Finding her way


THE extraordinary turbulent whirlpool of Le Grand Magasin (1951) is arguably Balkanyi's first major achievement. It is a brilliant composition with no centre, that pulls your eye in and round: it is exhausting to look at and, technically, very accomplished. The four woodblocks of The Story of Jonas (1952) show that, when she wanted to, Balkanyi could make strong formal compositions – look at the dynamics of the four images as a series. However, it is with Un Arrêt d’Autobus (1953), commissioned by the city of Paris, that she finds herself for the first time creating a rich cast of characters in a narrative. It is like watching a scene from a Robert Altman film with a large cast all talking at once. Go have a look, and then see her continuing in this vein with Le Nouveau Né and La Rue Mouffetard le 31 Décembre probably finished in 1953 and 1954.



Move to Part 3: The Fifties and Sixties

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