Rearranging Surreality: Dada and Surrealism in Budapest

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(Hungarian National Gallery, 9 July – 5 October 2014)

Only a tiny number of books by André Breton have been translated into Hungarian so far (Nadja, Poisson soluble, Les champs magnétiques), and they had no real impact on Hungarian culture. Ironically, this fact can be proved also by the generous catalogue of the most important Surrealist overview to date in this country: Dada and Surrealism / Rearranged Reality. In the Hungarian text of the catalogue, Les champs magnétiques is translated as Mágneses terek several times, while the existing translation of the volume was published as A mágneses mezők. Breton is not a recurrent point of reference in Hungarian culture, although painters like Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst or René Magritte – major presences also in this catalogue — are of course well-known by the Hungarian public.

While the reception of Surrealism in Hungary still lacks precision and information, the representative exhibition of the National Gallery, organized in partnership with The Israel Museum of Jerusalem is a very important step in this direction, precisely because of its “introductory” character, that is to be felt in the selection of the exhibited works (in several cases no more than 2-3, but quite representative works by artists like, most importantly, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, also Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Hans Arp, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Victor Brauner, Wilfredo Lam, and with the participation of Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Marcel Jean and others), but also in the keywords that are used for the arrangement of the exhibition.

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Rozsda’s One Hundred Surrealisms

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(Rozsda100: A Párka fonala / Le Fil de la Parque / The Parca’s Thread. Várfok Galéria, Budapest, 2013.)

100 years have passed since Endre Rozsda’s birth, and his work seems to emerge now in Hungary as one of the major Hungarian oeuvres connected to surrealism. Almost fifteen years were needed though to achieve this goal: after a 1998 retrospective of his painted work in Műcsarnok, Budapest (followed also by a representative exhibition of his graphic works in 2001 – Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest), the most important efforts in promoting Rozsda’s work were carried out by the private gallery Várfok Galéria and its owner, Károly Szalóky. Several exhibitions dedicated to Rozsda’s works have been organized in Budapest during these fifteen years, and some of the major catalogues and articles on his works have been written by the art historians connected to the Gallery. A decisive role in this process was played also by Júlia Cserba, who was very active during the past decades in promoting the works of Paris-based Hungarians, and who was one of the curators of the Műcsarnok retrospective. Art historians like Sándor Hornyik or Gábor Pataki, the most important authors dedicated to the interpretation of Hungarian surrealist painting and to the group of the European School in general, also contributed with their expertise to a better understanding of Rozsda’s work.

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Foreign matter – surrealist artists in MODEM, Debrecen

Looking for a common element in 20th century Hungarian progressive art seems to be one of the most important goals of the current exhibition of MODEM Debrecen. This time the common element is labelled as “Surrealism” Continue reading

No answers

It is a real quest to get to the Paul Delvaux Museum in Sint-Idesbald–Koksijde, but it is worth the effort.
The quest begins on the train from Paris to Dunkerque with the reading of an interesting book of dialogues, where only the first level of the dialogue is a proper one (the other levels are those between images and texts, and of imaginary letters addressed to Delvaux), Continue reading

Gellu Naum és az európai avantgárd

A Kolozsvári Román Nemzeti Színház nemzetközi fesztivált-találkozót kezdeményezett 2011 októberében, középpontban ezúttal a tíz éve elhunyt Gellu Naum életműve. A közönség sorain végignézve a választás egyértelműen sikerültnek mondható: igen sok bukaresti, párizsi arc bukkan fel a Gellu Naum személyes ismerősei közül: jó nevű szerkesztők, kritikusok, költők, művészek. És lehetőség van négy Naum-színmű megtekintésére is (Zenobia, Florența sunt eu / Firenze én vagyok, Insula / Sziget, óriáskivetítőn pedig az Exact în același timp / Pontosan abban a pillanatban). Continue reading

Helyszíni szemle: Pán Imre-anyagok Székesfehérváron

Valahogy meghittebb az egész, mint amire eredetileg számítok. Talán a vasárnap délelőtti általános nyugalom miatt, talán azért, mert a székesfehérvári Városi Képtárban, ahol a Pán Imre-emlékszoba van, specifikusan kevés az aznapi mozgás. Nyugodtan, ráérősen lehet végignézni a magyar szürrealizmus néhány alapokmányát, s a tárolókban ritkán reprodukált fotókat, kiadványok eredeti példányait.

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