According to the National Gallery, Twentieth-century art is at the focus of the exhibitions at the Hungarian National Gallery in 2019.

Photographs, sculptures, paintings, the poor and the wealthy, reality and what lies beyond, Budapest, Weimar, London, Paris, i.e. all of Europe. The show featuring Salvador Dali and the surrealists will be the sensation of this summer and early autumn. From April to the end of summer, visitors can view 200 fascinating photographs presenting the everyday lives of men-in-the street, selected from the 100 thousand items of the Fortepan archives. The show beginning in late September will pay a brief but all the more meaningful tribute to Philip de László. This small but significant exhibition celebrates the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth in Budapest. It will display some of his greatest works from royal and private collections, highlighting his standing as Hungary’s greatest portrait painter of international reputation. The Gallery’s last exhibition in 2019 will open in the middle of December and will bring to the public the oeuvre of a prominent artists of Hungarian Surrealism, István Farkas, who was murdered in Auschwitz.


17 April – 25 August 2019

Now celebrating the ten-year-anniversary of its foundation, the Fortepan digital photo archives collects photographs taken before 1990; the collection passed the milestone of 100 thousand images at the beginning of 2018. The exhibition will present 500 of this material, all of which are closely connected to the 20th-century history of Hungary but the emphasis will be on private photographs capturing various events seen through the eyes of ordinary people.

The thousands of images in the Fortepan archives, which are free for anyone to use, build up an enormous common family album; as the poet Zsuzsa Rakovszky wrote, “every past is my past”. Taking us on a journey through this shared past, the exhibition evokes familiar memories, often spiced with humour.


Crisis and Revival in 1929

27 June – 20 October 2019

The Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery will mount a large-scale exhibition of surrealist art. The show organised in conjunction with the Centre Pompidou is primarily based on a selection from the rich collection of the Parisian institution.

The exhibition will document the main trends of Surrealism, its central figures and outstanding artists through the extremely eventful period in the movement’s history, the year 1929 fraught with personal and artistic conflict. One of the most noteworthy moments of 1929 was the appearance of Salvador Dalí of Catalonia on the Parisian art scene and his taking the leading role in the group of surrealists. His film made together with Louis Buñuel, Un chien Andalou, debuted that year, and was the first masterpiece of surrealist moving pictures, confirming that the unique perspective and new artistic approach advocated by the movement can be coupled with the most varied technical solutions.

The show will provide a broad overview of the works made at the time by the surrealists, including Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso and Francis Picabia. Surrealist photography will be represented at the exhibition with works by Man Ray and Brassaï, while visitors will be able to see lesser known but nevertheless important figures such as Jacques André Boiffard.


Drawings Cabinet

27 September 2019 – 5 January 2020

Curators: Gábor Bellák, Sandra de Laszlo, Katherine Field, Beáta Somfalvi

This small but significant exhibition will mark the 150th anniversary of Philip de László’s birth in Budapest. Organised in collaboration with The de Laszlo Archive Trust, the display will show some 20 of the artist’s most distinguished international portraits. It is nearly 100 years since a solo exhibition of Philip de László’s work was held in Budapest, so this tribute is long overdue. The portraits have been chosen to show de László’s greatest artistic achievements, carefully selected to highlight to the public his importance as an Hungarian painter of worldwide reputation. The show will coincide with the publication of the Hungarian translation of Duff Hart-Davis and Caroline Corbeau-Parsons’s 2010 biography: Philip de László: His Life and Art.

ISTVÁN FARKAS (1887–1944)

12 December 2019 – 22 March 2020

István Farkas is one of the foremost figures in the 20th-century history of Hungarian art.

In the 1930s and 1940s, he was regarded as one of the greatest painters of the École de Paris. André Salmon, a French art critic, wrote a book on him in 1930. After the death of his father, József Wolfner, he returned to Hungary but in 1944 he was deported because of his Jewish origin and was murdered in a concentration camp. Our oeuvre exhibition pays tribute to the 75th anniversary of his death.

After the re-opening of the Museum of Fine Arts, international exhibitions organised from the collections of the museum and the Hungarian National Gallery will continue. In December 2019, a show will open at the National Art Center in Tokyo, possibly the most important Japanese exhibition venue. Presenting the best of our collections, the selection comprising more than 120 masterpieces will provide a comprehensive picture of all the periods of Hungarian and international art. The National Art Center in Tokyo has staged several largely successful exhibitions since 2007, including those from the works of the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay and the Hermitage.


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