Istvan Sandorfi's solo exhibition will be on view at Kalman Maklary Fine Arts, Budepaest, from May 16 through June 14, 2019.
The exhibition will feature some of the paintings that will be shown for the first time in Hungary.
Sandorfi, a well known name in Europe and America, became familiar in Hungary only after 2006, 50 years after he left the country with his family after the revolution in 1956. He settled in France in 1958 and lived there until his death in 2007.
The gallery reveals that Sandorfi’s first drawings were made in 1956 at the age of eight on revolutionaries fighting against tanks in Kispest. The works were so successful that his mother had to hide them. She was afraid that somebody could have recognized them as propaganda images. “He was eighteen when his first exhibition of school works was held in a Galerie des Jeunes in Paris. He was using a unique technique in his pen-drawn portraits, creating a photo-like impression,” states the press note by the gallery.
The first decade of his career was full of astonishing still-lifes of guts and his favorite theme, self-portraits. “Initially, these simple portraits have become more and more complicated, often combined with various objects, into aggressive, theatrical settings,” says the gallery. He often portrayed himself in a squeezed positions, tied with parts of the body, distorted, blindfolded or together with inappropriate objects like ear cleaning sticks, cord or bra. “Many of his paintings were believed to be narcissistic, although there was rather a practical reason for his repetitive representations — he was always at his own disposal,” the gallery adds.
His exhibition at the Paris City Museum of Modern Art (Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris) in 1973 brought Sandorfi’s first real success. Since then, famous Western cultural institutions have also exhibited his works, including the great galleries of Copenhagen, Rome, Paris, Munich, Brussels, Basel, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
At the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, Sandorfi’s palette was dominated by blue and purple and their cold combinations. Since 1983, besides the self-portraits, he painted more and more hand and leg themes. Then also appeared still-lifes where he used astonishing motifs — brain, chicken head and fish. In 1987, in the year of his father’s death, he finally stopped painting self-portraits and, besides still-lifes, almost exclusively painted female models for which he used photography.This working method was first used in self-portraits for his exhibition in 1973, thereafter he painted his works only in this way.
“Beside the female bodies wrapped in sheets he showed on the canvas unusual objects — toy plane, blue-colored sunglasses or feather. However, in his still-life, he depicted bottles and fruits — apples, oranges, apricots, pears with paint stains or painted motifs — rather than repulsive objects. The background of the pictures was a neutral wall or paper cardboard but in these, the finest cracks were painted meticulously,” states the press communique.
The exhibition will be on view from May 16 through June 14, 2019, at Kalman Maklary Fine Arts Gallery, 1055 Budapest, Falk Miksa u. 10., Hungary.