Hungarian Tapestry Art: Artist Information

Essay, Curator Information, Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4, Gallery 5

Noémi FERENCZY (1890‒1957)Noémi FERENCZI

Both of Noémi’s parents were artists. Her father, Károly Ferenczy is one of the most significant modern artists in Hungary. Her mother, Olga Fialka was also a painter who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her two brothers, Béni and Valér were also well known artists. Noémi decided to become a tapestry artist after she saw an exhibition of Arras tapestries in Paris, in 1911. She studied at the Manufactures des Gobelins, Paris. She designed all of her works herself, for she considered the creation of a tapestry from the first sketch to the last moment of weaving to be a fully integrated process. In this regard she was the forerunner of, and model for contemporary autonomous tapestry artists in Hungary. Although nature and the human figure and their harmonious relationship remained her sole motifs during her career, the proportions and the connection between the two elements gradually changed. In the twenties her monumental tapestries focus on the human and related symbols. In the forties and fifties figural tapestries replaced the geometrically structured earlier compositions. In the last decade of her life, her teaching gained importance. She was the first professor of the Department of Tapestry at the Academy of Applied Art, Budapest. She participated in a number of exhibitions in Hungary and abroad, and gained great international reputation. Her works are owned by major museums in Hungary.

Emese CSÓKÁSEmese CSÓKÁS

Emese received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry at the University of Applied Arts (today: MOME), Budapest in 1985. She is a high school teacher. She is interested in different, overlapping layers within the tapestry and in contrasting tapestry with other materials, and techniques.

Ágnes KECSKÉSÁgnes KECSKÉS

Ágnes received her MA diploma from the Department of Printing at the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest in 1970. During her studies she took an interest in tapestry design. Between 1980‒85 she collaborated and worked together with local peasant women from a small village (Köröm) on huge tapestries for decorating the local church. Her very delicate monochrome masterpiece, “Danube bend,” is woven from linen with different natural tones, while the granularity of the material contributes to the uneven surface of the landscape.

Ildikó DOBRÁNYIIldikó DOBRÁNYI

Ildikó received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry at the University of Applied Arts (today: MOME), Budapest in 1972, after which she spent a year at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratife d’Abusson. From 1996 until 2007 she was the president of the Association of Hungarian Tapestry Artists, Budapest. She was co-curator with Edit András of  Kárpit (international tapestry exhibitions) in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest in 2001 and 2005. She initiated and edited the survey book entitled Tapestry Art in Hungary (Budapest, 2006). In the beginning of her career she was interested in forms, colors, texture and in experiments that extend into the space and she was well known in this capacity. She was among the rebellious artists who wanted to carve their own path within textile art, turning back to wall tapestries and the traditional technique. The topics of her very elegant tapestries are small details of nature realized with dot-and-grid structure and optical effects.

Gabriella Hajnal, Blind PeopleGabrielle HAJNAL

Gabriella was 13 when her mother enrolled her in a school of drawing in Budapest. WWII interrupted her studies. From the age of 17 she had to earn her living and she worked in applied graphics. At the age of 21 she started her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, and received her MA diploma at the Department of Painting. After graduation she started to take an interest in tapestry design. She educated herself in the technique of weaving to be able to absorb the inner characteristics of tapestry into the design process. The socially relevant message is as important for her as the striking visual language. She uses vivid colors, sharp contrasts, repetition and unexpected elements when addressing issues like violence, trauma, and defenselessness.

Ibolya HEGYIIbolya HEGYI

Ibolya received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry of the Academy of Applied Arts (today: MOME), Budapest in 1978. In 2000‒2007 as the vice-president of the MKE (Association of Hungarian Tapestry Artists) she participated in the operative works of the organization in the “Kárpit” exhibitions. From 2003‒2006 she was a member of the Doctoral School of MOME. She earned her DLA in 2008. She has been a founding member and deputy director of the board of Ildikó Dobrányi Foundation. She was the chief organizer of the international program Web of Europe, which included a collaborative tapestry, accompanied by a catalog co-edited by her. She organized an international conference and co-edited the volume containing the conference papers. Ibolya integrates new materials, like metallic thread and optical cable into her tapestries next to the noble materials of silk and wool. She is highly virtuosic in the traditional tapestry technique, able to imitate the most sophisticated structure of photography and to create a very rich and detailed surface. She is an artist with an international reputation; her tapestries have been exhibited widely and won awards in Europe, United States and Canada.

