Composition (1973)

Attila Joláthy (1929 - 1998)



60 x 90 cm


Oil on canvas.


10,000 USD


Signed bottom right: Joláthy 73


Attila Joláthy was an American prisoner of war in Ludwigshafen between 1944 and 1946. Between 1948 and 1950 he worked as a label painter and later as a technical draughtsman at the Standard factory. Between 1949 and 1950 he was a student in the Standard factory's art circle. Between 1951 and 1952 he was a pupil of Ödön Márffy at the Buda Art Circle, and between 1952 and 1955 he was Márffy's assistant there. Between 1956 and 1973 he lived in France. Between 1958 and 1960, he was a student at the Grand Chaumière private academy in Paris. In 1962, he helped found the Art 62 group (Evry). From 1981, he was a consultant at the National Centre for Public Culture (formerly the Institute of Popular Culture) and head of the screen workshop of the Tokaj Summer Artists' Camp. 


He started as a figurative painter, and learned his colour vision and summarizing approach from Márffy. In the early 1960s, he spent a long time in Paris, where he was influenced by Egyptian art, and his Egyptian series, in which he used decorative colours and thickly applied layers of paint, was born. From the mid-60s onwards, he turned his attention to geometry. He also worked as a technical draughtsman, and the world of machines and structures became a dominant feature in his painting. Joláthy called his individual style Geomart, which is characterised by the fact that they not only move out into the plane, but also into space as objects. He himself has spoken of the nature of his work as follows. I paint in my pictures the future-oriented feasible thoughts, the created dreams or the environment of a productive and constructive man of the present in a new constructive system. The rhythm of the forms, in these the connections of line and mass, the rhythmic changes of colour are of great importance, as these works are condensed pictorial formations of the seen and perceived world." 


By the time he made Composition (1973), Joláthy had switched to acrylic, so the surface of his painting was matte and he didn't need to apply as much material. He combines hard edge precision with his cheerful, intense, undulating stripes. Her working method: first she did a carefully edited drawing on tracing paper, then a colour variation, also in small. He marked the stages of his colour palette, the colours, with markings - just as tapestry weavers mark their cardboard. There is both tension and harmony as he juxtaposes a warmly coloured moving waveform against a firmly taut ice blue background. His linear perspectives create a sense of space through his engineering precision. At the end of the decade, Joláthy replaced his curved forms with angular shapes. He turned from the two-dimensional plane to a spatially effective image structure.



Related Themes

Post-War Abstraction

(1948 - 1980)

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