Covered images, hidden lifework – The portrayal of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 in István Görgényi’s (1917 – 1973) art
In Hungarian art, artworks referencing or commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and produced during or in the years right after the Revolution are quite rare. The only artworks of this kind are graphic works, which are quick to create, and paintings offering a summative portrayal of the Revolution. These series of paintings connected to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 by painter István Görgényi (1917–1973) constitute a unique venture. Due to the communist regime, the paintings of the series were hidden for a long time and were discovered only as late as in 2006. These artworks by the Tatabánya (Hungary) based painter depict the events of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and commemorate Hungary’s 20th century revolution and freedom fight. The paintings feature dark shades and deeply vivid colours with some patches of flames, and exhibit sharp contrasts and glowing colours. The artworks accurately present the age in which the paintings were created, aptly characterise this period of glaring contradictions and likewise show the spirit of this globally important Revolution.
István Görgényi’s lifework is a good example of the ways artists, in the most difficult and testing times and through their own means, can serve the eternal idea of Hungarian freedom and this nation’s will to live and survive. This neatly justifies why these series of paintings are associated with the first line of Hungarian poet Kölcsey’s Appeal (Szózat), which reads “To your homeland without fail…”
Organiser: Turul Gallery – member of Eurotrade Group