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Life and career
He studied poster designing at the School of Applied Arts from 1930 to 1934, then attended the private school of János Vaszary and Vilmos Aba Novák. From 1936 he spent several summers in Szentendre, in the company of his friend Lajos Vajda and artistic peers.
In 1945 he founded the artistic group European School and he painted recollections of World War II in its aftermath with powerful gestures. In 1947 he witnessed as a participant the second surrealistic world expo in Paris. Affected positively by this event, his paintings of the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s became populated with mythological creatures: elves, kobolds and anthropomorphic organic creatures. Towards the middle of the 1950s he produced drawings that eventually took him to setting his imagination free - with depictions of a horse-headed mouse, wheel-forms, fragments of Swabian and Arabic female figures.
After periods of staying temporarily in Paris, he lived there on a permanent basis from 1957 to 1961. In 1958 Édition Labergerie published the Jerusalem Bible with more than a thousand of Bálint's illustrations, and this aided him in developing his typical late artistic style.
From 1959 onward he painted one after the other his most valued paintings, including the Miraculous Fishing, the Dream in the Public Park and I Walked Here Sometime I-II all in 1960 illustrating a form of late surrealism. He incorporated memories of his childhood with internal landscapes from his dreams often producing frightening figures and shapes.
By the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s the epic nature of this painting had been replaced by the depiction of motifs of symbolic value growing increasingly macabre and grotesque.
Besides his artwork, Balint also had numerous writings and memoirs published in a number of volumes documenting his life in the 1970s and early 1980s. He died in Budapest in 1986.
Paintings Pre 1960
- My Room at the Bindendorfs 1937
- Self-portrait 1942
- Still-life 1946
- House at Szentendre 1948
- Root Dance 1952
- Stone Bird 1952
- Statue in a Cemetery 1959
- Houses at Hastings 1959
- Homesickness 1959
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