(Galánta, 1903 – Szentendre, 1989)
János Pirk’s career as an artist spanned 70 years (1919-1989).
Orphaned at an early age, he was brought up by his grandparents in a severe rural environment that involved his taking an active part in farming. As a result it took him nine years to graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts.
On his study trip to Paris in 1930 he was influenced by the paintings of Courbet, Daumier and Millet.
In 1944 he moved to Szentendre with his wife, the graphic designer and applied artist Ágnes Remsey.
His personal experiences of rural life and his “sacral contact with mother earth” affected his œuvre, which focuses on a limited number of themes, such as sowing, hammering of scythes, reaped stooks of wheat and corn husking. His “portraits” of simple flowers (sunflowers, poppies) convey symbolic meaning: happiness, longing or drama.
His self-portraits are the annual documents of a life full of struggle.