Brutality in Brown: Román György at Barcsay Terem

The exhibition Wanderer in Sickness-Land of Román György (1903-1981) at the Hungarian Fine Arts Academy presents a bleak picture of Hungary in the 20th century.  The exhibition is a bit of a homecoming as Román was born just around the corner from the Academy, on Csengery utca.  After graduating from the Academy in 1928, he spent some time in China in the mid thirties returning to Hungary to witness the atrocities of the Second World War which appears to have had a profound impact on his work.  In 1944, his uncle Elek Artúr a novelist and critic with whom he was quite close, killed himself after being forced to wear a yellow star.  After the war he spent time working in the court drawing portraits of those accused of war crimes.

His paintings generally utilize a limited palette of browns with red highlights.  His brushstokes are forcefully applied as he seems to attack the canvas with a blunt brush.  Later in life his works apear to be more allegorical with titles such as rats and flypaper  however they seem to retain the same brutalism of his earlier war themes.

Román György Wanderer in Sickness-Land  2011 October 10 – November 5

at Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem – Barcsay Terem

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