Dr. Gyula Sajó held exhibitions nationally and internationally, and today his work can be found in permanent collections in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and in State galleries in Hungary and Austria, to name a few. Sajó's work can also be found in private collections in France, German, Italy, Holland, America, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia. He received The Bronze Medal from The Albert Einstein Foundation for his contribution to Art. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Delaware University in recognition of his work. Gyula Sajó can also be found in several publications of Who's Who in Art, and in numerous editions of The International Register of Profiles and Intellectual Data Banks . At the time of his death, he was working on a retrospective exhibition of 50 years of work which was later shown at the Bloomsbury Galleries in London.
Gyula Sajó was born in Hungary in 1918 and studied Art and Architecture in Budapest at the Technical University of Budapest where he obtained an Honours Degree. He was elected for a Scholarship to the University. In 1943 he was awarded a prestigioius Scholorship to Helsinki University. Thereafter he became Professor of Architecture at The Technical University of Budapest .
In 1944 , as a result of the unstable political and economic situation in Hungary, Gyula and his wife moved to Austria where he established himself as an artist. At the end of the war he returned to Hungary just before the communists seized power in the country. However, he was disillusioned by what he found and was regarded with extreme suspicion by the communist authorities, having lived in the West. Despite this, Gyula’s career prospered and he took up a post as Professor at the Academy of Applied Arts, teaching and exhibiting in this period.
In 1956 the Hungarian revolution fundamentally changed their lives and, on 4th December 1956, Gyula Sajó and his family fled Hungary, and returned to Austria. Shortly after this they moved to England. They initially lived in East London and Gyula Sajó’s early paintings of the UK capture what he could see from his window, the rooftops and docklands of Wapping with Tower Bridge in the background. They then moved to Worthing where he discovered and learnt to appreciate the scenery of West Sussex which he painted repeatedly. He also appreciated the milder weather enabling him to paint outdoors all year round, something he was unable to do in Hungary. Gyula’s art training in Hungary brought a different quality and fresh perspective to the genre of English landscape painting illustrating the qualities and strength of the Hungarian tradition. Alongside Gyula's prolific output, he produced a series of prints and woodcuts. (Click here for more information)
His first success came when he submitted three paintings to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1958, one of which sold on the first day. Gyula Sajó went on to become a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy, and went on to exhibit nationally and internationally, with astounding success. He became naturalised in Britain in 1962. He founded The Atelier Art School in 1965 which remained a significant local art foundation until his death in 1989. As Terence Mullaly states: "Sajo was an archetypal master of the Hungarian tradition in painting...His work demonstrates that he deserves a place in the history of art in Europe".