Hungarian painting in the 80s

9.2 - 30.4.2022

Opening 9.2.2022 at 5 p.m

Imre Bak, József Bartl, István Bodóczky, Pál Deim, László Fehér, Károly Klimó, András Koncz, László Mulasics, György Szőnyei, Zoltán Tölg-Molnár

Imre Bak: Kandinsky in Paris
1991, acryl/canvas, 212x140 cm

Knoll Galerie continues its series of thematic group exhibitions: the exhibition "Fall of the Wall" deals with the surprising situation in the visual arts in a country that in the 1980s was part of the seemingly eternal Eastern Bloc - and yet participated in the development of New Painting and Postmodernism in the West. In the second part of the 1980s, more and more Hungarian artists participated in international exhibitions in the West - processes that were almost unimaginable in the state-socialist countries in the previous decades (and in the other countries of the Eastern Bloc).

Some reasons for these surprising events are known - countries in the West integrated artists from Hungary in current exhibitions in the course of the 1980s. Here Wilfried Schreiner must be mentioned, long-time director of the Neue Galerie Graz at the Landesmuseum Joanneum, who showed artists from Hungary (together with artists from Austria, Italy and Slovenia) in numerous exhibitions very early on. Thematically, these exhibitions dealt with the painting of the "Junge Wilden" in Germany and Austria or the "Transavanguardia" in Italy, which began in the early 80s.

In any case, in the 80s the participation of artists from socialist Hungary was a surprise. Artists for whom visiting international exhibitions in the West was already possible only under difficult conditions, now exhibited side by side with the Western stars of the latest art trends. A generation of artists who had already sought to join international art developments in some Eastern European countries in the late 1960s, and who were prevented from doing so at the time by severe repression, now took part in the latest (Western) developments together with young artists in the course of the 1980s and were accompanied by local young art historians, who increasingly organized exhibitions of the latest works in Hungary as well. In Hungary, this was mainly Lóránd Hegyi (later director of the Museum of Modern Art Vienna from 1990 to 2001), who coined the term "New Sensibility" for these new tendencies in Hungarian painting.

An interesting question is how after 1980 in the countries of "Socialist Realism" this turn to the latest international tendencies in visual art could happen. This was connected with the long hardly noticed transformation to postmodernism in the art of Hungary, which took place at the beginning of the 1980s.

The exhibition shows important works of the central artists of Hungary from these 80s, supplemented by works of some artists, who were little noticed at that time.

Tuesday – Friday 14 – 18 Uhr
Saturday 13 – 15 Uhr