Six years ago today, I woke up to the news that my father, George A Agoston, had passed away peacefully at home, my mother by his side after a long battle.
My father was a gentle, sensitive humble man who first and foremost would see and address the good in others. Because of his nature he had many friends, across the world, with whom he would keep in close contact over the years.
During the Second World War my father built a chemical engineering research lab at MIT. Refusing to discriminate he took a stand and chose his fellow employees solely on their academic credentials.
A few decades ago my father spent months searching for an adoptive country for a Zairian political refugee who was then threatened with expulsion. After a long battle our friend found refuge in Canada. Because of his legal status he was able to grow into a well regarded professor of Mathematics at the University of Montreal.
My father was a remarkable artist.
My father started painting at age 5. At 9 or so, during the Great Depression, my grandparents asked my father what he wanted to be when he grew up. When my father told them he wanted to be an artist, they took him to visit a starving artist in the Rochester NY suburbs! My father proceeded to work hard, earning a doctorate from MIT in chemical engineering. After a failed first marriage my father took a sabbatical leave from Stanford University -to which he never returned- to travel the world and paint.
When my mother met my father in Paris back in the 60’s, he was a full time artist -avidly painting a painting a day - working as an editor to a scientific and artistic Paris based US magazine ‘Leonardo’. He later wrote a book that would be published by Springer-Verlag in NY, and translated in Chinese and Russian “Color theory and its application in Art and Design”
His career as an artist span more than 30 years. His work, in my opinion, captures the psychological aspect of space and time. As a ‘German Expressionist’ he would portray moments like - a party in amongst artist friends in the Paris of the early 70’s - the first man on the moon - his own version of Manet’s “Dejeuner sur l’Herbe” by using color, and matter (thickness of paint and brush strokes).
His work was him, deeply sensitive to environment, people, and times.
My father leaves behind 300 or more paintings. Some of which are now visible online at http://www.georgeagoston.net/
My father’s ashes were scattered over the sea off the cliffs of the Costa Brava.