Rene Wanner's Poster Page


front cover, 3k Istvan Orosz, etchings and posters
text by Andras Torok and Roberta Lord; GrafikARCHIVE Publishing, L. Barton & G. Kortuem, Kansas City (1999); second, limited edition, available in Europe from Nijhof&Lee, elsewhere from ; 78 pages with b/w and color illustrations (about 13 posters and 28 etchings), 20 x 23 cm; ISBN 0-9678409-1-0; hardcover; NLG 125 / US$ 50

Istvan Orosz is Hungary's answer to Italy's Giuseppe Arcimboldo, to Holland's Maurits Escher, but also to Japan's Shigeo Fukuda, and maybe to Poland's Franciszek Starowieyski in his admiration of art styles and forms that have disappeared centuries ago. If all this sounds rather highbrow or backward looking to you, consider that he is also the country's most successful election poster designer ever, probably way ahead even of Mihaly Biro, at least by the size of the print runs. His anamorphotic and illusionist pictures have attracted the attention of the California Institute of Technology and its Shimojo Laboratory devoted a web site to them. He makes a living as illustrator, art teacher and film director in Budapest, and regularly reads his email.

On top of it, Istvan is also a real friendly, nice guy, being so modest about his person that in this book, the sheet of paper with his biography is folded and hidden in a little envelope.

There are more envelopes and other delicacies in the book, for example semi-transparent overlays, foldouts, many different types of paper, generous and readable typography set in Bernhard fonts. This is a so-called "artist book" with a hand made and hand printed look-and-feel. Yet it is not like some of these beautiful but useless creations that fall apart the moment you touch it.

The written content is solid concentrated information, like the 6 page article by Andras Torok with the stories about the pseudonym UTIS, and Orosz' early animated film "Mind the steps", and the political poster with the rear view of a russian officer that became a worldwide symbol for the revolution of 1989, and about the role of anamorphosis, illusion, pictures of impossible objects in Orosz' work. A list of the illustrations, of publications, awards, individual exhibitions rounds off the text. What a pleasure to have all these data collected in one place for reference!

So much for the framework into which Istvan Orosz' etchings and posters are placed. It is difficult - and pointless - for me to say much about the pictures themselves, but if you enjoy having corners pop in and out, if you like labyrinths, endless stairs, columns that are impossible to count, and if you then begin to think about the play between content and form, you will find rich pasture for your mind to graze. As a longtime admirer of Orosz Istvan's art, I am very grateful to the publishers for this collection.

Poster, 26k 1986, Graphics by Oytis, 70 x 100 cm Poster, 19k One page from the book,
showing 1989 poster "Tovarishchi adieu" (Comrades, its over), 70 x 100 cm
Poster, 16k 1995, Istvan Orosz exhibition, 70 x 100 cm

Links on Istvan Orosz

home   other reviews  page created on May 12, 2000 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /