The name István Szajko is little known even in artistic circles in Hungary. However in Vojvodina (Vajdaság), where artistic culture has reached a high standard, indeed, he is highly respected as one of the most eminent Yugoslavian, or more exactly, Hungarian Yugoslavian artist. The fact that this is not some kind of provincial prepossession is shown by a great number of very successful exhibitions Szajkó has had in Western Europe (Amsterdam, Stockholm, Grenoble, Munich, etc.) We all know, of course, that the art of an artist is qualified by his works and not by his popularity. Now here is the golden opportunity to meet these works face to face. A sentence to describe them should suffice: they are convincing.
Szajkó's paintings exhibited here have been born in the past five years, he painted most of them last year and this year. The majorities are pastels. It is hard to write about them ad there is nothing 'to hold on to' from a conceptual point of view. Water surfaces? Torn out clumps of grass? Foggy landscapes? Meshes of vegetation? Yes, but a metamorphosis, a lyrical rendering of all that. There is neither any foreground nor background, only an incessant artistic action. Because an incredible vivid-ness stretches the limits of these soft-voiced works, in the meshes of grass an element emerges dimly, to objectify? Perhaps to signal rather, a landmark? Or rather to mark a new dimension. These object formations loom up to make the frozen space move and serve as media for Szajkó's great venture - transfiguration. Transfiguration - this is the secret of his art. He finds a way to present natural vegetation, in his oil paintings he definitely alludes to some water surface while at times his pictures conjure up the mingling and entangling of grass tufts - his art is genuine natural art. At the same time it is abstraction at its best. Naturally, a conflict between figurative and nonfigurative does not exist for Szajkó as his art is the transfiguration of his emotional experiences, things he has felt or seen with a high level mastery of his craft and poetry.