obituary of Andras Kaldor | Kind

My friend Andras Kaldor, who passed away at the age of 83, was an architect, writer, artist and gallery owner in Dartmouth, Devon. As a refugee from Hungary, he was steeped in both Western and Eastern European tradition.

Andras was born and raised in Budapest, son of Margit (nee Gazdag) and Andras Kaldor, an engineer. He attended the Petofi Gimnazium School in Budapest. At the age of 18, he rebelled against the government, which was supported by Russian troops, during the 1956 revolution and escaped from Hungary with a group of friends and traveled to Britain as a refugee. He was taken in by a family in Surrey, where he learned English before moving to Edinburgh to study architecture.

After graduating in 1962, he practiced as an architect in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and later also worked in London. He married Elizabeth Gill in 1962 and they had three children. The couple later divorced.

In 1975 he married Sally Kempley. Andras had always drawn, painted and sculpted, especially depicting architectural subjects. In 1980 he decided to focus on his art and moved with Sally to Devon, where he opened a gallery in Newcomen Road, Dartmouth.

Based there, he became the driving force behind a disparate group of artists, organizing them into a tight-knit group, traveling and exhibiting together across the country.

His own work has been shown in galleries in Paris, New York and London, and he was commissioned to create poster designs for the Victoria and Albert Museum (1997) and the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998).

The Palais Garnier, Paris, painted by Andras Kaldor
The Palais Garnier, Paris, painted by Andras Kaldor

He has published three books, on the opera houses of Europe and the architecture of New York and Berlin.

Andras claimed that while he embraced the welcome he received in the UK, he retained some of the refugee mentality. He was not interested in money or material gain, but he valued reputation and enjoyed the artistic recognition he deserved. He was a member of the Chelsea Arts Club and enjoyed the ties he formed with the other Dartmouth performers.

He continued to draw and paint in his gallery and loved his interactions with the public. He had an easygoing charm and grace that put people at ease.

Andras is survived by Sally, his children, Nicola, Sally, and Jonathan, and stepchildren, Rupert and Delia, and by nine grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

Leave a Comment