László Szlávics, the artist-artisan

Viewing the oeuvre of László Szlávics a few years after his death (1927-1991) and the collapse of a political system lasting four decades, one is struck by the elementary force, the barbarian sincerity and relevance with which the artist-artisan managed to convey the contradiction between the ideas of a system and their realization - a feat performed by few fellow artists. What is more, László Szlávics was a worker to the core, a social democrat "by birth", an ideologically persistent offspring of an old factory worker family, who was enabled to pursue academic studies thanks to the policies of the new system erecting the bastions of culture and, of course, thanks to his talent.
In the history of Hungarian art, this type of artist-artisan is epitomized by the name, origin, life-course and path-setting artistic activity of Lajos Kassák. The only fact blurred by the eloquent appreciations and references in the sixties is that he was the scion of another age and another political system, his formative years did not coincide with the 1940s and '50s - well after his loud public performance - when he looked at the proceedings of the political life around him with reserve and elegance, with noble dignity and a naive benevolence, whether he was momentarily silenced or given a

Ottó Mezei: László Szlávics, the artist-artisan