tänkt som en hyllning till Byrons diktande. Man behöver nog inte vara sĺ hemmastadd i hans poesi för att uppfatta Radics tolkningar. De lever sitt eget, fria koloristiska liv. Här finns framför allt nĺgra mĺlningar av närmast informell, expressiv karaktär, helt i en klass för sig. Gnistrande som smycken i färgens och ljusets flöden, visar de pĺ ett vitalt konstnärskap.

Theo Radic comes from America, but has been living many years in Sweden. I have experienced him previously as a genuine colorist, and I do so now looking at his work being shown at the newly opened Gallery Baggen. He works with mixed media. Collage plays a big part. The exhibition was conceived as a homage to Byron. One need not be so familiar with his poetry to appreciate Radic's interpretations. They live their own, free, coloristic lives. Here one sees first of all paintings of nearly informal, expressive character, in a class by themselves. Glittering like jewels in the river of color and light, they display a vital artistry.

Stig Johansson, Svenska Dagbladet, September 20, 1986

...Theo Radic frĺn Kalifornien tillhör ocksĺ den fria, abstrakta skolan, men visar pĺ Galleri 17 att han knappast är nĺgon djupborrare av det fördolda. Hos honom lever istället ytan i ett närmast uppsluppet utspel. Det är ett mĺleri av sensuell charm och livsglädje, som inte alltid är sĺ lĺngt frĺn de Kooning.

…Theo Radic from California also belongs to the free abstract school, but shows at Gallery 17 that he is hardly a deep-driller of the hidden. With him instead the surface lives in a nearly exhilarating display. This is painting of a sensual charm and joy of life, which is not always fo far from de Kooning.

On Art Criticism

Painter is in harmony with his art
Betty Shimabukuro, San Bernardino Sun Telegram
June 6, 1987 (20-year retrospective show)

San Bernardino, California

Theo Radic and his paint brushes make beautiful music together. "What I'm after is a symphonic use of color, just as a composer uses musical notes to create harmony," Radic says. And so his oils are a serene mix of colors, cool and peaceful examples of abstract expressionism.

Twenty years of studying and working his art have brought Radic to this point of harmony. He is showing his latest work, and the earlier pieces that led up to it, at the San Bernardino City Cultural Center's art gallery. The variety is startling. He includes the pencil drawings done just after his graduation in 1967 from San Bernardino High School (even the yearbook cover he designed in his senior year is part of the show). The chronological progression moves from still lifes and landscapes to experiments in impressionism and cubism, winding up finally with the layers and layers of color in his current work.

Radic says he spent his early years as an artist doing classical studies of the masters - and feeling inadequate. "I was, like everybody, infatuated with the Renaissance masters," he says. "If you're studying the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo, you develop an inferiority complex."

He dealt with it by moving to Europe, where he spent 14 years in France - living near where Van Gogh, Cézanne and Picasso painted - and Sweden, is wife's native home. His resumé shows a long list of one-man and group shows in several Swedish cities, Munich and Paris.

Radic recently returned to Calfornia and is living in Carpinteria, continuing to work full time on his art. He has another show planned in Santa Barbara and is negotiating for a show in San Francisco.

His inferiority complex has diminished. Prices for his work run as high as $8,000. Radic is tall and soft-spoken, his American-born voice now bearing traces of an undefinable accent, a result of many years of speaking French and Swedish. He tends to refer to himself as a stranger in his own homeland.

The cultural center show is especially pleasing, Radic says, because of the proximity of the gallery to his old high school. The show dates coincide with his graduation day, and he points out that he returned in time for his class' 20th reunion.

Although his work is constantly growing, this sense of coming full circle, of settling down, seems a part of his paintings. They are crowded fields of color, layers of curves and lines that speak with subtlety, yet a firm sense of purpose. Some are more sparse, with more space between the colorful forms. These use bolder colors that jolt, yet blend into the mixed background. "What I'm after is movement, but not violent movement, a peaceful sort of movement," Radic says. That does not mean they are without emotion. "Just like a Chopin etude - he can really start pounding those keys, but there still is harmony."

A 20-year retrospective of the work of Theo Radic is on display through June 18 at the cultural center, 536 W. 11th St., San Bernardino.

A la Fondation Károlyi, rencontre
de la poésie, du roman et de la peinture

au cours d’une récente exposition des résidents
Nice Matin, August 2, 1976

Vence, France

Les invités de la comtesse Károlyi ont eu l’occasion de rencontrer, lors d’un vernissage récent, quatre peintres, un počte et un romancier, jeunes résidents qui ont trouvé dans le cadre de verdure de la fondation un climat favorable ŕ leur création.
Théo Radic, peintre américain d’origine serbe, n’est déja plus un poussin sorti de l’oeuf; ŕ 27 ans, aprčs une expérience d’auto-didacte et deux anneés d’arts décoratifs ŕ Nice, il expose ses peintures ŕ la fondation, bien sűr, mais aussi simultanément ŕ la galerie Frédéric Gollong ŕ Saint-Paul et bientôt ŕ la galerie Hervieu ŕ Nice. Admirateur de l’américain Robert Motherwell et d’Henri Michaux qu’il a découvert ŕ la Fondation Maeght, il n’en garde pas moins un style tout ŕ fait personnel. Partant presque toujours d’un corps de femme, il débouche sur une abstraction trčs élaborée obtenue au moyen de collages, de gravure, d’un “mixed media” de toutes sortes de matériaux qui donne du relief ŕ sa peinture et en soulignent les teintes remarquables. Quelques-unes de ses oeuvres rappellent aussi la calligraphie chinoise. Théo Radic, qui réside ŕ Stockholm, y retournera le mois prochain, mais il reviendra au mois de mai pour exposer ses peintures ŕ la galerie Remarque prčs de Saint Tropez. [..] R.M.

