Even in the 1960s abstract art was regarded by the Socialist regime as an ideologically hostile, retrograde phenomenon, a manifestation of Western deviation and capitalist snobbery. Youth was discouraged from pursuing such art by various means, be that withholding information, jeering through the professional press, constructing administrative hindrances, or creating existential threats. Thus, for the new generation, abstract art was a forbidden fruit up until the mid-60s.
The exhibition focuses on the pivotal moment of art history in which Hungarian art the first half of the 60s, affected by Western reproductions and translated theoretical texts, denied the descriptive, figurative inscriptions, and entered the illegal realm of abstract painting.
The exhibition will feature co-curator Ákos Bánki’s documentary movie, Illegal Informel (2018), which reconstructs the events from half a century ago through the voice of artists who, having started their careers in the 50s, went to experiment with abstract artistic forms.
Curated by Ákos Bánki and Gábor Rieder