Imre Molnár: Dia’s Sandals
Imre Molnár: Dia's Sandals
Imre Molnár: Dia's Sandals

Work of Art in Focus – September 2022

The summer seems to be over soon now. But we should not let it go so easily! Let us remember its joyfulness, light-heartedness and the glittering sunshine it gave us with the help of a pair of footwear in the colours of blue and gold through Di's Sandals. It is not known whether Di is identical with Diana, the Goddess of light, fertility and childbirth or if the Master of the artwork had another Diana in mind while skilfully crafting the goatskin for the purpose of creating this pair of sandals. It may as well be that Di is in fact the Master's Di: an acquaintance whose feet the Master was considering while creating his artwork.

The choice of the colours of blue and gold is not accidental. Blue, symbolic of peace, calmness, silence and faith, also symbolises motherly love and patience, while gold represents wisdom and knowledge as well as physical, emotional, mental, rational and spiritual richness. Thereby the footwear, through its colours, also makes a reference to the Goddess associated with the title of the work and the sandals.

Imre Molnár: Dia's Sandals, Oasis goatskin, gold plating, leather soles

Imre Molnár's artworks are characterised by the sheer beauty of leather, which he enhances through his special working of leather. The first step in his creation of art is always the act of touching the material, getting acquainted with it and selecting it, which is followed by the fine and extensive working of the material. Imre Molnár never acts against the material: he preserves its features and even highlights its characteristics. A definitive element of Imre Molnár's art is his material-centred thinking. Leather lends itself readily to art: its decoration comes as a self-evident action considering the natural features of leather.

Leather designer Imre Molnár was born in Budapest on 25th March 1942. He spent his childhood years on Budapest's Margaret Island, where his family lived. As a child he was greatly enthralled by the Island through its undepletable wealth of nature and through the Island's ages-old mementos and remains. Imre Molnár pursued his secondary studies at the Budapest's Újpest based Könyves Kálmán Secondary Grammar School. Budapest's Újpest area used to be a long-established district of high quality Hungarian leather-making. Imre Molnár was raised on these leather industrial traditions and he learnt the expertise of the leather-working profession from masters he met in this area. He married in 1967 and moved to Budapest's Csepel area, where is still currently living, and this is where he has his own workshop to create his artwork. While he has been living in Csepel, he has been engaged in drawing and painting, and he has often visited the Fine Arts Free School called the Circle of Csepel, which produced quite a lot of renowned artists. His artistic career was greatly impacted by the Hungarian dance house movement, which started in the 1970s, and he was also influenced by the Studio of Young Folk Artists. At that time, young people trying to find their roots identified the starting point of their artistic renewal in the ancient and pure source of Hungarian folk art. In addition to building professional connections in Hungary, Imre Molnár expanded his horizons through study tours abroad and through the experiences he gathered there.

Imre Molnár's artworks are gathered by Hungarian and foreign public and private collections. Leather artworks of his are found in collections based in Budapest (Museum of Applied Arts, National Széchenyi Library, Parliament) and the Hungary-based Pannonhalma, as well as in the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Vatican City and in the United States.

"In order for somebody to develop from a master into an artist, they must convey spiritual content, and they should have their own message to share as well as they should find harmony between content, function and form. This unity of harmony, material and spirit surfaces in an unnoticed and self-explanatory manner and in a natural way in artworks by Imre Molnár. His creations radiate calmness and infinite tranquillity whatever genres his artworks represent. This is the key to the ephemeralness of his artworks."

(Hilda Horváth: Imre Molnár's Art)