From 1956 to the end of the seventies the situation of the figurative arts in the Hungary undergoes a radical transformation. The ruling Hungarian Socialist Labor Party gradually manages to exclude the visual arts and artists from the group of counterparts admitted to dialogue; in the sign of the centrality traditionally assigned by Hungarian culture of the 19th century to literature, Communist cultural policy focuses on literature and on cinematography, which strengthened very rapidly since the end of the 1960s. The state has neither an artistic program nor an official art, as it did in the Stalinist system, because it does not consider art either an instrument of political legitimation or an effective means of propaganda. The generic expectations of cultural policy, however, naturally they also concern the figurative arts: no taboos are imposed on artists, guaranteeing them creative freedom, as long as they refrain from touching on issues such as the Hungarian political system and its political and military alliances, the people of the leaders and issues related to common sense of modesty. At the same time, the cultural closure of the country towards the West causes a lack of information and the control activity of the Soviet-type party state dictatorship, extended to every sector, creates a suffocating atmosphere even in artistic life. the people of the managers and matters relating to the common sense of modesty. At the same time, the cultural closure of the country towards the West causes a lack of information and the control activity of the Soviet-type party state dictatorship, extended to every sector, creates a suffocating atmosphere even in artistic life. the people of the managers and matters relating to the common sense of modesty. At the same time, the cultural closure of the country towards the West causes a lack of information and the control activity of the Soviet-type party state dictatorship, extended to every sector, creates a suffocating atmosphere even in artistic life.
According to listofusnewspapers, this grip begins to loosen in the early 1980s. The state, albeit by imposing limits, authorizes some forms of private initiative in the economy and this liberalization, which slowly ” infects ” all areas of social life, corresponds to an attenuation of the Marxist-Leninist ideological dictatorship. The process leads, in the mid-1980s, to substantially full freedom in the field of art. The institutional system of artistic life remains unchanged, but the Palace of Exhibitions of Budapest (institution of the Ministry of Culture, with the function of official state exhibition space, exclusive organizer of the relations of Hungarian art with foreign countries), under the direction of K. Néray opens the doors to foreign contemporary art,
In the Hungary there are two types of social communication. The first belongs to power and is made up of the official institutional system, education, mass communications, the institutional system of artistic life with its slowly disappearing Marxist ideology; the other is represented by the sphere of artistic and political opposition groups, limited on the institutional level, due to the dictatorship, in a very limited space. It is worth noting, however, that in the complexity of the Hungarian social framework of the 1980s, the same intellectuals who supported a non-communist, but national-bourgeois, Christian or bourgeois social-liberal system of values contributed to the functioning – and often, at the same time, to the dissolution – of the communist dictatorship of the party state. The tracing of the border between the two spheres passes not through institutions, but through individuals. Power accepts and supports, even in the arts, what is easily controllable: realism, post-impressionism in painting; in sculpture the classicizing and expressivist attitude. It continues to oppose the avant-garde, which however it no longer prohibits, allowing it to enter the country, albeit through very limited channels. The cultural politics of the late seventies formulated the principle of ” support-tolerance-prohibition ”, intended to act as a soft truncheon of the party state. Everything is allowed, that is, nothing is allowed: this paradoxical situation essentiallycharacterizes Hungarian art of the Eighties.
At the beginning of the 1980s the “ new image ” appears, a phenomenon defined in Italy as ” transavantgarde ”, in Germany heftige Malerei, in England new spirit, in France figuration libre, and that in the Hungary, in the footsteps of L Hegyi, takes the name of új szenzibilitás (“new sensibility”). The phenomenon, which Hungarian critics do not consider as a trend, was introduced in 1981 by two exhibitions, Új szenzibilitás I and the personal of K. Kelemen. The overcoming of conceptualism, reductionism and the neo-avant-garde, the rediscovery of personality, the personal elaboration of symbols of the history of culture characterize the artists gathered under this denomination, an extraordinarily heterogeneous whole. This conception appears in the paintings of I. Bak and I. Nádler, formerly constructive-minimalists; I. Keserű, lyric abstractionist, Á. Birkás, gestural-conceptualist painter, the surrealist El Kazovszkij and it is at this moment that many young talents also make their appearance: the painters Z. Ádám, J. Bullás, I. Mazzag, L. Mulasics, Gy. Szőnyei, the sculptors Gy. Cseszlay and A. Mata.
