April 13, 2017 - Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest - Parallel Avant-garde—Pécs Workshop 1968–1980
April 13, 2017

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

Károly Kismányoky and Kálmán Szijártó, Sand Mine. Gradual Adjustment of Basic Elements, Pécsvárad, 1970. Photograph. © Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art.

Parallel Avant-garde—Pécs Workshop 1968–1980
April 14–June 25, 2017

Opening: April 13, 6pm, Greetings by Julia Fabényi, director of Ludwig Museum; opened by Dr. Péter Hoppál, Undersecretary for Culture, Ministry of Human Resources; professional introduction by Márta Kovalovszky, art historian

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Budapest
Komor Marcell u. 1
1095
Hungary
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–8pm

T +36 1 555 3444

www.ludwigmuseum.hu
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Curated by: Attila T. Doboviczki and József Készman

This exhibition is organised jointly with Budapest Spring Festival.

Further locations of the travelling exhibition:
M21 Gallery, Zsolnay Culture Quarter, Pécs: September 8–October 15, 2017
Gallery of Szombathely, Szombathely: December 7, 2017–February 28, 2018.
 

Opening in the spring of 2017 at the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, the exhibition Parallel Avant-garde—The Pécs Workshop 1968–1980 intends to present the activity and highlight the importance of a neo-avant-garde artist group that operated on the blind spot of the Hungarian arts scene and that has received little attention by art historians so far. Towards the end of the 1960s, five members of a loosely organized group of several artists gradually seceded and continued working together in the 70s as a smaller group. Even when taking individual artistic paths, they continued creating art in the shared mentality of the workshop. The five artists of the Pécs Workshop were Ferenc Ficzek (1947–87), Károly Hopp-Halász (1946–2016), Károly Kismányoky (1943–), Sándor Pinczehelyi (1946–) and Kálmán Szíjártó (1946–).  

The early period of the workshop (1968–70) was characterized by the intention of reviving neo-constructivist art, guided by the pedagogical praxis of Ferenc Lantos while consciously following the Bauhaus school’s conception of art. In this period they made a number of experiments with material, form and colour, working in different genres (printed graphics, panel painting, etc.) and techniques (enamel and aquarelle among others), deliberately pushing boundaries. By the early 1970s, their art exhibited a stronger influence of conceptual art and they began finding their individual voice and set out on the path to becoming autonomous. They were among the first in Hungarian as well as Central and Eastern European art to carry out landscape experiments in nature and occasionally in urban environments. Throughout 1970–71 their artistic landscape interventions and marks amounted to nearly 20 land art actions (most of them by Károly Kismányoky and Kálmán Szíjártó), which were accompanied by notes and photographic or film documentation. These landscape experiments were unprecedented in Hungarian art history both in terms of their early occurrence and their analytical approach and content. Further emblematic pieces conceived in the period include Sándor Pinczehelyi’s pictures operating with political symbols (Hammer and Sickle, 1973; Cobblestone, 1974; Star, 1972; etc.), the photo actions and performances by Károly Halász using disembowelled televisions (Private Broadcast, 1970-71; Pseudo Video, 1975) or his miniature museum for home use, lining up miniature copies of the most well-known pieces of contemporary art (Shelves Museum, 1972). Of similar significance are Ferenc Ficzek’s experiments with the medium of photography (e.g. Self-leafing, 1976), or the animations made at the turn of the seventies-eighties (Cube, 1980; Exits Left Behind, 1981).   

In addition to chronologically lining up the most significant pieces conceived over the course of the decade, from geometric endeavours, landscape experiments and conceptual pieces through performance documentations and films, the Parallel Avant-garde exhibition also places great emphasis on collecting and presenting contemporaneous archival materials, exhibition catalogues, correspondences and reflexions. In addition, it attempts to explore and reveal the methods of collaboration and collective thinking among the workshop’s members.

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