Tamás HenczeBorn March 6 1938, Szekszárd
The Hungarian painter Tamás Hencze first presented himself to the public at the Iparterv movement exhibition in Budapest in 1968. His presentation was preceded by a journey to Paris (1961) and by his developing interest in modern art. His friendship with Korniss Dezsö (1908-1984), and other artists who intentionally built on the strong Hungarian avant-garde tradition, played an important initiation role. After his initial interest in Informel strategies (Anziksz, Mediterránatmoszféra/ Anziksz, Mediterranean atmosphere, 1965) he gradually inclined to formal solutions and his approach visually approximated the Op-art principles (Vörös oktáv/ Red Octave, 1967; Dinamikus struktúra I-II./ Dynamic Structure, 1969). At the turn of the decade Hencze became inspired by conceptual strategies which he used in land-art projection sketches, graphic prints, and paraphrases (Tűzképek/ Fiery Paintings; 1974 – burnt canvases captured in a slide show). His approach to painting was, under the influence of Kazimira Malevič's work (1879-1935), characterized by an interest in pure visual impression generated by geometrical shapes in various colours (Forgás/ Rotation, 1970; Monoton struktúra I-V/ Monotonous Structure I-V, 1972; Vertikális osztás I-VI/ Vertical Division I-VI, 1976). Hencze gradually reduced colourfulness (with red and blue accents) as well as morphology; besides the repetitive nature and well-thought-out gradation of elements (a scenographic approach to the area composition), it is the strong visual tension and illusive impression that are typical of his works (Vertikális atmoszféra I-IV/ Vertical Atmosphere, 1980; Fehér tér 45 fokban/ White Space in 45°, 1981; Fehér tér/ White Background 1981; Ismétlések I-V/ Repetition, 1982). In the 1980s he used the colour white primarily for the background, but he changed his approach in the following period (Piros-fehér-zöldgesztus/ Red, white, and green gesture, 1987). Thus, the previous austere system became fuller and richer (Sötét szféra I-I/ Dark Area I-II, 1993; Fehér fény triptichon/ White Light Triptych, 1995). The almost calligraphic quality of gesture deepens the transcendental content of the work and, at the same time, multiplies the variability of solutions.