1 Hunyadi Street, 2000 Szentendre
Opens: Art Capital 2019 – 25th May
+36 20 779 6657
Full-price: HUF 1400 Ft | 1700 Ft*
Reduced: 700 Ft | 800 Ft*
*Combined ticket: all FMC exhibitions can be visited with the combined ticket. For further ticket information, please click here!
The memorial museum presents Lajos Vajda’s surreal, expressive self-portraits, paintings, drawings, photomontages, and last works, the large-scale charcoal and ink drawings on wrapping paper. The Hungarian state purchased a significant part of the lifework from the artist’s widow, Júlia Vajda, in 1979 and donated one hundred pieces to the Ferenczy Museum.
The museum opened on 22 December 1986 in a porticoed bourgeois apartment built at the beginning of the last century offering a nice view of the Danube. It is a venue with a permanent exhibition of works by 20th-century Hungarian classics; the garden of the museum features works of contemporary Szentendre-based artists. The Art Capital 2019 exhibitions are opening here on 25th May.
The permanent collection will be returned to the museum after the complete renovation.
Lajos Vajda (Zalaegerszeg, 1908–Budakeszi, 1941) is still on of the most influential artists of Hungarian painting. The years spent in Serbia with his family during the First World War, the drawing school of the National Hungarian Hebrew Cultural Association (OMIKE), the College of Fine Arts between 1927-1929—almost simultaneously with Lajos Kassák’s Munka (Work) Circle—the stay in Paris between 1930-1934, and eventually Szentendre determined his tragically short life and art.
He returned to work here in 1935 upon the call of Dezső Korniss. The Szentendre townscape and Serbian church altar screens both had an influence on his art. The artistic views of Korniss and Vajda were very similar. Taking the work of Bartók and Kodály as an example, the “Szentendre Program” was born. The main idea behind the program is creating a synthesis between the culture of past and present, between eastern and western thought. On their tours collecting motifs they researched the ancient cosmology that lived on in a fragmented form in some folk cultures. The last works of Vajda, especially the charcoal and ink drawings on cheap wrapping paper, yield a terrifying vision.
In 1940 he was recruited for labor service but eventually exempted due to his advanced lung disease. One year later it was this disease that caused his death.
The exceptionally important intellectual legacy of Lajos Vajda was carried on and further developed by his friends and colleagues after his death. They also became founding members, besides Béla Czóbel and Jenő Barcsay, of a group called the European School, which was established in 1945, then “voluntarily” disbanded in the year of Stalin’s coming to power, 1948. The school collected artists who identified with the most pressing problems of the times. The group was not characterized by a bowing before doctrinary, stylistic principles, but—to quote Endre Bálint—“identifying with a penchant for internal freedom that excludes any foreign content from painting.”
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