In the short fifteen years of his fruitful career as an artist, between 1929 and 1944, Imre Ámos created a strong integrity of life and art: his belief in art became the main source of his strength, while the main source of his work was a vision-like depiction of the apocalyptic time that he lived in.
In his early years he painted idyllic multi-figure compositions in a timeless space: the characters of his pictures are gloomy women, heading to the well, and men of meditative calmness. After 1936–37, partly influenced by Marc Chagall, whom he personally met, his attention is drawn to the representation of “subjective dreams and visions”. He uses several symbols: the cock, the ladder, the angel and the fire are painterly metaphors, waiting for getting unfolded and decoded. Ámos’s unique human and artistic accomplishment is that he created even at a time when the human spirit seemed to get broken and went silent. As an inmate of forced-labour service camps, he drew his visions in spite of the depressing feelings of hopelessness, defencelessness and humiliation, balancing on the edge of existence. The months of forced labour have changed his painting: the colours became darker, the outlines of objects and human figures turned into squeezing chains.
Beyond his works of fine art, the written documents in his legacy contribute to the understanding of his personality and art, such as his early love letters to Margit Anna, his diary of 1935–44, his sketchbooks, the mailing-cards that he wrote from the camp, as well as his poems and notices.
Imre Ámos stepped over the depiction of the material world, and, transcending the reality, he revealed his intuitions, fears and prophetic visions through his complex symbols and associations. He strived, with all his strength, for leaving a sign with his writings and works to the succeeding generations about the inhuman age he lived in. His wife, Margit Anna fulfilled this wish and preserved his husband’s legacy as a life-long mission. She strived for making him acknowledged and eventually succeeded in giving him a rightful place in the history of Hungarian art.