View and World View in the art of Jenő Gadányi
The parallel exhibitions of Withdrawals and separate ways at a time of consolidation wishes to revisit the work of little-known or forgotten artists, who might have enjoyed a successful career in art if it had not been for their special way or Hungarian history in the second half of the 20th century.
Jenő Gadányi’s successful artistic career was broken by the “year of change”, i.e. the Communist takeover of power in 1948, but even during the years of involuntary silence he created an oeuvre that was just as valuable and comprehensive as if he had accomplished it in the limelight. The son of József Gadányi and Katalin Vaszary, he came from a background that fostered a career in art. His maternal uncle, the painter János Vaszary, tutored him in classical art. From the 1920s he contributed works regularly to the shows of New Society of Fine Artists and the Association of New Artists. After the Second World War, he was one of the founders of the European School. His painting was characterised by an attraction to abstraction, as well as wavering between figurativeness and abstraction, which fundamentally determined his art. He addressed the view by including more and more new styles, and employed Post-Impressionist, Expressionist and Constructivist gestures, as well as organic-romantic ones that depicted the saturation of nature. His colour schemes involved the entire palette, which radiated a vividness, profound depths of the soul and light resolution. His graphic works are gestures of joy, which reflect on minute events of his age.
Following a brief, euphoric period after the Second World War, he was removed from his job in 1949 for “artistic policy” reasons, and, retiring in Békásmegyer not far from his friend Lajos Kassák, facing many hardships, he carried on with his colourful works, summaries of his previous periods. Towards the end of his life, in the 1950s, he contributed works to several group exhibitions, but died in 1960 practically unrecognised.
This exhibition seeks to rediscover the work of Gadányi and to present the main trends through 140 works.
The curators of the show selected works from several major public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery (Budapest), the Budapest History Museum’s Kiscell Museum – Municipal Gallery (Budapest), the Modern Hungarian Gallery – Janus Pannonius Museum (Pécs), the National Museum’s Bálint Balassa Museum (Esztergom), the Christian Museum (Esztergom), the Kassák Museum – Petőfi Museum of Literature (Budapest), the Saint King Stephen Museum (Székesfehérvár), Judit Virág Gallery and Auction House, Kieselbach Gallery and Auction House, and private collections.
Curators: Zoltán Rockenbauer, Műcsarnok and Péter Rainer, Jenő Gadányi’s grandson and president of the Gadányi Foundation