Artist Andras Laszlo Kaldor has died, aged 83. Andras was a Hungarian refugee who became an architect then artist and gallery-owner in Dartmouth. He’d been active on the Dartmouth art scene since he moved to the town in the 1970s.

Fellow artist Simon Drew said: “My friend Andras has died having suffered ataxia and cancer. His many friends and family are missing a character of wit, charm, great erudition, and culture, and he was steeped in both western and eastern European tradition.”

Andras Kaldor was born and raised in Budapest and rebelled against a government backed by Russian forces in the 1956 revolution. He escaped from Hungary, travelling to England as a refugee and was taken into a family in Surrey where he learned English before moving to Edinburgh to study.

In Yorkshire he married Elizabeth and they had three children before separating. His second wife was Sally Kempley to whom he remained married until the end of his life more than 50 years later.

Simon added: “Andras opened his gallery in Dartmouth and was the driving force behind organising a disparate band of artists into a cohesive group, travelling and exhibiting together nationwide. His drawings and watercolours depict the world’s finest architecture and his published books were studies of the opera houses of Europe, the architecture of New York and that of Berlin. He had exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Budapest and Villefranche near Nice.

“He asserted that, whilst gladly embracing the welcome he received into the UK, he retained something of the refugee mentality. He wasn’t interested in money or material gain, but he did value reputation, enjoying the artistic recognition he earned.”

Simon said Andras loved the camaraderie of the Chelsea Arts Club and the bond he formed with the other Dartmouth artists. And he never cut ties with his Hungarian friends

He said: “Proud of his heritage, and loving his country, he was critical of the recent authoritarian regime. He never lost his suspicion of Russian leaders, blaming them for his exit from his homeland. Talented, elegant, charming and open to ideas, Andras Kaldor epitomised the dynamic contribution that a refugee can make to the UK.”

Andras is survived by wife Sally, three children Nicola, Sally and Jonathan, and two step-children, Rupert and Delia.