Imre Égerházi’s painting Winter in Gheorgheni was a good choice for this occasion. True, dance or melody is not a specific motif in it, as we have mostly seen works with such inspiration on display here, but it expresses the human attitude, the spiritual contents that are also characteristic of dancing Not to mention that the rhythm of the painting evokes a series of gestures that can be easily translated into the language of dance as well.
Imre Égerházi has remained consistent with his individual profile throughout, so this painting is at least as unique as it expresses the artist’s art and habitus, showing the order from the depths and returning to the roots of human existence, as well as the chances of survival in this purity.
Lajos Arany, a journalist and art writer in his book Inspiration on the plains, characterizing the art of the members of the Creative Camp separately, refers to the rhythmic and constructive editing and form, the compositional order, the balancing system, the harmony, to the radiance of peace and tranquility, the Puritanism that confronts today’s chaos, obscurity, and “chitchat”. According to his wording, the artist also uses “the stylized forms and traditions of Art Nouveau and its outlines”.
Winter in Gheorgheni is also a composition with a special rhythm, a beautiful expression of simplicity and order, the unity of man and his environment, the breathing together, the retaining power of humanity, the combined voice of landscape and the human soul. And since it is usually characteristic of the artist to depict only what is important, which is emphasized, in the refined forms, in the balanced structure, he is able to achieve a sense of monumentality even in the case of smaller dimensions.
His is a kind of spectacle painting, but in outlining visual elements, as we see in this painting, he also retains a kind of graphic approach. On the one hand, the spectacle means what it shows, so its message can be concretized, and on the other hand, it is saturated with symbolic content: the relationship between the elements creates a new web of meaning, it also shows another level of painting. At this point, although Imre Égerházi starts from the elements of reality, he redefines and shapes reality into his own image.
This painting is a good example of a stylized and moderate style, and, in many cases, abstracted forms. There is a virtual center of the painting, from which the whole universe of the work opens, and which goes beyond the frames. It evokes not only the Winter in Gheorgheni, but also the Transylvanian way of life, together with the people living in it.
Personality and destiny appear together, the fate, character and landscape of man, the environment, and he is able to shed light on the destiny and character of an entire retaining community through a single figure.
A special situation for all this is still winter, a trying season for people. Winter is a time of silence, and as Béla Hamvas put it: the situation in which we can feed the most from our accumulated memories, preparing ourselves for rebirth. Winter is a time of silence, a time of perseverance. What manifests most for man during the winter is that time has a body. It is both heavy and light, kneading like snow and lean like a male face wrinkled by experience. In the spirit of these thoughts, seeing the painting, recalling the messages that could be associated, and interpreting for myself, some verses were born. It is about the man from Gheorgheni, whom I do not know personally. About the man from Gyergyó, who was brought to me by Imre Égerházi’s painting.
1999, Hortobágy Creative Camp Catalogue
Felhőbú villan férfi bajszán,
múlt időt fonnak
A föld s fenyők árnya
szűkül össze benne,
száll alá a kedve –
Sorjáznak közben asszony-szerelmek,
mint kéményből a füst,
a füst s falak mögött a tűzhelyek;
szemgödrében ülnek halálai.
ölelné magát a sűrű fákba,
s lenne mint az