László Gyémánt was born in 1935 and graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 1963. His masters were Gyula Pap and Gyula Hincz. To this day, he remains one of the most important figures in contemporary Hungarian painting. Before the system change in 1989, his works were characterized by a critical, rebellious attitude. He is the most significant Hungarian representative of such great twentieth-century genres as pop art and hyperrealism.
As reasonable as the desire may be, trying to put such labels on László Gyémánt’s art would be impossible without losing sight of the added value that makes him a great artist. What may seem like a faithful, photographic representation of reality shrouds content whose manner of speech differs greatly from that of the real world. Although the landscapes, cities, and faces in his paintings seem to come across as familiar, even easy to familiarize, such gaze only scratches the surface. The real immersion into Gyémánt’s style lies not in discovering the similarities between the paintings and the world, but in recognizing the differences. Colors, lights, tones demonstrate that each landscape, each portrait has something to say beyond their display. These gestures make Gyémánt’s art almost literary. Although these paintings feel embarrassingly real, they are copies of a reality that has no original. They will not lead us back to the real landscapes and real faces because they only exist in the particular moment and tone that appears on the canvas.
1986 Collegium Hungaricum, Bécs
1985 Műcsarnok, Budapest
1978 Galerie Romanum, Bécs
1974 Camden Arts Centre, London