IN MEMORIAM ISTVÁN HARASZTŸ
(1934 – 2022)
A Nyílt Struktúrák Művészeti Egyesület (OSAS) mély fájdalommal tudatja, hogy alapító tagja, Harasztÿ István Kossuth-díjas szobrászművész, 2022. július 13-án, életének 88. évében elhunyt. „Édeske”, ahogy mindenki ismerte és szeretettel hívta, kiemelkedő művész volt, a magyarországi kinetikus művészet megalapozója és legjelentősebb mestere. A hatvanas évek közepétől alakította és fejlesztette sajátos művészetét számos rendszerkritikus konceptuális töltetű mobil szobor megalkotásával. Soha meg nem alkudott. Inkább nem dolgozott új műveken, egy olyan politikai légkörben, amelyet elfogadni nem tudott. Minden idegszálával berzenkedett az újfeudális politikai gyakorlatok ellen. Mindvégig ragaszkodott művészi hitvallásához és integritásához. Az OSAS hálásan emlékezik nyílt és mindig támogató szellemére.
HUNGARIAN KINETIC SCULPTOR ISTVÁN HARASZTŸ PASSED AWAY
(1934 – 2022)
It is with great sorrow and sadness that we announce the death of a founding member of the Budapest based Open Structures Art Society (OSAS). István Harasztÿ (1934-2022) was an outstanding kinetic artist with an incredible understanding for materials, movement and measure. “Édeske” (Sweetie in Hungarian) as he was fondly called by everybody who knew him, was a par excellence conceptual artist. As a hard-core liberal all his life with a deep respect to social values, he was often making political statements with and by his mobile sculptures both in the communist years from the mid-sixties as well as recently for he just could not stand tyranny and dictatorship. Édeske just could not stand the political regime from the ‘60ies all the way up to the political changes in 1989 as he always ridiculed the functioning of a non-functioning system through and by artistic means. His exhibitions those days were often closed literally a day after their opening if not condemned to silence even before the opening. A case in point is his 1972 Bird Cage work that indeed modelled how the system worked. There was a proper cage with a living bird in it. The movement, singing, drinking and eating habits of the bird were precisely monitored by a carefully designed electronic observation system and every move of the bird was closely monitored. Occasionally even the door of the cage opened so the bird in principle could have left. However, when the bird realized that he could leave and wanted to fly out from the cage the sensors observed that intention from the flight of the bird and immediately shut the door. End of free movement and speech. Rumor has it that when the relevant Poliburo member of the Communist Party, the chief ideologue of those days, went to see the show prior to its opening at the Technical University of Budapest. He immediately got the message of the Bird Cage. And immediately closed the exhibition even before its opening. However, when rightist governments came to power in Hungary after 1989 Harasztÿ continued his systems critics by his art but his works were basically neglected by the powers of the day. Not banned anymore but simply sidelined. A friend of Nicolas Schöffer and many other outstanding international artists he was the living example of integrity. Never gave up his principles. And he was loved by everyone who knew him. That is why everybody indeed called him “Édeske”. Rumor has it that he never remembered anybody’s name and, therefore, called everyone simply Sweety.
Rest in peace, Édeske, our dear friend. You already are greatly missed.