Epic & Organic

2022. 10. 27.

Epic & Organic

“Whether I start from material or thought, my goal is to make the hidden nature of things visible.”

“What you can solve in two forms, don’t solve in three.”

János Fajó

János Fajó (1937-2018) is one of the unavoidable leading figures of Hungarian constructivist geometric art. His work as a teacher, exhibition organiser and graphic design spanned countries and extended beyond Europe. In his pedagogical, literary and editorial work, he addressed artistic issues that are still valid and instructive today. The basic artistic truths that Fajó articulated not only in his painting, sculpture and graphic works, but also in his writings and textbooks are valid for art in all countries.


His work is structured around several emblematic motifs. By creating grandiose variations and versions of the circle, the square and the triangle, the artist, who abstracted natural forms to the extreme, built up a unique set of motifs, which makes his name unmistakable.


Arranging these basic forms into a consistent series of infinite variations of colour and shape emphasised different characteristics of the forms. Due to the technique of alternating static and dynamic elements, together with the interplay of colours, where the strength and shade of a colour depends on the one next to it, Fajó’s works become pulsatingly ambiguous.


Fajó’s whole art can be seen as a universal base of visual language, in which creation is a way of speaking that has certain basic rules. His works are easy to understand, legible and recognizable, and in addition to this simplicity, they are complex constructions that nevertheless clearly explain geometry, symmetry, formal architecture and the illusion of movement. In our exhibition we want to present a comprehensive selection of works of his five-decade creative period which clearly shows János Fajó’s clear formal experiments and constructive-deconstructive solutions.


Fajó was impressed by the technique of silkscreen printing from the very beginning of his career, which offered a more liberated creative possibility than what was given to artists at the time in the politically regulated painting and sculpture.


“Artistic serigraph printing was introduced in Hungary in 1968 by us, the members of the later Pesti Műhely. (…) Already in our first folder, we sensed and guessed the vital importance and possibility of graphic reproduction in many ways (…) Colour reproduction was also vital for us from a social point of view (…) because those prints contributed to the development of our personality, as from behind the Iron Curtain form and colour palette and dissolved our artificial isolation, they gave the world news about ourselves at the graphics biennale.”

János Fajó

Fajó played with shapes, colours and space. Although the creative process is difficult to see from the outside, and paintings and prints were often created in parallel, the screen printing technique also helped Fajó to see, while varying a motif, which variation would result in a painting.The screenprints in the exhibition were made by Fajó in the 70’s. They are emblematic masterpieces that are flawless even after such a long time.


“Few people are aware of what colour reproduction means for an artist, what an immeasurable responsibility there is in the maturation of a life’s work and the awareness of the artistic personality. Its significance lies in the fact that it makes the artist think more about his work, which also means awareness of his personality traits and his own identity.
As you know, the preparation for reproduction takes place by disassembling and reassembling the work into its component parts, therefore, resulting in thoughtfulness and self-analysis during the process. Maturing the works in this way brings out the uncertainties of colour and form, and creates an opportunity to make a decision, to express complete certainty. This paves the way for the final design of the work, the painting.”


János Fajó