Jozef Bakos

(1891 - 1977)

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Born in Buffalo, NY, Bakos received his early training at the Albright Art Institute and then continued it at the Toronto School of Art.  He later studied privately with John E. Thompson in Buffalo, and in Denver.  No longer a student, Bakos taught at the University of Colorado before visiting fellow artist Walter Mruk in Santa Fe in 1920.  One year later, he, Mruk, Will Schuster, Fremont Ellis, and Willard Nash formed an association for exhibition purposes and called the group Los Cinco Pintores.  The artists had widely divergent styles; a critic for El Placido magazine wrote: “Each of the young men has a viewpoint and a technique of his own.  One is convinced of the honesty of the endeavor of each artist... .”   He was an active member of the art colony for over fifty years and helped form both Los Cincos Pintores (1921) and New Mexico Painters (1923). 

Bakos’ early style was strongly emotional and influenced by Van Gogh, Gauguin and the painting of the Expressionists.  Later he moved towards cubism and abstraction.  He was perhaps best known as a teacher, but he exhibited widely in major American museums, helping to increase national recognition and respect for New Mexico painting.