Guests of countess Károlyi had the opportunity to meet, during a recent vernissage, four painters, a poet and a novelist, young residents who found in the natural environment of the foundation a favourable climate for their creation.
Théo Radic, an American painter of Serbian origin, is already not a chick newly hatched from the egg; at 27 years of age, self-educated plus two years studying at the school of fine arts in Nice, he exhibits his paintings at the foundation, of course, but also at the same time at gallery Frédéric Gollong in Saint-Paul and soon hopes to show at gallery Hervieu in Nice. Admirer of the American Robert Motherwell, and Henry Michaux whom he discovered at Foundation Maeght, he nonetheless has a completely personal style. Departing almost always from a female body, he opens into a very elaborated abstraction acquired by the means of collages, engraving, "mixed media" with all kinds of materials which give a relief to his painting and underlines it in remarkable tones. Some of his paintings also evoke Chinese calligraphy. Théo Radic, who lives in Stockholm, will return home next month, but he will come back in May to exhibit his paintings at gallery Remarque near saint Tropez. [..] R.M.

NOTE: Countess Michael Karolyi (1892-1985), née Countess Katalin Andrássy de Csik-Szent-Király et Kraszna-Horka, was an aristocrat of the Austro-Hungarian empire. She was an ambiguous combination of 19th-century and 20th-century values. Her life since the WWI had enough thrills and romantic adventures to furnish material for a dozen novels. Living as the first lady of the land one day and reduced to pawning her last necklace the next; trailed across Europe by a monarchist spy and living in constant fear that she and her famous husband would be assassinated; smuggling gems across the Hungarian border so that she would not starve to death (she had one pearl necklace, and to get it out of the country, she had to swim across Danube with it and bury it in the sand, sending a friend to get it later); taking a turn at running a motor boat for tourist parties and learning to be a chauffeur so that she might earn her own living - these are a few facts that had marked her life since WWI ended in 1918, when the portrait to the left was painted. On 7 November 1914 in Budapest, Countess Katalin Andrássy married Count Michael Karolyi (1875-1955), nearly 20 years her senior, who was from one of the oldest families in Hungary, with a pedigree reaching back over 900 years. His uncle, Count Alexander, held the family estate, estimated at over $30,000,000, in entail, second only to that of the Prince Esterhazy. When he died the entail devolved to young Count Michael, who, in his youth, had been quite a wastrel.

From his adolescence he was known for a recklessness verging almost on madness. His stunts on horseback and behind the wheel of fast cars were the talk of a society where physical prowess was taken for granted. And his feats as a gambler attracted notice in milieu where 48-hour baccarat or poker battles with pots running into a quarter million dollars were not infrequent. As Count Michael grew older, he became determined to devote himself to more serious pursuits. Being still in his 20s, he advanced from comfortable and irresponsible state of a junior member of his clan to a position of unique splendour and responsibility as the second temporal peer of the Magyar realm. And who, a few years later, threw away his inhereted career and fortune. In 1910, Károlyi was elected to Parliament. After the Aster Revolution of October 1918, Károlyi found himself much to his surprise the president of the nation, and in March 1919, he already resigned and retired from active politics.

In July 1919, Károlyi went into exile in Czecho-Slovakia, then to Austria, and on to Italy, from where he was forced to go to Yugoslavia. The Budapest Supreme Court confiscated his lands, finding him guilty of high treason. He was fortunate -- his wife came from the same aristocratic milieu and shared his ideas and displayed at all times unquenchable courage. By early 1920s, the Karolyi lived in their own villa in Deauville, France. Throughout the Horthy era, Károlyi was in a state of official disgrace in his homeland. In 1946, the Károlyis returned to Hungary, where some of Countess Karolyi's family property was restored to her; Michael Karolyi by that time had become a socialist, and from 1947-49 served as the Hungarian Ambassador to France. In 1949, he resigned in protest over the show trial and execution of László Rajk, Hungarian Communist. Since then the family resided in Vence, near Antibes in the south of France. Michael Karolyi died in 1955 in Vence, France. The countess survived her husband for 30 years and published her memoirs A Life Together in 1966. The Michael Károlyi Artist Foundation was founded in her husband's memory. It was a seven acre estate nestled in a small valley between Vence and Saint Paul de Vence, France. Sheltered under its olive groves, the estate had cabins and studios for artists. She lived in Le Vieux Mas, the old farm house, where she died aged ninety-three.

In the 1980s the Alabama artist Nall bought the Karoly Foundation in Vence and rechristened it the N.A.L.L. Art Association.

Home | Books| Sheet music for guitar | Visual arts | Biography | Syukhtun