Artist Profiles

Artist:

Imre Szűcs

Region:

Europe and Eurasia

Country:

Hungary

Media/General:

Ceramics

Medium of Work:

Figurative and cock shaped decorative pottery vases, pitchers and bowls

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2018

About:

A longtime member of the esteemed Association of Hungarian Folk Artists, master ceramicist Imre Szűcs resides in Tiszafüred, a picturesque, forested town in central Hungary. It’s an area rich in natural resources, which Szűcs employs in his ornately decorated pottery. Clay is regionally sourced, and so is paint—which is created from natural dyes culled from mineral-rich mountains surrounding the town.

Imre, who was born in the town of Karcag, began his career as an artisan at just fourteen years old, when his sculpted clay animals caught the attention his school art teacher, who shared them with master potter Sándor Kántor. After a lengthy apprenticeship with Kántor, Imre was able to open his own workshop. Today, his two daughters, Judith and Andrea are following in his footsteps, creating traditional Hungarian pottery to the highest standards.

After years of refining and perfecting his technique, Imre is now regarded as a distinguished master of traditional Hungarian pottery. When he first began making ceramics in the 1960s, Imre visited Hungarian museums to glean a sense of traditional colors and motifs; a soft, pale green typical of 18th century, for example, is frequently incorporated in his pottery, and black vases and vessels molded into the shapes of roosters—covered allover in multi-hued, immaculately applied designs—are standout items from the artist. Common decorative themes, oftentimes painted by Imre’s wife, include floral, animal, and vegetal elements, which became characteristic of these ceramics in the 19th century.