The death of the avant-garde and the resulting situation have been the central theme of the work of M. Erdély (1928-1986) since the end of the seventies, an extraordinarily multifaceted figure (architect, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, performer, poet, filmmaker, philosopher, pedagogue). Today entire generations rightly consider this mild radical and subversive artist, the Hungarian ” Joseph Beuys ”, as their teacher, who embodied the spirit of the avant-garde in his own person and in his own production. In his creativity and art pedagogy group, which he directed between 1975 and 1981, many young artists worked, who in the meantime have gained fame.
Conceptualism continues to live, in a sensitive form in the paintings of Zs. Károlyi and E. Tolvaly, in the geometric-mathematical-constructive works of D. Maurer, also active in the genre of installations and cinematography.
The now classical tradition of the Szentendre school continues with the painter P. Deim, enriching the stylistic direction of constructivism with ever new results. The Stúdió Lajos Vajda, which derives its name from one of the greatest artists of Szentendre, a surrealist graphic artist comparable to P. Klee, is formed and active since the mid-seventies, and gathers a group of neodada and surrealist painters and artists of the happening: the leading artists are I. ef Zámbó, L. f and Lugossy, A. Wahorn, to which the neoprimitive art of J. Szirtes (painting and performance) as well as the art of performance can be linkedand the surrealist-ironic figurative painting of A. Böröcz and L. Révész, who began their journey from Erdély’s circle. The sculptor Gy. Galántai, who works using among other things also metal scraps, founder of the Artpool art research center, is one of the main organizers of the dissemination of mail art and counterculture in the Hungary
In sculpture the philosophical and monumental abstraction of G. Jovánovics continues in its refinement process, while I. Haraszty, raising existential and social questions, proposes with his sculpture of machinery a brilliant satire of kadarism in decline. T. Csiky, with his clean and vigorous constructivism, continues, alone, in the sculpture the Puritan art of the master of the Hungarian avant-garde, L. Kassák. In painting, Kassák’s most faithful and most consistent pupil is J. Fajó, who began his career alongside Bak and Nádler. Reflects on ecological problems, with wooden statues that shape plant formations and with archaic objects, G. Samu, one of the most original figures of contemporary Hungarian sculpture, alongside S. Csutoros, who also works with natural forms. The constructions in wooden beams and the nets to cover spaces made by J. Megyik, who lives in Vienna, are examples of the sensitive conceptual artistic genre. At the same time, classical figurativeness in its postmodern version continues to exist in Hungarian plastics in the work of T. Körösényi, M. Melocco and R. Török.
In the middle of the decade, the production of the group of architects of Studio Plusz begins, consisting of L. Rajk, A. Kovács, T. Szalai, G. Bachman, with paper statues and deconstructivist installations that blend the constructivism of the classical Soviet avant-garde with certain falsely socialist pathetic realism. Even in the current decade Gy. Pauler continues his experiments in pseudo-sculpture, this time in the thematic field of the human beauty of the nude. R. Swierkiewicz, in a borderland located between neodada, informal and installations, uses a quantity of media from the point of view of artistic genresexceptionally vast. Regardless of his pictorial tendencies, S. Molnár continues to build his quasi-abstract painting reminiscent of biological forms on his now monumental oil paintings.
During the phase of artistic fervor of the Eighties and at a time when radical eclecticism was in full swing, the most strongly decisive factor in the field of visual culture also in the United States became video and this process did not stop afterwards. the fall of the Berlin wall, the return to the bourgeois-democratic political system and the rebirth of the market economy. Since 1989 the institutional system of artistic life has undergone radical changes, the associations of artists controlled by the state are eliminated or transformed, new magazines are born; even the teaching of the arts is stripped of its conservative imprint, while an art market is born, although the galleries, in the absence of a bourgeoisie with purchasing power, still operate in very difficult conditions.