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The Tichy brothers

written by Ágnes Kovács
translated by Tímea Németh 2014-06-30


The Tichy brothers


     Thanks to the cooperation of the two organisations last year‘s newness, the so-called Rožňava Summer in Košice, a series of exhibitions is also to be continued at the Rovás Academy. The exhibition at The Mining Museum of Rožňava is dedicated to the above mentioned two illustrious artists, of whom can be justly proud not just the institution itself (mainly, if we take into account that Kálmán Tichy is one of the museum’s former principals), but also the city of Rožňava; because of their art many others could discover the city near by the river Sajó.

The Tichy brothers composed their most valuable work in Rožňava, after many visits to Budapest, Baia Mare and Venice Gyula settled down in the city in 1905, Kálmán in 1911, after staying in Budapest and Munich.


     Gyula and Kálmán Tichy are well recognised representatives of both inland and the Hungarian Secession and also praised by contemporary criticism. Besides his artistic work Kálmán has led the museum in Rožňava, he was interested in local history, public life and journalism. Maybe around Rožňava he is more famous than his brother Gyula, but without him he wouldn’t be able to achieve that quality of art what finally got him recognition in the field of art history.


     The history of art defines Gyula Tichy as „his visual intelligence and image creating fantasy is perhaps more developed and richer than his inland contemporaries.“ For instance in his series called Easter (1912) the figural compositions are made up of only lines, ornaments, letters and numbers, this way leaving out any other contemporary artistic context. This type of image creating was being used after thirty years by Lettrism. From 1909 Gyula became a well-known artist, but until his death (1920) had held only one exhibition with his brother in Budapest.


     Although Kálmán’s art was at first very similar to his brother’s, the exhibition have evoked many warm responses and meant a promising beginning to his career, while for Gyula this was a sign of its end. Kálmán‘s paintings made with mixed technique mark however his unique style and what he had learned in Baia Mare. In his oeuvre besides his popular illustrative work he puts emphasis on the perpetuation of cities like Rožňava and Bardejov.

After the Second World War Kálmán Tichy has lived until his death in Budapest, without any serious opportunity to exhibit.


     Both Kálmán‘s and Gyula’s art haven‘t been discovered by the art history, not until the exhibition of the Tichy borthers‘ collection which was held in 1979 at the Hungarian National Gallery. Since then these works are regularly selected to exhibitions evaluating the turn of the century, both in Hungary and Slovakia.


     The Mining Museum of Rožňava owns the most of the Tichy brothers‘ works and documents. Many of the these documents need to be translated into Slovak, such as Kálmán’s literary works, letters from the time when he was the museum’s principal or Gyula’s travel diary.


     The exhibition of their work selected from the collection of The Mining Museum of Rožňava can be visited until 22nd July at the Rovás Academy in Košice.


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