paizs lászló
paizs lászló

paizs laszlo kossuth dij


1935- Born on December 26th, 1935, in the village of Szentpéterúr, Zala County.

1941, moves to Szombathely with his family. Attends the Nagy Lajos High School in Szombathely between 1950 and 1954 Paizs' eventual career choice is greatly influenced by his primary school art master, Árpád Radnóti Kovács, on whose suggestion Paizs begins to attend drawing class from 1948. The classes are led by Árpád Radnóti Kovács and Nándor Burányi.

1954- Between 1954 and 1959 Paizs studies at the painting and decorating faculty of the College of Applied Arts in Budapest. His teachers are György Z. Gács, Lajos Szentiványi and Zoltán Rákosi.

"I started out in a more or less parallel group to Lakner et al. We were very good friends, and spent a lot of time together. At the College of Fine Arts a person's teacher had an enormous influence on their work. At the College of Applied Arts - because we were just studying the craft - we were allowed to do other things. There was a freer atmosphere."7 (1983)

During his college years and for some time afterwards Paizs earns a living by painting still lifes for the Képcsarnok Vállalat and by producing murals - executing designs by Géza Fónyi, György Konecsni, György Z. Gács, Zoltán Rákosi and Endre Domanovszky, and producing mosaics, sgraffiti, frescoes and seccoes.
Paizs completes his diploma project in 1959, a mosaic for the aula of the Horticultural College.
Paizs also produces a tapestry design, commissioned by the Fine Arts Foundation. The 1˝×3-metre work, which depicts three figures, is sent to Poland as on official gift from the Hungarian People's Republic.

paizs laszlo foth erno mutermeben
Fóth Ernő műtermében.
Balról jobbra: Fóth Ernő,
Kóka Ferenc†,
Paizs László, Lakner László.
Amatőr felvétel, 1962

1962 Takes part in the third exhibition of the Studio of Young Artists in the Ernst Museum in Budapest, with a painting entitled Demolishing the Elisabeth Bridge.

1964 While on a group tour to Rome and Rimini, goes to the Venice Biennale, where the Pop Art works at the American and Belgian stands make a great impression on him.
Exhibits at another Studio of Young Artists show in December.

1966 Exhibits at the Studio of Young Artists show in April. The show allows scope for a certain amount of experimentation, and thus stirs up a furore in the press. Exponents of the new avant garde are included: Sándor Altorjai, Imre Bak, András Baranyai, Ilona Keserü, László Lakner, Sándor Molnár and Ludmil Siskov. Paizs' works were non-figurative oils (Negative Forms, Composition).
"I felt that here at last I was being given the chance to catch up with the century in which I was living. I didn't mean 1967; I meant more 1900, or 1910. But even so, it still seemed like a huge achievement, to me and to lots of people."8 (1978)

2 Kernács Gabriella:
Térbe dermedt gesztusok.
Beszélgetés Paizs Lászlóval.
(Művészet, 1978. évfolyam, 10. szám, 26. oldal)

"Úgy éreztem, hogy adva van végre a lehetőség, hogy utolérjem azt a századot, amelyben élek. Még csak nem is 1967-re gondoltam, csupán 1900-ra, vagy mondjuk 1910-re. De már ezt is óriási eredménynek éreztem és éreztük többen."2 (1978)

1967 His first one-man exhibition, of graphics, opens in March at the Artists' Club in Gyôr.
Abandoning his earlier oil-on-canvas techniques, Paizs begins to experiment with a series of works placing leather, fabric and metal on fibreboard. Instead of an illusion of reality we are given the tangible presence of material. Because the series contains no allusion to the real world, its rich textural interweavings give an impression of being mystic symbols. - White Picture, Composition with Two Figures (Divers), Leather Picture

paizs laszlo muterem
"Műterem" – részlet, 1970 körül
Fotó: Gadányi György

In April he submits these works to be exhibited by the Studio. The internal jury accepts them, and for a short time the pictures are hung for display. Higher authorities call for a correction, however. Before the exhibition opens around 50 works by 25 artists are consigned to the storeroom, among them all the works by Paizs. Paizs is deeply upset at having his work banished from the realm of what is declared to be art. At more or less the same time the commissions to produce decorative architectural pieces, which until now have been a source of income, dry up.
"This was too big a blow; some of us never really recovered from it. Few of us could really get their feet on the ground in the society of the time. Some of us abandoned the art world; others tried to pull themselves together as best they could; others, after a few years just vegetating, left the country. I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to exhibit those pictures, and everything to do with painting, everything I had learned thus far, began to seem hopeless."9 (1978)

Three years later Paizs has another opportunity to travel abroad. A week-long trip to Paris gives him the chance to visit the Musée Cluny, the Louvre and the Impressionist collection at the Musée du Jeu de Paume. He also learns what is going on in contemporary art at the Musée d'Art Moderne and an international show entitled Lumičre et Mouvement.

