1946 - 2014
Tibor Helényi was an important member of the artist generation that has been active since the 1970’s. The perspective and plasticity of Mannerist painting is combined in Helényi’s works with elements of the popular and trash visual culture of the 20th century. Helényi designed several outstanding movie and exhibition posters in the 1980’s, and he is also an acknowledged painter. Between 1966 and 1971, Helényi was a student of the University of Fine Arts; his masters were József Baska and Sándor Ernyei. In 1974, Helényi was invited to exhibit with the Papp-group, and he designed the poster for the event. Helényi was a member of the Perspektíva-csoport (Perspective-group); that was formed in the mid-1970’s, and was a group of talented, young poster artists. From 1966 on, Helényi also worked as a painter, and participated in exhibitions. From 1977 until 1992, Helényi was a graphic designer of Interpress Magazin.
In his paintings, he uses the perspective in a spectacular way, and he unites this with solutions that resemble comic books or film strips. On his pictures, the picturesque details appear next to rough, bare, exposed areas of canvas. He used to create a series of paintings about a topic. Most of his paintings depict highly realistic figures and strong distortions. Helényi’s brilliant painting and drawing skills are apparent in his posters. He has been designing posters since the mid-1970’s, which are meticulously drawn, very fresh and sometimes quite provocative works. On his poster for the 1976 exhibition of the Studio of Young Artists, a screaming face is shown – this reflects Helényi’s bold artistic attitude. He often used perfectly drawn wrung-out figures, most of them depicted in strong distortion.
Helényi borrows elements from the visual world of science fiction movies and from comics and popular culture in general. His works belong to the contemporary “trash” or low culture; he consciously uses banal aesthetics for his provocative works. Helényi’s exhibition and theatre posters resemble the atmosphere of Renaissance and Mannerist paintings. He reorganizes classic motifs and elements to achieve a montage effect, and uses interesting visual angles and distortions as well. The traditional representations of the Nude play an important role in these compositions. Helényi can even integrate Baroque Illusionism into his surreal and expressive artistic world.
Helényi’s movie posters are defined by radical dynamism, strong distortions and strange visual angles (view is usually from above or down). His grandiose painting style fits the monumentality of science fiction and blockbuster movies. Helényi designed posters for many of the classic Sci-Fi movies of the era, such as Alien, the Star Wars series, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Robocop, etc. He was able to materialise monumental, utopist landscapes and a grand montage of main characters and other important elements. His typographic solutions perfectly fit into the unity of the compositions of his posters.