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Rohonyi, Károly

1906 - 1998

Member of the artist couple Chy-Dér (Rohonyi, Károly – Dér, Alice).

Károly Rohonyi was initially a photographer and cinematographer. He later designed his first poster taking the advice of his wife, Alice Dér, who studied graphic design in Álmos Jaschik’s famous private art school.  When working together, they signed their posters as “Chy-Dér”.

Their most famous posters were propaganda posters created between 1945 and 1947. Their style is clear and compact with strong symbols. Some of their works are the most beautful memories of this flourishing era of the Hungarian poster art. For example, there is the effective propaganda poster "Építünk" (We are building), which is very decorative with its monumental figures and clear colors. One impressive poster of Rohonyi promotes the distribution of land (Most magadnak aratsz), an other the Communist Party that brings back the husbands and sons from Russian captivity (Férjedet fiadat hazahozza). Rohonyi tends to use huge empty, colored areas that make the composition whole. In these decorative areas only a couple of protagonists appear, yet the artist is able to tell a complete story with them. Their poster advertised not only one party that took part at the elections; they were made mostly for the Communist- and the Social Democratic Party.

The couple also worked for commercial purposes, like Haggenmacher Beer, the spas of Budapest, etc. Rohonyi was also a teacher, he was teaching poster design at the Atelier school between 1945 and 1948.

In 1948 he was commissioned to organize an exhibition in Brussels. After finishing that, he didn't return to Hungary, thus he became an emigrant. After 1948 he was living Belgium, and was working in advertising as a designer. He designed humorous commercial posters, with which he became a well known advertising designer of Belgium. He is the author of many memorable Belgian commercial posters. Most of them show funny characters in typical scenes with a really charming humor. These posters advertised the biggest companies, such as Stella Artois, Tudor, Ginder Ale etc. Rohonyi (that time known as Charles Rohonyi) made posters for movies, and for the official propaganda as well (like fairs, expo, events, etc.). He also got several prizes for his work.                                                                                                                                         

In 1977 he turned away from graphic design and started to create collages.