Hungary Modern Arts

Classicism and 19th century

At the beginning of the 19th century the cathedrals of Esztergom and Eger as well as numerous churches were rebuilt. In Budapest, buildings of classicism (National Museum 1837–47, by Mihály Janos Pollack, * 1773, † 1855), neo-Renaissance (opera 1875–84, by Miklós Ybl, * 1814, † 1891) and neo-Gothic (parliament 1884–1904, by I. Steindl).

The attempt of a typical “Magyar” architecture were the buildings Ö. Lechners, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (1893–96) and the Post Office Savings Bank (around 1900) built in the Art Nouveau style.

Ferenczy represented the classicist sculpture, M. Izsó the national romanticism.

Well-known painters of the 19th century were Miklós Barabás (* 1810, † 1898), the v. a. Portraits of freedom fighters were created by Károly Markó (* 1822, † 1891), who went public in particular with landscape paintings, and Gyula Benczúr (* 1844, † 1920), whose portraits, genre and historical representations attracted attention. National pictorial themes were designed by B. Székely von Ádámos and Viktor Madarász (* 1830, † 1917) in the manner of the Viennese and Munich history painters (meaning the wall paintings in the stairwell of the National Museum and the Vígadó [casino] in Budapest, 1864, by Lotz Károly, * 1833, † 1904, and Than Mór, * 1828, † 1899) and partly socially critical by M. Munkácsy.

In the field of applied arts, the founding of the Herend porcelain factory after taking over a stoneware factory in 1839 was of great importance.

Modern and present

At the turn of the 20th century, open-air painting became influential. Leading master of the painting colony »Szolnok«, whose members under direct observation of nature v. a. Painting landscapes and genre pictures was A. Fényes. The artists’ colony in Baia Mare (Nagybánya in Hungarian), which emerged in 1896 and was founded in 1902, also devoted itself to outdoor painting (including P. Szinyei Merse, K. Ferenczy and, in the second generation, István Szönyi [* 1894, † 1960], István Csók [* 1865, † 1961], Bernáth Aurél [* 1895, † 1982]).

In 1908 the Association of Hungarian Impressionists and Naturalists (»MIÉNK«) was formed, in which, among other things. Pál Szinyei Merse , K. Ferenczy and J. Rippl-Rónai were active. The latter, at the same time the most important representative of post-impressionism, belonged to the Nabis.

Csontváry was the founder of a visionary-expressive painting. The artist group »Nyolcak« (1909–14), whose most important representative was B. Czóbel , adhered to the teachings of P. Cézanne and those of the Fauves.

Important sculptors of Cubism was J. Csáky. Outstanding representatives of constructivism come from the circle of artists around L. Kassák, among others. S. Bortnyik (his best-known student was V. Vasarély), as well as L. Moholy Nagy, who taught at the Bauhaus.

The principles of the Bauhaus also had an impact on the activities of the »Cirpac« group of architects (founded by Farkas Ferenc Molnár, * 1897, † 1945) in the 1920s.

The artistic tendencies between the two world wars show, among other things. the works of G. Derkovits, which are dedicated to social issues, furthermore the lyrical-pantheistic landscape paintings by J. Egry and the deeply dramatic surrealistic visions of Lajos Vajda (* 1908, † 1941).

The sculpture of the era was under the influence of A. Maillol: Ferenc Medgyessy (* 1881, † 1958) and Béni Ferenczy (* 1890, † 1967). The group »Európai Iskola« (1945–49) united surrealist and abstract tendencies. In the early 1960s, an artist group was formed around T. Csernus, based on strongly realistic movements including Pop Art (L. Lakner). The paintings and graphics by B. Kondor and the works of the sculptor Erzsébet Schaár are very individual.

Around 1965, the avant-garde, oriented towards international trends, developed a broad spectrum of artistic activities between the opposing poles of constructivist-serial art (A. Péter Türk, * 1943, † 2015) and actionism (M. Erdély; Tamás Szentjóby, * 1944). In addition to representatives of the avant-garde such as Endre Bálint (* 1914, † 1986), Ilona Keserü (* 1933) or István Nádler (* 1938) and the transavant-garde such as I. Bak or Ákos Birkás (* 1941), which further developed the different lines of the rich tradition of modern Hungarian art, tendencies of contemporary Western art were increasingly taken up in the 1980s and 1990s.

The painting shows a variety of individual styles. Tamás Soós (* 1955) and Zoltan Sebestyén (* 1954) continue the gestural and coloristic tradition. Artists as diverse as András Koncz (* 1953), Károly Kelemen (* 1948), László Fehér (* 1953), Sándor Pinczehelyi (* 1946), István Mazzag (* 1958), Áron Gábor (* 1954) and István Ef Zámbó (* 1950), whose works range from realistic images to postmodern quotations.

According to bridgat, the sculptures claim international rank, among other things. by Attila Mata (* 1953), Ildikó Várnagy (* 1944), László Fe Lugossy (* 1947), György Cseszlai (* 1957), Lajos Klicsu (* 1957), El Kazovszkij (* 1948) and Klára Borbás (* 1955); the limit for room installation exceed Géza Samu (* 1947), Imre Bukta (* 1952), János Szirtes (* 1954) and Janos Sugar (* 1958).

Within modern contemporary architecture, among others, Imre Makovecz (* 1935, † 2011; House of Culture in Sárospatak [Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén district], 1981; Church of Paks, 1990), István Janáky (office building in Budapest, 1993) and Gábor Turáni, who dealt with modern Hungarian architecture of the 1930s and, more recently, Mária Siklósi (National Theater in Budapest, 2002).

Hungary Modern Arts