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Szalay, Lajos



Lajos Szalay was born in 1909 in Őrmező. His talent showed early: his childhood war drawings were exhibited in Vienna in 1917. With puberty, he was more and more interested in the art world. For Szalay, art and literature were so close to each other, that they functioned as a unity. He considered his main mean of expression, the drawing, always as some kind of poetic expression.

His success with his drawings was supported by the fact, that he attended József Balogh’s drawing lessons. With his help, he was accepted at the artist camp of the College of Fine art, although he was only 17. In the summer of 1927, Szalay was accepted at the Academy in Budapest, as a result, his father banished him from the family. Ágost Benkhard was his master. He started his career as a painter, but rather quickly started working with ink drawings, and realised how well the line drawn with a feather can express emotions. During breaks from the Academy, he studied 9 months at the artist camp in Miskolc.

Between 1930-1931 he travelled to Paris and studied the art of Picasso, who later said about Szalay: “If two names of graphic artist survive the XXth century, the second will be mine. If there is only one, it will be Lajos Szalay.” In 1947 he already worked in Paris, between 1949-1960 he was teaching at the Tucuman University and Academy of Fine Art in Buenos Aires. He influences the Hungarian graphical generation mainly with his work Genesis in the 1960s and 1970s. After his period in New York (1960-88) he returned to Miskolc/Hungary.

Concerning his art, Szalay is not a person of harmony: he showed the cruel in order to present the world the lack of values. His drawings refer to every life, to the Bible, Mythology.
He illustrated characters from Hungarian and world literature, poems, novels and plays. Beside that he designed book covers, coloured book posters (in Hungary mainly for the Singer and Wolf editor – Új Idők Irodalmi Rt.)
After he returned to Hungary, he offered 450 drawings to museums in Hungary.
There is a constant exhibition of his life work in Miskolc.

Year Biography
1909 He was born in Őrmező
1917-1918 with his war child drawings he participated on exhibitions in Vienna
1927-1936 College of Fine Arts
  He took study trip to Paris, where he studied the art of Picasso
1947 He was worked in Paris
1949-1960 He taught at the University of Tucuman and the
  the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires
1961 He moved to New York
1988 returned to Hungary and he settled in Miskolcon, and he donated hundreds of his works
  to various domestic museums
  His teacher: Ágos Benkhard
1993 Honorary citizen of Miskolc County Town
1992 Kossuth-award
1990 Winter Exhibition of Miskolc, the prize of the Miskolc Gallery
1989 Outstanding artist
1989 Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctor),
  Hungarian College of Fine Arts
1988 Miskolc Winter Exhibition, Grand Prix
1982 IBA – Internationale Buchkunstausstelung Leipzig, silver medal
1980 Flag order of the Hungarian People's Republic
1972 500. anniversary of the birth of György Dózsa announced
  tender first prize
1947 UNESCO scholarship, Paris
1944 Pál Szinyei Merse Society, Zichy Mihály graphics prize
1936 Budapest Capital city Painting Scholarship
1928 KÉVE graphics award
  Single exhibitions
1999 Budapest Gallery, Budapest
  National Foreign Language Library, Budapest
1998 City Gallery, Győr
1997 Vermeer G. de Arte, Buenos Aires
1994 Sárospataki Gallery
   Zichy Galerie, Leiden (NL)
1993 Collegium Hungaricum, Vienna
1992 Zichy Palace, Óbuda, Budapest
  General Consulate of the Republic of Hungary [Győrfi Alexander], New York
  Szalay Permanent Exhibition Petro-house, Miskolc
1991 Lajos Kossuth Cultural Center, Sátoraljaújhely
  Vármegye Gallery, Budapest
  Gallery of Miskolc, Miskolc
1990 Budapest History Museum, Budapest
  County Library, Békéscsaba
1989 Sándor Bródy County Library, Eger
1988 Mini Gallery, Miskolc
  City Cultural Center, Mosonmagyarovar
1986 County Library, Békéscsaba
1984 Vigadó Gallery, Budapest
1983 Zichy Palace, Budapest, Óbuda
1981 Gallery of Miskolc, Miskolc
  County Cultural Center, Szolnok
1980 Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1976,1977 G. Birger, Buenos Aires
1975 Nickolaus Exercise Center, New York
1972 Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1969 Gallery Ustel, Toronto
1968 Gaspary Gallery, USA
  Rockefeller University, New York
1961 Plastica G. de Arte, Buenos Aires
  Wigder Gallery of Modern Art, Washington
  Hungarian Week, Rutgers University, USA
  Gallery of Fine Art, Virginia Beach
1959 G. van Riel, Buenos Aires
1958 Montevideo
  Pan American Union, Washington
1957 G. Antigona, Buenos Aires
1955 G. Krajd, Buenos Aires
1949 Tucuman (Argentina)
  Group exhibitions
1991 The county library exhibits 50, Békéscsaba.
1988 Double psalm - literary illustrations, Helicon Museum, Keszthely
  Winter Exhibition, Gallery of Miskolc, Miskolc
1985 The Miskolc ancient gymnasiums and Ferenc Földes Secondary School's
  teachers and students art exhibitions, Herman Otto Museum, Miskolc
1984 Three Hungarian artist exhibition, New York
  Graphics from the legacy of Erno Kallai, Óbuda Cellar Gallery, Budapest
1982 Iba-Internationale Buchkunstausstellung, Leipzig
  First National Drawing Biennial, Nógrád History Museum, Salgótarján
  Respect for the homeland. Hungarian origin abroad living
  Artists II. exhibition at Kunsthalle, Budapest
1975 Peintures et sculptures des Artistes Hongrois en France,
  Galerie ISIS-Hotel PLM, St. Jacques, Paris
1972 Contemporary Hungarian graphics and statuette for the memory of György Dózsa,
  Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1970 Hungarian-born 20th-century artists in abroad,
  Art Gallery, Budapest
1964 Hungarian Artists in New York, Lys Gallery, New York
1959 Modern Hungarian graphics, Radnai Collection
1948 The Hungarian graphics for 11 years, City Gallery, Budapest
1947 Artists Since the release, City Gallery, Budapest
1945 Dózsa exhibition, the National Peasant Party, Budapest
  Works in public collections
  Buenos Aires Museum
  Cambridge Museum
  István Dobó Museum, Eger
  City Gallery, Budapest
  Fogg M.
  Ottó Herman Museum, Miskolc
  St. Stephen King Museum, Székesfehérvár
  Janus Pannonius Museum, Pécs
  Gallery of Kecskemét, Kecskemét
  Museum of University Notre Dame
  Miskolci Gallery, Miskolc
  Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
  Ferenc Móra Museum, Szeged
  Mihály Munkácsy Museum, Békéscsaba
  I. Grand Gallery, Baja
  Nógrád History Museum, Salgótarján
  Petőfi Literature Museum, Budapest
  Ráday Museum, Kecskemet
  Gallery of Szombathely, Szombathely
  Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
  Tucumani M.
  University of Chicago Museum.
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