Károlyi studied painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts between 1971 and 1976. Beside painting he made conceptual artworks, photographs, films, actions, environments and wrote theoretical essays. From the 1970s, his art was linked to geometric abstraction and to conceptual-serial tendencies relevant at the time. He discussed art-theoretical issues through his pictures mostly using primary geometric symbols. These paintings are metaphorical models of the mechanisms of thinking and perception rather than mere formal experiments. In the 1980s, his most significant works were the collage and photo-painting sequences adapting the X-shaped saltire, the “crux decussata”. Later he incorporated the methods of abstract expressionism into his practice, combining the gesture-like, the painterly with the constructive character of previously used subject matter. Following the symbolic genre paintings of the 2000s, he returned to abstraction: he has been combining the achievements of 20th century art, using them as a reference to painting itself. Between 1987 and 1991 he was an assistant professor at the Hungarian University of Applied Arts, since 1990 he has been Head of Department at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. He was awarded the Munkácsy Mihály Prize in 1991, and the Prima Prize in 2015.
Oil on canvas
50 x 80 cm