Each year, the curators of the four relevant collections (Hungarian National Gallery: Contemporary Collection and Collection of Prints and Drawings; Museum of Fine Arts: Art after 1800 and the Collection of Prints and Drawings) draw up a purchase list, with items then being selected for acquisition by members of the nonprofit company up to the amount of monetary donations. This novel type of cooperation between art collectors and museum curators is unprecedented in Hungary.
This year, based on the suggestions of the heads of the collection departments and following the purchase of artworks worth around HUF 11 million, the Contemporary Collection has been supplemented with works by major artists representing the 1990s and the contemporary figurative genre.
In addition to the purchased artworks, two founding members of the Friends of Contemporary Art Nonprofit Company, namely Katalin Spengler and Zsolt Somlói, made a further donation, resulting in the inclusion in the collection of Hajnal Németh’s series Sunday to Monday. At this exhibition, the works purchased and donated with the support of the Friends of Contemporary Art Nonprofit Company are presented for the first time as part of the collection.
Lőrinc Borsos often employs appropriation in his art; in the Playing with Fire series, he/she used illustrations originally made for classical literary works by William Blake, pillorying the foundations of our morality.
Nightwatch by Ákos Ezer is linked – even in its title – with the art historical tradition, reinterpreting and questioning that tradition in an ironic tone. The work Takes You Into by Márk Fridvalszki evokes the pop culture of the 1990s; its pair, Utopia, is already in the museum’s collection. The public artwork Direction Signs by Antal Lakner inspired the title of the exhibition. The work is the documentation of a conceptual, site-specific, and public installation. With its bright cold colours, Creating Silence by Gábor Pintér is a work metaphysical and contemplative in tone. In Flood, Sára Rózsa Luca draws an analogy between the cataclysm of biblical times and the current climate crisis. She asks what people can do after the disaster. Hajnal Németh’s series entitled Sunday to Monday is an early example of the application of computer programmes in Hungarian art. The 3D graphics react to the flaws and absurdities of the virtual world.
It is to be hoped that the exemplary cooperation with the Friends of Contemporary Art Nonprofit Company will see new donors in the future, thus enabling the acquisition of Hungarian and foreign works on a larger scale.