Website: www.ibolyahegyi.hu

Judit NAGYJudit NAGY

Judit studied in the High School of Visual Arts in Budapest as a textile major, and received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry of the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest in 1977. Her work “Weaving = way of life” is an iconic piece of  Hungarian tapestry art. She knows her genre in and out, and thinks about it within its limits and possibilities. Her witty, humorous tapestries are about the specificities of an ancient genre trapped in the contemporary world, thus they speak about the inner dilemmas of today’s art making practices while never abusing or leaving the structure of tapestry. Her earlier tapestries are obsessed with realistic scenes or narratives, the newest ones have mostly fixated on symbolism. She participated in World Tapestry Today, a traveling international show.

Lívia PÁPAILívia PÁPAI

Lívia studied in the High School of Visual Arts in Pécs as a textile major, and received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry of the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest in 1979. From 2003‒2005 she was a member of the Doctoral School of the University of Pécs (PTE). She earned her DLA in 2006. She made her habilitation in 2008. She is an internationally known figure of Hungarian textile art conducting research on the world-wide heritage of the field, as well as constantly experimenting with different media and materials. She started her career with wall-tapestries to which she recently returned after decades of exploring various possibilities in the cultural arena of weaving.

Website: http://w3.externet.hu/~doborl

Eleonóra PASQUALETTIEleonóra PASQUALETTI

Eleonóra’s painter mother and musician father raised 10 children under modest financial circumstances. During family museum visits she became acquainted with art. She received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry of the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest in 1983. She spent 2 months in Rome in 1993, and Italy has been the main inspirational source for her art ever since. Her emotional and intellectual attachment to Italy was strengthened by her father’s ties. In her tapestry works she has always attempted the placement of forms in space, whether it is a figurative or an architectural solution. Personal framing, experimental attitude and searching for new techniques has definitive impact on her choice of subject matter, among which are architectural space, notions of time, depiction of the sacrality of passing time and endurance that goes beyond the borders of the material, immaterial and even spiritual world.

Website: www.pasqualetti.de/index.htm

Gizella SOLTIGizella SOLTI

Gizella wanted to be an artist from her early childhood. She studied in the High School of Visual Arts in Budapest and was a tapestry major in the Textile Department. She received her MA diploma from the Department of Tapestry of the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest in 1955 as the pupil of Noémi Ferenczy. She has woven on the loom inherited from Noémi for fifty years. For the younger generation of contemporary tapestry artist her works are a rich source of inspiration. They rely on her vast knowledge of the technique as well. She is a virtuoso tapestry weaver, implanting improvisations during the process of weaving. Although she uses the classical technique, she experiments with exposing the warp, usually covered in the traditional weaving technique, as well as with doubling the warp. The topics of her visionary tapestries are related to fragility of nature and to the destiny of humanity.

Verona SZABÓVerona SZABÓ

Verona grew up in a small village where women made their own dowry, so she learned about spinning and weaving in her childhood. She received her MA diploma from the Department of Weaving of the Academy of Applied Art (today: MOME), Budapest. Later she started to take an interest in tapestry design. Her themes come from nature and the environment. Through paraphrasing and re-evaluating its phenomena her aim is to call attention to its beauty, values, fragility, evanescence and the need to care for it. She is interested in the symbolic depiction of universal concerns of humankind (origin and infinity, life and death). She is also inspired by lyric poetry, including the wonderful metaphors of the Song of Songs in the Bible.

Marika SZÁRAZMarika SZÁRAZ

Marika studied tapestry weaving in the Tapestry Manufacture of the Hungarian State in 1972. She received her MA diploma at ENSAV (National School of Visual Art La Cambre) in Brussels in 1989. She studied at John F. Kennedy University, San Francisco. She is a member of the board of the Ildikó Dobrányi Foundation. Her work is based on a long tapestry experience followed by a research on the “surface to form”. For many years she has been experimenting with a new technique, “szama” (an abbreviation created from her name), which allows an infinite variation of shapes of the woven surface whether they are round or with angles. By changing the forms, the parallel threads of the warp change direction as well and create new levels; by the reflection of light, these levels acquire metamorphosed colors. She is particularly interested in the structure of tapestry to the point where the medium becomes the very subject.