1969 Paizs sets to work again. Knowing that his textile works are gathering dust in a damp cellar, and wanting to preserve them from rotting away to nothing, he begins casting around for a material which could be used as a protective shell for perishable works. Seeing insects preserved in plexiglass in the window display of Tanért (a state shop) gives him the idea of using the material himself. Plexiglass, a methyl-metacryl compound, is colourless, transparent, unbreakable, light, and it solidifies at a low temperature. Following the pioneering work of Pevsner and Naum Gabo at the beginning of the century, plexiglass returned to experimental modern art in the sixties.

paizs laszlo posztimpresszionista festo nyloninge
A posztimpresszionista festő nyloninge, 1970
Fa, textil, plexi tömb,
96×61,2×6,5 cm
Blitz Galéria, Budapest
Fotó: Prutkay DIAstúdió

The raw material from which it is made, used principally in heavy industry, is very difficult to come by in Hungary, with the result that Paizs decides to make his own. Though plenty of experts tell him the enterprise is doomed to failure, he eventually succeeds, though not without a number of dangerous preliminary accidents. The first textile work to be encased in plexiglass (Embroidered Hip Pocket) is followed by works which encase a number of other materials (Black Eggs, Red Block, Green Block, The Post-Impressionist Painter's Nylon Shirt). The brutally crushed Czech revolution is commemorated in a work produced the following year, the 6.80 Shaving Mirror series.

"I was making conscious fossils with these works. I had noticed an interesting thing about plexiglass. It is a medium which reduces everything to a similar value. As soon as they are embedded in plexiglass, objects lose their everyday value and turn into something else, something difficult to pin down. They lose their impermanence, they are given new value, they become timeless - and that's a very human yardstick, measuring value according to longevity."10 (1978)

1970 Exploded TV Tube, Unser Kaiser im Gebet, The Crown Prince and Princess Have Been Murdered, Gauze Mushroom Cloud
In May he contributes a few graphics to a touring exhibition in Poland (Poznan, Lodz, Szczecin), organised by Attila Csáji and János Brendel. Most of the artists are from Iparterv and the Szürenon group, together with Paizs, Fajó and Fóth (all similar in outlook) and progressive artists from the older generation such as Endre Bálint, Tihamér Gyarmathy, Júlia Vajda.

1971 Countdown, Truman and Attlee Announce the Completion of the Atom Bomb
The plexiglass sculptures first come before the public in February, at the Új Művek (New Works) exhibition at the Műcsarnok in Budapest. Paizs - thanks to the help of Agamemnon Makrisz - exhibits Red Block and Green Block. The wide-ranging exhibition demonstrates a new, more lenient attitude to cultural politics, with young avant garde artists being included: paintings by Imre Bak, Pál Deim, László Lakner, Tamás Hencze and Ilona Keserü, and a sculptural construction by István Haraszty.
Paizs's one-man exhibition opens in the Adolf Fényes Salon in December, including 26 Pop Art plexiglass sculptures produced between 1969 and 1971. The show does not enjoy official state support, and is self-financed. It is opened by the sculptor József Somogyi, president of the Hungarian Fine Artists Association. Critics are baffled by the works, and reaction in the press is more or less hostile. The state-run TV News plans to broadcast information about the show, but the programme is axed following a higher-level ruling. Márta Sárvári, writing in Magyar Nemzet, finds the show devoid of original thought, self-serving, and "empty and vapid wittering" (a decade later these works were to find their way into major public collections). By contrast Béla Horváth, art critic for Művészet, praises the works for their original, ironic and satirical tone.
Georges Boudaille, in his periodical examining the avant garde art in Hungary, Les Lettres Françaises, makes special mention of Paizs's original technique.

