Exhibition of Innovative, Hungarian-Born Artist Continues Museum’s “Distinguished Illustrator Series”

Istvan Banyai, "Kindle," 2009. "The Atlantic Fiction" magazine cover, 2009. ©Istvan Banyai. All rights reserved.

Istvan Banyai, “Kindle,” 2009. “The Atlantic Fiction” magazine cover, 2009. ©Istvan Banyai. All rights reserved.

Stockbridge, MA, February 20, 2013—Norman Rockwell Museum continues its ongoing Distinguished Illustrator Series this spring by exploring the work of the innovative Hungarian-born artist Istvan Banyai, whose unique approach to image-making found an unlikely home in the United States; the exhibition, “Istvan Banyai: Stranger in a Strange Land” will be on view at the Museum from March 9 through May 5, 2013.

“The intelligence of Istvan Banyai’s imagery and elegance of his execution captivated me from the start,” notes Norman Rockwell Museum Chief Curator Stephanie Plunkett. “In his smartly constructed visual world, people move fluidly through time and space, eerily disconnected from one another, and shadows seem to have a mind of their own. Pointed in its commentary, Banyai’s art also conveys an air of quiet mystery, and his absorbing illustrations inspire more questions than answers, a reminder that things are not always what they seem.”

Istvan Banyai’s elegant, incisive artworks have been sought after by clients throughout the world; his striking imagery has appeared on the covers and pages of “The New Yorker,” “Atlantic Monthly,” “Playboy,” “Rolling Stone,” “Mother Jones,” “The New York Times,” “GQ” and “Esquire,” and in work for Absolut Vodka, Nickelodeon, MTV Europe and Encyclopedia Britannica. The artist is also the creator of such acclaimed children’s picture books as “Zoom,” “Re-Zoom,” “The Other Side,” and “REM,” whose unexpected perspectives have made him one of the most original and iconoclastic illustrators today.

A special exhibition opening event will be held at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, March 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., with commentary by Istvan Banyai at 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow with a taste of Hungary, including refreshments and a cash bar. Admission to the event costs $20, free for Museum members. RSVP by March 1 by contacting the Museum at 413.931.2221 or rsvp@nrm.org. Hungarian food and refreshments provided by Otto’s Hungarian Import Store: www.hungariandeli.com

Exhibition-Related Programs

An Evening with Istvan Banyai
Saturday, March 23, 5:30 p.m.

Join award-winning illustrator Istvan Banyai for a personal look at the artist’s creative and professional journey. Refreshments and a book signing will follow. Free with Museum admission.

School Vacation Week
The Wonder of Wordless Picture Books
Monday through Friday, April 15 through 19, 1 to 5 p.m.

Let the picture tell the story! Create your own picture book in these hands-on art workshops. Free with Museum admission.

Zoom! A Special Family Day
Saturday, April 20, 1 to 4 p.m.

Take an exciting journey from a farm to a ship to a city street and desert island through the art of Istvan Banyai, and his picture books, “Zoom,” “Re-Zoom,” “The Other Side,” and “REM.” Meet the artist and enjoy a day of readings, workshops, signings and fun for all ages. Free with Museum admission.

About The Distinguished Illustrator Series

The Norman Rockwell Museum Distinguished Illustrator Series honors the unique contributions of outstanding visual communicators today. Presented by the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation’s first research institute devoted to the art of illustration, the Distinguished Illustrator Series reflects the impact and evolution of Norman Rockwell’s beloved profession, exploring a diverse and ever-changing field.