Work of Art in Focus – October 2022
"Big aeroplanes remind me of whales. They are so big that they menacingly tower over us and even block parts of the sky. But this frightening character of theirs does not appal me, it rather fascinates me. I am also absorbed watching them flying far in the sky. I painted the first aeroplane images in August 2001. Then I stopped painting such images because I did not want to appear to be exploiting a then recent event for artistic purposes.
I have never selected my paintings on a thematic or theoretical basis but always along optical and emotional considerations. In this series of artworks, I consciously and purposefully focalise on aeroplanes as partakers in my landscapes. A jungle or an ancient-looking scenery looks absolutely modern with an aeroplane in that image. I have noticed that my "traditional-looking" landscapes acquire a feel of strangeness, a somewhat metaphysical and slightly sci-fi look with an aeroplane flying through the sky. The result of such a depiction is the same, may the aeroplane be small and flying through the sky in the distance or be huge.
The aeroplane in fact changes the entire scenery. It lends the image a completely different meaning. The painting thus receives a slightly conceptual and theoretical overtone, which – in the case of earlier works – was indeed far from me, as I wrote earlier. Yet, in my understanding, my aeroplane images fit in with my fascination with landscapes, and in these landscapes the strange elements, buildings, cypresses, cars and aircrafts will become enlivened beings incorporated in the landscape. This thereby gives the image a sinister look, which seems very fascinating, mysterious and beautiful in my opinion."
(excerpt from grant-winner László Szotyory's grant report)
László Szotyory: Aeroplanes at Twilight, 2021, oil, canvas, 42x50 cm (16,5x20 in)
Cluj-Napoca born (Romania) Munkácsy Mihály Award winning Hungarian painter László Szotyory graduated from the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in 1983, where his teachers included Ignác Kokas and Gábor Dienes. His artworks with their extraordinarily playful, tender and moderate colours originate from impressionism as well as from a figural and objectified world. László Szotyory's typical and recurrent themes include not only Mediterranean scenes and motifs but also North American landscapes as well as cars and movie theatres. His oftentimes dream-like images radiate a strange and mysterious mood. László Szotyory's artworks are found in Hungarian and foreign public and private collections including those located in America and all over the Carpathian Basin. For the years 2020 and 2021, the Hungarian Academy of Arts' Section of Fine Arts awarded László Szotyory with the Academy's Art Grant.
The above-described Work of Art in Focus will be on display in the exhibition hall located on Pesti Vigadó's 5th floor in the scope of the exhibition entitled "Award Winners of the Hungarian Academy of Arts' Section of Fine Arts, Exhibition No. 8" until 13th November 2022.