1972 In February, not long after the closing of the exhibition in the Adolf Fényes Salon, an exhibition of Paizs' plexiglass sculptures is put on in the Bercsényi út premises of the Budapest Technical University, and opened by Imre Makovecz. At the time these premises were being used as a safe bolt-hole for a number of alternative arts events.
In June a number of plexiglass sculptures - 1914, The Crown Prince and Princess Have Been Murdered - are put on show in the Balatonboglár Chapel Exhibition, running for the second time. Other artists included in the show are László Lakner (photo montages), Sándor Csutoros (plexiglass spheres), András Orvos (flower paintings), András Baranyai (raster photos) and Attila Csáji (paper and cardboard works).
Takes part in a show in Novi Sad, entitled Young Budapest Artists. Among the exhibitors are Gábor Attalai, Attila Csáji, György Jovánovics, István Haraszty, László Lakner and János Major.
Is commissioned to produce a large-scale decorative plexiglass work (his first architectural plexiglass commission) for the Claudius Hotel in Szombathely. Money from this allows him to continue with his technical experimentation.

1973 Begins to produce plexiglass sculptures reduced to geometric shapes, inspired by Minimal Art.
"At first all I wanted from plexiglass was for it to be transparent, and to allow what was placed inside it to be visible. Later I realised that plexiglass is beautiful per se - I recognised its inherent Beauty, with a capital B - and that's when I decided to start using it as a material in its own right."11 (1978)

paizs laszlo kiallitas megnyito
Kiállítás-megnyitó a Fényes Adolf Teremben, Budapest,
1971. december 10-én
Megnyitotta: Somogyi József
balról a háttérben: Csíky Tibor
Fotó: Gadányi György

Regular square blocks and columnar cylindrical shapes, purely geometric in structure, devoid of any object motif, have parallel curved declivities and rows of circles etched into their surfaces. The plexiglass blocks are polished to a mirror-like smoothness, creating an effect of transparent bodilessness.
In June exhibits Pop Art plexiglass sculptures at the Balatonboglár Chapel Exhibition.

1974 Alongside the transparent methyl-metacryl works, Paizs begins working with coloured polyester. The surface of the polyester rectangles, spheres and cylinders is matt black, while the scooped out insides are coloured red.
Exhibits his first geometric acrylic sculpture at the 4th National Small Sculpture Biennial in Pécs.

1976 In May a one-man exhibition of geometric sculptures spanning the last two and a half years opens in the Csók Gallery in Budapest. The regular cubes and spheres of the transparent plexiglass and matt black polyester sculptures are displayed against a sober black and white background. The exhibition is opened by Pál Deim.
A long study of Paizs' new geometric works by János Frank appears in The New Hungarian Quarterly.
The 5th National Small Sculpture Biennial opens in Pécs in September. The jury awards second prize to one of Paizs' acrylic sculptures.

1977 Plexiglass and polyester are now joined by a third material, metal. Paizs produces mainly geometric figures, similar in spirit to what has gone before, but using heavy blocks of chrome steel, aluminium and bronze. - Triple Chrome Column
In June, as part the Hungarian Festival in Duisburg, an exhibition of acrylic and polyester sculptures opens in the Galerie Hildebrandt.

1979 Geometric sculptures which Paizs has been working on since the beginning of the decade now appear as decorative elements in public places and on public buildings. Double Sphere, made of coloured polyester, is erected at the Irottkô Hotel in Kôszeg. Three-Part Bronze Sculpture appears in the Gundel restaurant, and Double Polyester Sculpture is erected in Tárogató utca in Szeged.
A one-man exhibition opens in June at the Bástya Gallery in the Fishermen's Bastion in Budapest.
Large-scale chrome steel columns, destined to be erected at the city boundary, are put on show outside the Attila József Cultural Centre in Salgótarján.
A short monograph by János Frank on the art of László Paizs appears as the second volume of Mai Magyar Művészet (Modern Hungarian Art).

1980 A seven-metre double column of chrome steel welcoming people to the town of Zalaegerszeg is ceremonially unveiled in January.
In the same year the coloured polyester sculpture Double Sphere is erected outside the Budapest Convention Centre.
In recognition for his achievements Paizs is awarded the Munkácsy Prize in April.
Some of his geometric sculptures are included in the Hungarian exhibit at the 39th Venice Biennale, in touring exhibitions of Hungarian constructivism in Germany and Scandinavia, and in an exhibition series in the Óbuda Gallery in Budapest, covering the art of the seventies. A series of exhibitions in the Bercsényi Club and the special themed October issue of the periodical Művészet aim to reassess the seventies as a way of persuading people to recognise the Hungarian avant garde's right to exist.

