Sándor Pinczehelyi

Sándor Pinczehelyi

Orodzony/a 8 Lipiec 1946, Szigetvár
Lived in Budapest
Lived in Erzsébet (3)

Sándor Pinczehelyi is one of the greatest Hungarian painters from the second half of the 20th century. Márta Kovalovsky characterized his work in three words: flexible, free and playful. It speaks about a whiff of visual invention, underlined with discipline, rooted in graphic art, and with a shadow of hidden irony. His public performance is closely connected with his native Pécs. For a long time, he worked as a director and a curator in the municipal gallery (Pécsi Galéria).

painting, graphics


Between 1960 and 1970, Sándor Pinczehelyi initially studied at the Pécs Művészeti Gimnáziumban/ Secondary School of Art (1960 – 1964), later he graduated from Tanárképző Főiskola Pécs/ Pedagogical College in Pécs (1966 – 1970), with a focus mainly on literature and drawing. During his studies he made friends with the painters Ferenc Martyn (1899-1986) and Ferenc Lantos (1929), who introduced him to the modernistic purism of Bauhaus and the an avant-garde approach to work. In 1969 their circle initiated the establishment of an art group, Pécsi Műhely/ Pécs Workshop (ceased to exist at the end of the 1970's). Apart from Pinczehelyi, the founding members include Ferenc Ficzek (1947), Károly Halász (1946), Károly Kismányoky (1943) and Kálmán Szíjártó (1946). In the first half of the 1970's the group focused on an examination of the limits of art, the relationships between unintentional natural relations and the artist gesture, and natural forms and structures. Its members were interested in script and text as significant attributes, the relationship between light and shadow, impression and reality, regulation and accident. The group was profiled as non-figurative and later connected with progressive geometric abstraction. In this regard Pinczhelyi's journey intersects with artists one generation older


Was member of Pécsi Műhely


In the first half of the 1970's, Pinczhelyi, like many of his peers, concentrated on the pure existence of a picture – in relation to the constant and the variable (Ficzek, tükör/ Ficzek, Mirror, 1972


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Pécs)


In 1972 Pinczehelyi met Gábor Attalai (1934-2011) who encouraged him to make topical, time-recognized, historically conditioned work. Pinczehelyi chose the symbolic language of the establishment


And again (diptych)
And again (diptych) (mixed media)
And again (diptych)
And again (diptych) (mixed media)
Sickle (1)
Sickle (1) (graphics)


Water (photography)

[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Pécs)


In 1976, the first large presentation of contemporary Hungarian art and Pécsi műhely was organized in Poland (Galeria Sztuki Najnowszej/ Galery of Contemporary Art, Gorzów Wielkopolski). A year later, German Kunstmagazin, published Pinczehelyi's work. Pinczehelyi's expression was absolutely original, on the level of personal appeal, in spite of some regional parallels (Bálint Szombathy, Milan Kunc, Mladen Stilinović), his gesture had a highly declarative character, his work was characterized by the physical experience of the personalized idea of a materialized symbol (Egy földműves emlékére/ In Memory of a Farmer, 1977). On the one hand, Pinczehelyi gave symbols back their material substance, yet on the other hand he reflected their symbolic status, or their auratic quality in the context of a user.
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Pécs)


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Pécs)
Serial Works (group exhibition, Székesfehérvár)


After a remarkable curator engagement in the Jánus Pannonius Múzeum/ Muzeum of Jan Pannonius (1969-1977) Sándor Pinczehelyi became director of the newly established Pécsi Galéria/ Pécs Gallery in 1977, heading it until 1999. The gallery became a significant centre of contemporary Hungarian art and progressive tendencies in Western and Eastern Europe thanks to him.


In 1979 Pinczehelyi enriched his colour spectrum with a significant combination of red, white and green, which are the colours of the Hungarian flag. It was probably a reflection of the contemporary revision of national history and nationalism as such. In the late 70's and early 80's, the crown jewels returned to the country (they had been in the U.S.A. from the end of WWII) and society resonated with strong imperial tradition of the 19th century. Pinczehelyi's selection of colours was also reflected in the triadic scheme of compositions – three peppers, three grapes and so on. In this way - putting the colour accent on minor elements - he defined modern still life in the form of a photographic medium – grotesque in its simplicity and reaching beyond the original world of a picture: All regional products were marked in a foreign language with the phrase Made in Hungary and in this way they were symbolically offered on foreign markets. The brand was primitively used here in the literary meaning, simply identifying the place of origin.


