Celebrating The life and works of Sándor Makoldi

A free exhibition - June 21st – 6th August (Kölcsey Központ)


Born at dawn on the 6th August 1945 just as the Atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima on the other side of the world, Sándor Makoldi found the coincidence of his birth and the light of the explosion in some way inspiring in a religious context. His work was certainly illuminating.

Almost all of his works and educational activities of Sándor Makoldi are rooted in organic culture, the ancient and, above all, Hungarian folk culture.

A well-known part of his later life was his painting. He was well known for his contemporary folk art paintings based on Hungarian folklore, and through his folklore teaching and educational performances to the Vokonya-puszt shepherd chapel.

Less well known is the first stage of his career, even though he made significant works in his early career. Indeed, from an early age, his passion was painting, his very first painting was before school age when he copied a watercolor from the Bavarian landscape where he grew up after the war. As he stated in an interview with Dehir in 2015 “Painting came first, and teaching came later”.  He grew up in Debrecen where his family was from and ancestors were buried, his entire family would meet up on Sunday’s at his grandparents’ house.

At his first exhibitions, he worked on space-time-speed thinking, giving special importance to abstraction, color, fluorescent dye effect, UV light. He deliberately sought to articulate the dynamics. By preserving tension, emotions were increasingly directed towards concepts.

In 1972 his first exhibition in Debrecen was banned because his work did not conform to the socialist idea of what art should be, however, the intellectuals of Debrecen city came to see his works anyway and supported him against the system.  Thereafter for more than 30 years, he taught at the Art Department of the Teacher training college in Debrecen, teaching around 3000 teachers during his time. His influence can not be understated.

Péter Földi, a long time friend and painter, describes this period as follows: “His professional skills were remarkably confident in the classical sense. (…) His great vitality was associated with essential wisdom… The internal fire and energy of the color he created revalued the visual experience.”

The exhibition opens on the summer solstice, June 21, at the Kölcsey Center. The Last Day of the exhibition on August 6 is Sándor Makoldi’s Birthday. That afternoon, the students, admirers, and the MAG group will say goodbye to the exhibition.

His works are on public display in several locations across Hungary including the Herman Ottó Museum in Miskolc, Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.

In addition to works in public collections, there are his public works are located to the north of Debrecen in Tokaj, which is one of Hungary’s finest wine producing regions. Here you will find:-

  • Fountain (1989, Tokaj, Hajdú köz)
  • Máté Szepsi Lackó (portrait relief, 1993, Tokaj, Main Square)

The exhibition is free of charge during the opening hours of the Kölcsey Center between 9.30 and 18.00 daily.


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