Spirit of 1956" -
A 1956 Memorial in the Nation's Capital... AHF's 1956 Memorial Committee is seeking your help to establish a National Memorial to the Fallen Heroes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in the Nation's Capital!
AHF selected the beautiful design "Sprint of 1956," scene here, by renowned artist Gyuri Hollosy who was also responsible for the Boston Liberty Square memorial to 1956 and many commissioned works across the country.
The Freedom Fighter is depicted as a strong male figure, a powerful fighter who at present appears worn to shreds and on the verge of collapse due to his struggles for freedom. In his continued fight he braces his right leg in a steadfast position. Disappointed in his efforts he turns his head slightly down as if he had been betrayed. As he leans backwards with great difficulty, he holds up the symbol of his cause for freedom and change, the hollow Hungarian flag of the revolution. The symbolic hole is where the communist crest existed and has become specifically identified with the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The fighter with the other hand clasps the bottom edge of the flag to express his commitment and allegiance in his belief in God, to his country and to freedom.
The angel represents the nation’s belief in God and the hope for the future. The angel, as an aberration, is visible only through the suggested cloth movements, and the fighter cannot see but only feel her support. The face of the angel is a young adolescent student, a Joan D’Arc type face. The vision swooping down clutches the man’s back and rescues him from falling while the right hand seizes the sinking flag, supports it high and straight, and keeping it from touching to the ground. The angel looks at the man with compassion for his struggles and seeks to install in this patriot revived energy and encouragement for him to continue his quest.
I wanted the overall gesture of the flag to feel free and proud, hovering loosely without restraint in and around the angel’s head and form. The battered flag with ripped edges and slashes, rendered to reflect cuts into flesh, depict the tragic and wrenching daily events which afflicted the Hungarian nation and its people. The flag’s pole, thicker than normal and coarsely textured, is nailed with 16 nails which symbolically reminds us of the 16 point manifestos presented by the students during the October 23rd demonstrations that lead to the uprising.
For the foundation under the figures I used the image of stacked stones to symbolize the barricades made of cobble stones that were used in the streets of Budapest to resist the power machines of oppression. These stones are marked with fossilized etchings of barbed wires to further emphasize the hardships and imprisonment that the Hungarian people had to face in their quest for freedom.
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The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was the first tear in the Iron Curtain. Hungarians from all walks of life rose up against insurmountable odds to fight the brutal Soviet installed Hungarian communist government. Thousands died fighting, others tortured and executed, while 200,000 were forced to flee. 2006 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.
AHF's work regarding the tragic events nearly 50
years ago, dates back to the early days of the revolution and
thereafter assisting tens of thousands of refugees. In 1956 the American
Hungarian Federation activated the second Hungarian Relief program for
the refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, providing $512,560.00.
With the support of the American Hungarian Federation, over 65,000 refugees
arrived in the USA. Get involved and help us continue our tradition of
helping our community!
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Gyuri Hollosy’s artistic career, with an emphasis on sculpture, spans a period of 46 years. Currently, and for the last 30 years, he has been on an endlessly fascinating path of exploration and development of the human figure. In this time his sculpture has emerged and evolved into a strongly delicate, unique and personal style. His aim is to interpret the nuances of the human condition, both emotional and physical, through his vision and singular style of work.
Gyuri’s Hungarian parents emigrated to Germany in 1945, where he was born in Bad-Aibling in 1946. In the mid 1950’s his family left Germany to settle in Cleveland, Ohio. His preteen (10-12) summers were spent at a camp held at a Hungarian Franciscan monastery outside of Buffalo, New York. These wonderful men provided a safe haven to the children of Hungarian immigrants so the parents could have time to focus on establishing themselves in their new country. During one of these summers he witnessed the building of a new chapel at the monastery. He had the chance to observe a Franciscan priest draw images of the saints into large oak pillars with forge-heated pokers. The smell, the visuals of the hot coals in the hearth and the marvelous creations they created, ignited in him the spark to be an artist.
With his parents, turn-of-the-century Hungarian painters, Simon Hollósy and Csontváry Tivadar Kosztka, helped him to crystallize his choice and completely supported his commitment to be an artist. Since that time he has studied sculpture, ceramics, painting, and drawing, with sculpture becoming his favorite form of expression. He finds his ideas manifest themselves most strongly with sculpture where he can work not only with the three dimensions of a form but also have the tactile pleasure of developing that form. During the summers of his high school years in the early ‘60s, he began his education and practice of sculpture by apprenticing to Hungarian sculptor Frank Varga from Detroit, Michigan.
After completing his education and five and half years of military service with the U.S. Coast Guard he continued his career as a teacher and has taught at a number of schools, among them Tulane University in New Orleans, Washington University in St. Louis and Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. In the late “80s he and his wife moved to New Jersey to work for the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture as an instructor, an academic administrator and gallery director.
In the past 20 years he has been awarded three major commissions and six minor commissions. These works all reflected the specific theme of the grantor. Some of these pieces invited him to gain further command of highly technical skills in order to visualize, to express, and to execute his ideas on a grand scale. With this knowledge he has pursued sculpting on this large scale with themes of his own creation. He has received several awards at shows where he has exhibited his personal work. Gyuri has sold numerous works to collectors and dealers. He has also continued to apply for grants and to foundations to obtain recognition and receive financial assistance. In doing so he has gratefully received three grants - the Helen and George Segal Foundation, the Ludwig Voglestein Foundation and the Herk van Tongeron Sculpture Fund.
His sculptural technique has evolved through a number of changes. In his pieces, his main interest is the development of the human figure, and his desire is to give the form freedom of gestured expression. His link to the figure is very classical because of the early influence of the art of Michelangelo and Rodin. His love for Henry Moore’s work and his understanding of form inspired Gyuri to take his vision of the human form to a higher level. Though he never met the man it was through his work and writings he felt that Moore was his real mentor.
“I am intrigued with the interior and exterior space of the human form. With these sculptural forms, though stationary, I explore the kinetic rhythm and energy between abstracted figures in space, more specifically, the delicacy and boldness of motion. Inspired by the Baroque paintings of Tiepolo, the engaging concepts of Laszlo Maholy-Nagy's visions of motion and the openness of contemporary dance and its play with gravity, I seek to unpack the subtle, expressive gesture by showing how two or more figures symbiotically move - through water, air, across the ground - spiraling in, cantilevered out, yielding to gravity or emotion. In short, my subject is the interior landscapes that paired figures create.
I am experimenting with figures not defined by a rigid top and a bottom.
I like to ask these questions; what happens when the piece is tipped on
its side and there is no single right side up? How is the dynamic between
the two bodies changed? How does the re-positioning of the figures re-define
the environment around them – bodies in air, in water, or earthbound?
The challenge is not only to create two engaged bodies, but figures whose
very engagement physical and emotional - changes when the sculpture is
turned from one three-point base to another and another and to achieve
a form that is never at rest. These sculptures can be in from 5 to 9 different
positions, each as powerful as another within its given space. Some of
the changes are great and some are subtle, but all are significant in
the emotional response felt by the viewer.
New Videos posted to the 1956 Portal! "News Magazine of the Screen" presented "Flight from Hungary" in early 1957 featuring video taken after the brutal Soviet re-occupation. "This is battered Budapest under the brutal Russian boot, Soviet tanks roam the streets under the ruins they laid as communist secret police hunt down heroic Freedom Fighters. 25,000 Hungarians are dead." A fascinating video, it also includes news about the Suez Crisis and more glimpes into life during this time. The American Hungarian Federation is sponsoring the 1956 Portal to provide a central resource o the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Go to the [1956 Portal]
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