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Lahti)


Lóránd Hegyi (1954) presented a series of exhibitions of the North American New Painting titled Új érzékenység/ New Sensibility in Hungary (Fészek Galéria, Budapest) in 1981 which very strongly influenced the art community, including Pinczehelyi. The crucial expositions were the contradicting Eclecticism ´85 and "Idézőjelben"/ "In Commas" (1986). The stream of change had not only reached visual art but also literature and music. The contemporary surge related in particular to the activities of literary artists Sándor Weöres (1913 – 1989) and István Örkény (1912 – 1979), art historian and conceptualist Géza Perneczky (1936), Péter Ujházi (1940) and Sándor Pinczehelyi, among painters. Pinczehelyi also participated in both exhibitions.


In 1983 Pinczehelyi created the spacious installation Nagy PFZ tájkép/ Large RWG Landscape for the Budapest István Csók Gallery. It was a simulation of a forest meadow consisting of trees, grass, bushes and a lake, in the typical colours of the flag. Visitors to the exposition became tourists provided with a place to play and rest, while scattering around it traces of civilization – Coca-Cola cans, luggage and so on. Again, it is a study of symbol dislocation – the three colours of the flag were nothing but a manufacturer's brand.
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Székesfehérvár)
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Máko )


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Budapest)
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Pécs)


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Graz)
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Lyons)


In 1988 Sándor Pinczehelyi held a joint exhibition at the Venice Biennale with Imre Bukta (1952) and Géza Samu (1947-1990). Their exposition was characterized as Urban Folklore or Rural Avant-garde. In 1989 Sándor Pinczehelyi was awarded the Munkácsy's prize.


In the late 80's and early 90's, Pinczehelyi continued to relate a picture to a visual message – one example may be his work that freely assumes the concept of RWG Landscapes, Árnyék/ Shadow (1992) and Félfigura/ Half Figure (1992), depicting the mirroring of a human figure in its realistic and imaginative, phenomenological and inner form. A contrary procedure is embodied in his piece Búcsú I./ Goodbye I., a composition of two canvases from 1973 and 1996, the portraits of Pinczehelyi with a sickle and hammer in the tradition of New Painting.
Signs in Motion (group exhibition, Prague)


[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Komárno)


Received grant from Hungarian Academy in Rome


Repaint (solo exhibition, Székesfehérvár)


Powtarzanie (solo exhibition, Pécs)


Pinczehelyi's attention shifted from large universal symbols to the intimate domain of home (Secrets titkosított ház/ House of Secrets, 2005). Lórand Hégyi described this period as the personal history – of an artist, a country, a region. Motifs of domestic animals now appeared, often in the context of Christian traditions (the saviour as a lamb in the canvas Birka/ Sheep, 2005). The symbolism of a star is gauged again with increasing irony. Since 1999 Pinczehelyi has taught at Művészeti Karának Janus Pannonius Tudományegyetem/ / Philosophical Faculty of the University of Jan Pannonius. Between 2001-2005 he worked as a head of the local Vizuális Művészeti Intézet/ Institute of Visual Art.
Received grant from Ferenc Martyn Scholarship
[Sándor Pinczehelyi] (solo exhibition, Budapest)



Pertu No. 5 (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Zdjęcia (solo exhibition, Miskolc )
The Old Graphics (solo exhibition, Prague)
Distant Proximity. Hungarian post-war Art from the Collections of Szent István Király Museum in Székesfehérvár (group exhibition, )


Négyen Pécsröl (group exhibition, Olomouc)


Photoworks 1972-1980 (solo exhibition, Budapest)
Graphics (solo exhibition, Budapest)


Wizyta (solo exhibition, Nové Zámky)
Spiżarnia (solo exhibition, Pécs)
Mediterranean greetings - artists from Pécs (group exhibition, Plzeň)


Przedruki i tematy (solo exhibition, Budapest)


Projekty i wersje (solo exhibition, Budapest)


Sándorok (solo exhibition, Arad)
The Art of Tolerance (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Hommage á Mucha (group exhibition, Budapest)
Hungarian accent (group exhibition, Graz)


Selection of Works (solo exhibition, Pécs)
Dialogue (so far so close) (solo exhibition, Warszawa)
Pécsi Műhely (group exhibition, Paris)
Art fanatics 2 (group exhibition, Budapest)
Planets, earthly elements (group exhibition, Budapest)
Meeting Point 2 (group exhibition, Pécs)
Olomouc Central European Forum III. Hungary | Hungarian Art from the Collections of the Olomouc Museum of Art (group exhibition, Olomouc)
Unmistakable Sentences. The Collection Revisited (group exhibition, Budapest)


Ludwig Goes Pop + The East Side Story (group exhibition, Budapest)


Sándor PINCZEHELYI | 70 (solo exhibition, Budapest)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2021