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The Collaboration between Dezső Korniss and György Kovásznai

"Intoxication. Delicate decadence, of the finest kind."

It was outside the institutionalised art scene, or as he put it, "beyond the fifties' artistic meat grinder", that he managed to find a living art tradition that he felt genuine. In 1958 he met Dezső Korniss, and (re-)discovered the Szentendre School, the members of the European School who were forced to work underground, and with them, the artists' colony at Rottenbiller Street: sculptor József Jakovits, Júlia Vajda (the widow of painter Lajos Vajda), and Endre Bálint.

What did the classical avant-garde, mediated as it was by the European School, mean to Kovásznai? His remarks quoted below reveal that it meant a promise of a life beyond the "meat grinder". There was, nonetheless, a sole exception: the European School, to which some of the Szentendre artists belonged as well. They have been miraculously liberated from the shackles of naturalism. At first sight, one might think that with some sort of divine nonchalance - as if they did not live in the same country! - they simply did not take notice of that enormous, heavy, supplicating, lardy, bitumen-brown mass, into which the carriage of our domestic painters were expected to sink, up to its wheel hubs and axles. Something else was born here; and right then, it was hard to understand whence and from what it came. The charming Szentendre, was the true refutation of our delusion that the only befitting mode for a Hungarian painter was to bemoan their cursed fate in the unyielding earthen strongholds of naturalism. In the late 1950s, his oeuvre implemented a few motifs that evoked the artists of the pre-war Szentendre school: and especially the oeuvres of Imre Ámos and Margit Anna. Korniss is regarded as a highly significant living connection between the avant-garde of the early 20th century and the younger generation. This is apparent in his creative collaboration with Kovásznai. They made 7 experimental films by combining modern forms of expression with animated film techniques, which was quite unusual in this country, instantiating the possibility of establishing a dialogue between various cultural identities and generations.

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