Litz PISK

1909—1997

Litz Pisk was born in Vienna and studied stage architecture with Oskar Strnad and kinetics with Franz Cizek in the State Arts & Crafts School. She was also a visiting pupil in the Max Reinhardt Theatre School. In 1932 she was the stage designer for Bertold Brecht's and Kurt Weil's production of The Rise and Fall of the Town Mahogany, in which Lotte Lenya played Jenny. From this event she held her first solo show of pen and brush drawings, and her caricatures of musicians and actors were reproduced widely.

Movement was her great interest, and her future was to be in the sphere of choreography, costume & set design and teaching. She took up residence in England in 1937, after visiting first in 1933. Her work was directly with the Old Vic Theatre, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Exchange, Manchester, the English Opera Company and for TV and film productions.  She worked with many stars of the stage and screen in relation to their movement and flow within their roles. For example, notably, she choreographed the movement for Vanessa Redgrave in the film, Isadora (Duncan).

Her teaching career included employment with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Old Vic School, Bath Academy of Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama.

She moved to Cornwall in 1970, purchasing a home on Trencrom Hill near St Ives. Aside from keeping up with events in London and showing her work there in exhibitions of drawings, the Newlyn Art Gallery mounted a major retrospective of her drawings in 1986.  She died in Cornwall on 6 January 1997.

The WCAA holds her Archive, a gift from her executors.