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HomeContents > People > Photographers > György Lorinczy

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Dates:  1935 - 1981
Born:  Hungary, Budapest
Died:  US, NY, New York
Active:  Hungary / US
Hungarian writer, filmmaker and photographer.

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Solo exhibitions
2006 Substances, Vintage Galéria
2004 New York, New York, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
2003 Painted Images , Vintage Galéria
1995 Retrospective, Budapest Galéria
1994 Szent István Király Múzeum, Székesfehérvár
1984 New York-New York, Fotóművészeti Galéria, Budapest
1981 Wooster Studio, New York
1967 Magyar Építőművészek Szövetsége, Budapest
Group exhibitions
2004 Paris Photo, Vintage Galéria
2004 Rencontres Arles, Arles
1987 Műhely '67-'87, Debrecen
1982 Dokumentum No4, Veszprém
1981 Tény-kép, Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle, Budapest
1975 Photography/Not Photography, Fine Art Building, New York
1967 Műhely '67, Debrecen
1967 Biennale de Paris
1966 A Magyar fotóművészet 125 éve, Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest
1965 Koncz-Lőrinczy-Nagy, Építőművészek Klubja, Budapest
1980 Union Seminary Quarterly Review
1973-76 Art-Rite, Art in America, Artforum
1964-66 Fényképművészeti Tájékoztató
2006 Substances, Vintage Galéria
2004 New York, New York , Fotomuseum Netherlands,, Vintage
2003 Festett képek, Vintage Galéria
1995 Lőrinczy György, Magyar Fotográfiai Múzeum - Glória, Budapest
1973 Szentendre, Corvina, Budapest
1973 Budavári kapuk, falak, Magvető, Budapest
1972 New York-New York, Magyar Helikon, Budapest
1971 Sopron, Corvina, Budapest
1968 Szentendre, Corvina, Budapest
1967 Budai vár, Corvina, Budapest
Frits Gierstberg: György Lőrinczy / New York New York
This book was first published in 1972. That was four years after its author, the Hungarian photographer, writer and filmmaker György Lőrinczy, made the images during a two months stay in New York City. Back in Hungary, Lőrinczy had made many efforts to get his book published, but it was considered a risky project. When he finally found a publisher and an agreement was reached, he was given only three days to make the prints. It forced him to dry many of his photomontages and solarisations either with a simple hair dryer or in the sunlight.
Although the book was immediately considered by his fellow-artists as the most important Hungarian photography book that had been published in years, it remained unknown outside Lőrinczy's homeland (even after it got a book prize in Paris). I 'discovered' the book when I visited the Vintage Gallery in Budapest in the autumn of 2003. It was love at first sight. I was struck by the unique quality of these idiosyncratic photographs and by the powerful editing of the book. I wondered whether its maker had been familiar with William Klein's famous New York book, published 16 year earlier, that radiated a similar kind of energy through its contrasty and grainy black and white imagery (only later I found that he hadn't). I felt that he had created an atmosphere and an esthetics that were fully his own. Here was someone who had managed to capture both the estrangement and fascination that must surely have dominated the feelings of an artist, having just grabbed a unique opportunity to escape temporarily from behind the 'Iron Curtain', during a first visit to the Big Apple.
Not only the obvious New York topics are here, like high rise architecture, the motorways, the billboards and the night life, but also the cultural life - but all through a very subjective eye. Music, literature, visual arts, performance: it is all there, and LOErinczy must have been in the middle of it all, living in the East Village. The influence of pop art and Andy Warhol is there (Warhol appears himself in the photographs), and we can sense the energy of the poetry of Allen Ginsberg (who also appears in the book). Drugs and television and life as a psychedelic experience: American life was rapidly changing, and many people were searching and experimenting with alternative lifestyles. There was an explosion of creativity within the arts. Lőrinczy must have felt extremely inspired by what he saw in New York, as well as by the people he met there. New York New York is full of life and energy.
Prior to this, Lőrinczy had published a number of photography books, but these had all been more or less traditional books on Hungarian monuments and towns. However, he had taken part in a kind of avant-garde during a time when social realism and portrait photography prevailed in his home country. His more abstract photographs from 1965 - 1967 of wood, pebbles, glue and oil smeared on glass - which he called 'ragacs' - were obvious attempts to find a new form of photographic language. Also, he had organised an exhibition called Műhely '67 ('Workshop '67') where he had presented work by a young generation of Hungarian photographers seeking new ways of representation as well as more Western approaches. The event had caused a strong debate and even a small uproar in intellectual circles in Budapest [1]. Nevertheless, his New York New York book is so different compared to his earlier photographic experiments that it must have marked a breaking point in his artistic career. After its publication Lőrinczy left the country, first to Germany in 1972 and then to New York. There he continued to make experimental work, concentrating on photomontage and the use of acrylic paint on his photographs. He also worked as photo-editor of the famous art magazine Art-Rite until his untimely death in 1981, when he was just 46 years old.
I am very happy to have the opportunity to help bring this beautiful and important part of his artistic work back to life.
Martin Parr-Gerry Badger: Lőrinczy György: New York, New York
In 1968 the photographer György Lőrinczy took advantage of the Hungarian government's decision to relax its rigorous laws on citizens travelling abroad. The result was his book New York, New York , which projected a rather less jaundiced view of the Big Apple than that of many home-grown photographers. As a foreigner's vision, and in terms of photographic outlook, Lőrinczy's perspective clearly has affinities with that of William Klein, but his manic exuberance seems to run on pure energy, without the psychological tensions that underpin Klein's more realistic and informed vision of the city.
It seems unlikely that Lőrinczy saw the work of any of the Japanese photographers of the day, but his book has a similar 'anything goes' feeling, akin to the totally spontaneous style of someone like Daido Moriyama, who coincidentally, was photographing in New York around the same time. Lőrinczy's style is rough, raw and uninhibited, in the best stream-of-consciousness manner. But he has nevertheless thought about New York, New York as a books, not only laying it out in a dnamic cinematic style, but employing such devices as printing one ot two pages on tracing paper, or utilizing extreme grain, blur and even solarization. The latter, surprisingly, renders his depiction of the city's energies more rather hallucinatory feeling that Lőrinczy seems to have experienced on encountering this most vibrant of cities.
Lőrinczy clearly had a whale of a time in the headquarters of consumer capitalism, catching up on the 1960s and tasting some of its forbidden fruits, such as rock bands and experimental theatre groups. This excited, carefree, though not naive view of New York makes a refreshing change from the inbred cynicism of the streetwise native.
© Vintage Galéria, Budapest, Hungary (Used with permission) 
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