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Hungarian Art


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INTRODUCTION ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ENLIGHTENMENT VERSUS THE 'NATIONAL GENIUS' Attempts at Constructing Modernism and National Identity through Visual Expression in Hungary THE SAFE HAVEN OF A NEW CLASSICISM Gyorgy Lukacs, Lajos Fulep, Leo Popper and the Quest for Aesthetics, 1904--1912 CONSTRUCTIVE FAITH IN DECONSTRUCTION Dada in Hungarian Art BETWEEN CULTURES Hungarian Concepts of Constructivism as a Political Act IN THE VACUUM OF EXILE The Hungarian Activists in Vienna EVERYONE IS TALENTED Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's Synthesis of Reform Pedagogy and Utopian Modernism A FORGOTTEN GROUP: THE GALLERY TO THE FOUR DIRECTIONS Theory, politics and the practice of abstract art in Budapest 1945--1948 DOES DEMOCRACY GROW UNDER PRESSURE? Strategies of the Hungarian Neo-Avant-garde from the Late-1960s through the 1970s "TODAY IS A BEAUTIFUL DAY" The "New Sensibility" or "New Subjectivism" in the Hungarian Post-Avant-garde of the 1980s DECONSTRUCTING CONSTRUCTIVISM IN POST-COMMUNIST HUNGARY Laszlo Rajk and the Na-Ne Gallery AN EXISTENTIALIST PAINTER: ISTVAN FARKAS Redress of an Artist's Suppressed Legacy MIKLOS ERDELY, TIME TRAVELER LONE RADICALS The Brittle Lines of Bela Kondor and Lajos Vajda LASZLO FEHER The Enigma of Being There A MALEVICH REVIVAL IN HUNGARY DURING AND AFTER THE COLD WAR Istvan Nadler, Margit Szilvitzky, and the Quest for the Transcendental "ART HAS BECOME A CHARACTER ISSUE" Peter Donath, and the Price of Independence ARTPOOL A Radically Open Budapest Archive of Experimental Art WORKS CITED ADDITIONAL REFERENCES IMAGE LIST INDEX AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Promotional Information

Released on the occasion of the exhibition "Hungarian Art, A Century of Rebellion and Revival" at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, October 2016 - January 2017, curated by the author Eva Forgacs. Promotion to university art departments, museum bookstores and libraries through direct mail and email marketing Social media promotion in coordination with author speaking engagements in Los Angeles and elsewhere Excerpts in the online magazine of DoppelHouse Press, The Nomadic Journal

About the Author

Dr. Eva Forgacs, formerly professor of art history at the Hungarian Academy of Crafts and design, has been teaching at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California since 1994. She has a Ph. D. in Art History from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. A former curator at the Hungarian Museum of Decorative Arts and professor at the Laszlo Moholy-Nagy University in Budapest, she has published a number of essays and monographs on various chapters of Modernism in edited volumes, textbooks, and journals. She has also been active as a curator and art critic, and has published several books both in her native Hungary and in English. Forgacs was co-curator (with Nancy Perloff) of "Monuments of the Future: Designs by El Lisssitzky" at the Getty Research Institute, in November 1998, and was consultant at LACMA's Central European Avant-Gardes exhibition in 2002. She serves as book review editor of Centropa, is Advisory Board member of EAM (European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies), member of the International Academic Committee of the Bauhaus Institute, China Academy of Art, and vice president of the Society of Historians of Russian and East European Art and Architecture.


Eva Forgacs is a brilliant guide to the history of modern and contemporary art in Hungary. These essays--whether appraising the achievements of Modern Movement heroes like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy or excavating the overlooked practices of neo-avant-garde artists of the 1970s and 1980s--combine deep understanding of modern art with a critical perspective on the many myths which have been attached to it. Hungarian modernism now seems far more vivid. --David Crowley, Royal College of Art The leading English-speaking expert on Hungarian art from the avant-garde of the pre-World War I years to the present, Forgacs is as astute in confronting Hungarian politics and the nation's cultural development as she is at elucidating the nature of the artworks themselves. A dazzling intellectual performance. -- Marjorie Perloff, author of Wittgenstein's Ladder and The Vienna Paradox Eva Forgacs has a remarkable ability to condense her cosmopolitan breadth of scholarship into admirably coherent, easily comprehensible writing...We come away with the feeling that our time has been well spent indeed. Her publications exemplify art history at its best. --Hattula Moholy-Nagy Forgacs' essays are shafts of light illuminating a complex terrain which is not only located at the center of Europe but, given the seismic political shifts that have occurred there, central to the history that defined the 20th century. --J. Hoberman, author of The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism A pioneering intellectual survey of Hungarian art in the long twentieth century. Populated by extraordinary figures such as Bela Balazs, whose dream of a great new Hungarian culture amounted to the founding of a new "religion of art," this authoritative book repositions cultural giants such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Lajos Kassak, and Gyorgy Lukacs within a series of fascinating interpersonal, philosophical and political fields. Forgacs also entices readers to engage with a host of less well known artists and forgotten initiatives: the European School; the transcendentalist revivers of Malevich; the exponents of the postmodern 'new sensibility' of the 1980s; the post-socialist post-constructivists of the 1990s. She challenges canons and attacks key questions head on, provocatively exploring, among other things, whether or not "democracy grows under pressure." The culmination of decades of sustained research, this erudite publication is an immensely precious resource and a vital contribution to the further exploration of the rich intertextual fabric of European art as a whole. -- Klara Kemp-Welch, Courtauld Institute of Art

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