Schrammel Imre


“After the 1956 revolution we had no idea what is happening in the West. News on the artistic life, too, arrived rarely. In the sixties, for example, it was rumored that the cube was the hottest thing there. I decided to prepare the most perfect porcelain cube. And I could see the most regular object, made of the cleanest, snow-white material. But what next? I became angry, and I slammed it with a piece of iron. In this moment, the life appeared in the stark matter. But I felt the impact was too weak. I even tried to use slingshot. Finally, I borrowed an air gun from the neighbor, and I fired on the cubes and prisms at the basement. The geometric forms became organic shapes.” His ‘gunshot’ and ‘exploded’ objects further strengthened his international reputation, being awarded by a Faenza grand prix earlier.


He decided to be a set designer, so he registered to the College of Applied Arts. That time the entrance tests took two weeks. At the first hearing he was told that, based on his drawings, he is talentless. Go back to the drawing room, because it was vital to be registered, otherwise he had to file in for three years. He never learned to draw. “ A blue-robed, teacher-like people eyed me what I’m doing. Then he said: you come with me. He brought to another place, and made me sit down. Then it turned out that at the previous place, against the light, I could see the outline of the model. Even now I were unable to draw it.”

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The benefactor of blue robe was professor Miklós Borsos, the famous painter. “After graduation I had no the faintest idea what I’ll do. For some reason I went to the campus. At the corridor I met the professor. When I bowed him, he grunted only. He was far away, when he abruptly turned around and said: ‘Maestro, you remain here as an assistant lecturer. If you could learn it, you can teach it!”

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During the winter break, when either at home, or at the college there was no heating, he frequented the Zoo to draw. But, it is impossible to draw a continuously squirming animal in the usual manner. “ I had to learn the animal first, its anatomy, then observe its motion. I enjoyed it, but had my clothes not taken over the smell the lion!” He passed this method to his students as well. After 52 years of teaching, his lifework consists of experiments, adventurous ceramics, and series of sculptures.

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“You go to the porcelain factory of Hollóháza, and redeem the world!” – said László Juhász, the founding general secretary of the Applied Arts Council, just established. And he meant it exactly to bring out the best from the local poor quality, thermoplastic kaolin, softening along firing. He made tubby, quince and calabash-shape objects, for these fruits followed the laws of nature in reinforcing, and these laws could be applied to the porcelain as well.

The director was not pleased at all. My mission finally ended in scandal, and I was banned off all porcelain plant of the country.”

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“After all, decades later I was invited to Herend, the best fine porcelain plant in this country. The Board was pondering how the company could be promoted. My suggestion was to send a young pair, wearing Herend pattern fancy dresses to the Venice Carnival. Tourists will have made photos, so the pattern would go all around the world. Then I pulled my working clothes, and I went to the workshop to make the porcelain pair of disguisers, wearing Herend costumes. No one believed this idea until a Swiss gallery owner arrived and said: ‘Why are not you producing this?’ That gave me a carte blanche, and I created the carnival series.”

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The artwork was formed by studying the behavior of the clay. Using sand pressure, the perfectly formed shapes are distorting in such way, turning into more natural than in their original form. The anthropomorphic columns were produced in this way, while he Minotaur series present the game between the man and woman.

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At the time of the Buda Castle excavations he made a large relief, symbolizing the revealed layers of the different times. He planned a series of harrow tines between the layers, symbolizing the protection as the curled hedgehog acts. Finally, these harrow tines were not placed into the final relief, and the that-time cultural policymakers destroyed it with disguise. As well, the unglazed terracotta relief for the Transport Museum did not match the ideas of the “social realism”. However, the bizarre vehicles embedded into the movement-imitating background remained, though hidden behind a cover. Now, fifty years later, the relief was uncovered along the museum demolition. It will be on display at the Schrammel Museum of Szombathely soon.





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