1981 One-man exhibitions in Szeged and Zalaegerszeg.
Takes part in the 5th International Small Sculpture Biennial in Padua and Budapest, as well as in the first representative exhibition in Sweden of 20th century Hungarian art.
Teaches morphology for the academic year 1981-82 at the Industrial Design faculty of the College of Applied Arts.

1982 Copper Spatial Sculpture, a collaborative work with Jenô Tatár, commissioned by the Hévíz Recreation Centre, is erected.
One-man exhibition in the Bezzegh Gallery.

1983 Triple Suspended Sculpture, made of polyester, is made for the Ságvári School in Hódmezôvásárhely. The coloured polyester work entitled Sculpture, is erected outside the Hungarian People's Army Cultural Centre in Szentendre.
One-man exhibition in the Ferenc Móra Museum in Szeged.
Takes part in representative shows of contemporary Hungarian art in Madrid and Lisbon.

1984 The coloured polyester work entitled Relief is produced for the Grand Hotel Hungaria in Budapest.

1986 Plexiglass and Brass Interior Partition Wall, made for the Grand Hotel Hungaria in Budapest (collaborative work with Károly Szabó).

1987 Exhibition of new works produced between 1985 and 1987 opens at the Műcsarnok in April. The cycle entitled European Fossils are large-scale compositions paraphrasing classic European paintings, and thus represent a return to the classical tableau-painting genre. In contrast to the simplified geometric sculptures of the previous year these works, depicting a negative cultural utopia, are characterised by extreme structural complexity and richness of handling.
".I'm going back to fossils again. I'm planning things like an old object, recently discovered, cleaned up and polished. A Botticelli painting, for example, rediscovered as a fossil ten thousand years later, and put on show. I've got to be able to pre-empt the future. That's why I'm manufacturing the future in several different variants."12 (1989)

Takes part in an exhibition entitled Old and New Avant Garde (1967-1975) at the King Stephen Museum in Székesfehérvár, the first show to undertake to chart the beginnings of the Hungarian neo-avant garde.

1988 One-man exhibition in the Pandora Gallery in Badacsonytomaj.
Polyester Sculpture, commissioned by Post Office No. 2 in Miskolc.
Polyester Relief, made for the Hungarian Embassy in Bonn.
Coloured, painted polyester sculpture - Golden Age - for the nuclear power station in Paks.
Paizs is made a Distinguished Artist of the Hungarian People's Republic.

1989 One-man exhibition of "conscious fossils", produced in the sixties, at the Qualitas Gallery.
Exhibition of the Spheres I-IV. series in the King Stephen Museum in Székesfehérvár, at a show entitled The End of the Avant Garde (1975-1980), giving an overview of contemporary art.

1990 Bronze Relief, commissioned by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry.
Two coloured polyester compositions - The Land of Central Europe, Angelic Salutation - produced for the Hungarian Consulate in Munich.
1991 An exhibition on the art of the sixties opens at the Hungarian National Gallery in March. Paizs' plexiglass sculpture The Crown Prince and Princess Have Been Murdered is one of the works included in the show.
Three painted polyester works are produced for the Hungarian Consulate in New York and the United Nations Mission.
1992 Bronze work entitled Allegorical Composition, for the Hold utca façade of the Hungarian National Bank.

1994 In September an exhibition of new additions to the European Fossils series, produced between 1989 and 1994, opens at the Vigadó Gallery.
Takes part in a Pop Art exhibition at the Ernst Museum.

1997 In September, at an exhibition opened by Tibor Wehner in the Pest Center Gallery, exhibits seven monumental graphics, the first pieces in the Body Prints series, evoking classical torsos.
Bronze Allegorical Figure, produced for the Thália Theatre in Budapest.
1998 A new series of Body Prints is exhibited in the Budapest Gallery in February, inspired by depictions of the human form in Christian and pagan art.
Large-scale acrylic-on-paper graphic, produced for the Austrian-Hungarian insurance company Providencia.

1999 Elected president of the Pál Szinyei Merse Society, set up in 1992.
New works exhibited in the Pest Center Gallery's winter show. The rich handling and gleaming, metallic relief-like surfaces - modern-day cult images - bring a peculiar kind of pathos to the oldest theme in art: the depiction of the human form.

2000 Elected a member of the Hungarian Arts Academy.
Lives and works in Budapest.