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Master Barcsay and His Pupils

written by Balázs Feledy 2014-10-23


Master Barcsay and His Pupils


Master Barcsay and His Pupils


Selection of Seriographies: Jenő Barcsay, László Balogh, Pál Deim and Tamás Konok


Nowadays presentation of masters and pupils is a fashion and it makes me happy. Sometimes young artists – graduated at art college - do not consider as an important information who was their master. 


We need to clarify an important question. The word ′Master′ had a significant meaning during the studium of painting in previous decades. It can determine the start or the whole carrier of the young artist. During the university  studies always there is one or more professional tutor, but students every time must study artistic anatomy. Hundreds of artists see Jenő Barcsay as a Master even if he was not their tutor, but their anatomy professor. It refers to his great effect, suggestivity and attitude forming power. Some of them came closer to Barcsay′s  idea of constructivism and pure geometric ars poetry.    



Barcsay – privies chose three pupils for the show, these are László Balogh, Pál Deim and Tamás Konok who were very friends of him. There was strong personal relationship among them. How had been these relations formed?



Jenő Barcsay was born in 1900 in Katona, Mezőség in Transylvania. He moved to Kolozsvár in 1910, then he went to Szamosújvár next year, he continued his studies in Nagyaenyed. He graduated from high school in 1918.

He did his university studies between 1919 and 1924 in Budapest. His masters were János Vaszary and Gyula Rudnay.  

He presented his work in 1925. He became the member of the Painters Society of Szentendre, but he visited the city only in 1929.  Landscape had effect on his painting and his life and he came closer to the new tendencies represented by Vajda and Kassák . 

He was invited to be anatomy professor at the College of Fine Arts in 1945, later he was appointed officially. His worldfamous book Artistic Anatomy was published in 1953, and he got Kossuth prize in 1954. His other books – Man and Drapery, 1958 and Form and Space, 1966 – were also basic studies for students.    

He went on pension in 1970,  but he stayed in connection with the College furthermore. He spent more time in Szentendre. 


The permanent exhibition was created in 1978 based on Barcsay Collection of Szentendre. ′I cannot imagine my painting without Szentendre...′ - he proclaimed. He got Kossuth prize again in 1985. 

He died in Budapest in 1988, his ashes were placed to eternal rest in the graveyard of Fiume. 





László Balogh (painter and graphic) was born in Szentendre in 1930. His college studies were delayed because of historical reasons, he could continue it only between 1951 and 1957. His tutor was György Konecsni, but he also sees Barcsay as his master. They were in contact with each other since their young age. His first solo exibition was in the Young Artists′ Club in Budapest in 1964. His art is built on concise dinamic color and form relations in a very pure visual formulation. He lives in Szentendre. He got Munkácsy prize in 2006 and he was awarded with the Gold Cross of Merit of the Republic in 1994.  




Pál Deim (painter, graphic and sculptor) was born in Szentendre in 1932. After a long preparation he studied in College of Fine Arts between 1958 and 1963. His professors were Sándor Ék, Gyula Pap, Lajos Vajda, Jenő Gadányi and Jenő Barcsay of course. His first solo show was presented in Hall Mednyánszky in Budapest in 1965. His personal style has being formed from the 70s  in which the idol – shaped human figure got a bit more focus. Figure and space, organic form and geometric structure, awareness and intuition are summerized with unique structures of his motives. He lives and works in Szentendre. He got Munkácsy prize in 1985, became excellent artist in 1991, and was awarded with Kossuth prize.  




Tamás Konok was born in Budapest in 1930. After he finished the high school in Győr, he started his studies in Aurél Bernáth′s class (between1948 and 1953) in College of Fine Arts , where his anatomy professor was Jenő Barcsay. After graduation he worked as a decorator. He got to know Endre Rozsda, Lajos Barta and Endre Bálint, kept in touch with them in Paris as well. He got Derkovits scolarship because of Barcsay′s proposal in 1957. He could spend half year in Paris as a scholar in 1958, lived in Paris from the 60s, then he moved to Switzerland from the 70s. His first solo exhibition was in Paris in 1960. His pure forms can be described by geometric abstraction from the 70s. He did not do a single show in Hungary for 20 years, then his first exhibition opened in Győr in 1980. He got Kossuth prize in 1998 and he is the member of the Széchenyi István Academy of Literature since 2004.  



Exhibition is made of seriographs and a great part of them were printed in Szentendre. Seriograph as a graphic reproduction process appeared in the United States in the 30s and 40s. It developed a lot after the Second World War and worldfamous artists′ works - Hans Arp, Josef Albers, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichenstein, Andy Warhol, Victor Vasarely - could be reproducted. First Hungarian experiments started in the middle of the 60s and it was propagated by the artist called Imre Kocsis. The technique became part of the study material and Graphic Workshop of Szentendre was founded in 1979 due to his help. The technique is still used by the help of Mihály Lipták masterprinter.  


Younger collegues showed Barcsay the technique because his visual world and his concrete paitings were suitable to be transformed into seriographs. As we know twenty seriographs were made with his signiture during his life. Now we can see ten of  those in the exhibition. 


László Balogh and Pál Deim started to print their seriographs in the 80s, here you can see a work made by Balogh from 1995, the newest was printed last year. Three of the Deim′s works were made in 2011, while Konok′s prints were made in 1994. The attributes, compositions and structures show the essence of their art. The visitor can get closer to significant artists of the 20th century.



The exhibition tour completed with some documents goes through some cities of the Carpathian basin. 


Written by Balázs Feledy

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