(1905 - 1945)
Painter, graphic artist, mosaicist. Between 1946-1951 he was a student of the Budapest College of Fine Arts. His masters were Róbert Berény, Géza Főnyi and Jenő Barcsay. He visited France, Italy, Bulgaria and Israel on study trips. Since 1964 he has been a member of the old Szentendre Artists' Association. Although he has made panel paintings and prints throughout his career, Hegyi is best known for his mosaics and stained glass windows. He reinterpreted mosaic art, which had previously been considered a monumental genre, and began to create mosaics on the scale of a tableau. His subject matter was extremely varied, inspired as much by natural phenomena, architectural masterpieces and memories of his travels abroad as by figures from sagas and poems.
Szentendre was an important stage in the development of Hegyi's art, where his constructive vision was honed in the summer months in the presence of his master, Jenő Barcsay. He exhibited his works from this period at the European School's exhibition "Sight and Vision" in the winter of 1948. 'I felt, even knew, that they were the future, that they represented the new, the revolutionary, the new. It was in the College library that I learned about Picasso, the French, Russian and German greats of modern art. It was then that I first saw Vajda drawings at Endré Bálint's. Vajda's visions are a shocking and authentic insight into the horrors of fascism, a poignantly perfect artistic representation of inhumanity [...] I think it was not only in my subjects and motifs, but in my embrace of artistic tradition, in my constant experimentation and search for something new, that I became a true Szentendre painter,' Hegyi said of this very important but brief period in his career.
Hegyi does not say that he was familiar with Vajda's photomontages of Paris in the 1930s, but he definitely had similar motives and influences for the cover of The Truth About Katyn in 1945. The fifty-page book was published by the Romanian Communist Party and contained the report of a special commission sent to determine and investigate the circumstances of the execution of Polish prisoners of war shot by German fascist usurpers in the Katin Forest. The massacre was first reported by Berlin radio in April 1943, but was long believed in the West to be Nazi propaganda. For more than sixty years, the Soviets dodged the issue, sometimes blaming the Germans and sometimes reducing the number of victims. The truth is, however, that when the Red Army dropped 250,000 Polish prisoners of war in September 1939, Stalin ordered the execution of the officers on 5 March 1940, a decision that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 22,000 Poles. Hegyi's cover uses the montage technique of Soviet film, superbly condensing and highlighting the point with original photos of the exhumed dead (all before Auschwitz!) and the site, and the commission report, which says only 11,000 died.