Hungary Arts and Architecture from 20th to 21st Century

The 20th century. and the beginnings of the 21st

At the beginning of the 20th century. there are examples of architecture open to the ‘functional’ experience (B. Laisha, 1873-1920) and to the teaching of the Bauhaus. After World War II, the reconstructions and extensions of inhabited and industrial centers (Berente, Inota, Komló etc.) have a strictly functional imprint. In painting, the Great Plain group, whose exponents are mentioned G. Kosrta and G. Tornya, refers to the teaching of Munkácsy, while tendencies towards a socialist realism can be found in G. Derkovits and D. Huber. The first abstract art has in L. Kassak, F. Martyn, D. Korniss, the most active and significant representatives, but the groups of the European and avant-garde school of the Danube basin and in particular S. Kepes, S. Trauner, B. Vezelszky, B. Hegedüs, L. Vajda and the sculptors T. Csiky and I. Gador. Great development in the Hungary they had in the 20th century. graphics (B. Kondor), ceramics, goldsmithing and tapestry. Among the numerous Hungarian artists who have lived abroad stand out L. Moholy-Nagy and V. Vasarely who influenced J. Fajo and F. Lantos. The conceptual M. Erdély and the neo-figurative L. Lakner are still to be remembered.

● In the last twenty years of the 20th century, compared to other Eastern European countries, Hungarian art was characterized by greater freedom of expression and an early opening towards contemporary international artistic experiences, in a particular comparison with the German and Austrian art. In the 1980s, a new trend emerged also in the Hungary, which brought together artists of different backgrounds, in which a reborn individuality is expressed through the reference to styles of the past (Új szenzibilitás, “New sensitivity”). The contemporary artistic situation is characterized by the parallel presence of different expressive modes, new painting, object art and installation. Among the main exponents are I. Bak and I. Nádler, who move from neo-constructivist experiences; A. Birkás, K. Kelemen and L. Fehér, who find references in pop art and conceptual art. The problem of artistic identity and national tradition, in a subtly ironic key, is at the center of the research of S. Pinczehelyi and I. Bukta; the antecedents of this ironic attitude are linked to the neodadaist and surrealist experiences of the Lajos Vajda studio, active in Szentendre since the mid-1970s (L. fe Lugossy, I. ef Zámbó, A. Wahorn). The lesson of M. Erdély, fundamental for the affirmation in the Hungary of expressive forms such as performance, was fundamental for subsequent generations of artists (A. Börökz, L. Révész, with a surrealist and ironic figurativism; J. Szirtes which interprets the world of rites, myths and artistic idioms through different media and expressive languages). For the plastic arts, we remember the sculptures of G. Jovánovics, G. Pauer and M. Melocco; the mobile structures of I. Haraszty and G. Gálantai, founder of the Artpool center; the found objects, mobile or sound, by V. Lois. They characterize the artistic production of the last decade of the 20th century. the trend towards multimedia, with the use of video, sound, photography (J. Sugár, who emerged in the context of the interdisciplinary artistic group Indigo, led by Erdély; P. Forgács); between corporeality and its negation focus the researches of A. Csörgö, M. Imre, E. Benczúr, G. Erdélyi, with installations painting, manufacturing and object; work with photography and painting, light and shadow, combinations of materials, J. Hersko, É. Köves, R. el-Hassan. To remember the establishment of public and private centers and museum spaces for contemporary art, from Foundation Soros (1984) at the Ludwig Múzeum (1991), at the MEO-Contemporary Art Collection (2001) in Budapest.

● According to harvardshoes, the fall of the ‘iron curtain’ led to a decisive reaction in architecture towards official styles and the expression of new freedoms was identified in postmodern forms: on the one hand with the adherence to international forms and with the use of new materials (buildings made in Budapest, such as the Grand Hotel Kempinski by J. Finta and A. Puhl, 1992; the French Institute of G. Maurios, 1993; the national headquarters of the fire brigade by P. Molnar, 1990; the Alaig Center Buda office building by C. Virág and A. Marillai, 1990); on the other hand, with references to vernacular forms from the early 20th century. and with the use of traditional materials (Hotel Liget, 1990, in Budapest, by Finta himself). Of particular interest, however, are the works of architects with an organic taste, with rich building typologies both on a morphological and symbolic level, who often resort to traditional technologies and materials in the rediscovery of historical archetypes. The leader of this trend is I. Makovecz, the most representative exponent of Hungarian architecture on an international level (Calvinist church in Timişoara, 1991; apartment and office house in Budapest, 1992; Makó cultural center, 2000). Among the exponents of the organic line, we also mention E. Nagy (Hattyú ház, Budapest, 1996) and D. Ekler (winery in Mezözombor, 1993; shopping center in Szolnok, with I. Kövér, 1995; racecourse of Gánt, with G. Kovács, 1996). Architects such as T. Karácsony and P. Janesch (rehabilitation center for disabled young people in Perbál, 1999) lead an architectural orientation that mediates between the language of neomodernism and the international regionalist one; J. Mónus, Z. Szöke and S. Nagy (residential complex of atrium houses, Római Part, Budapest, 1997).

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