Lajos Kassák’s exhibition in the Fényes Adolf Showroom in 1967 was to be the last exhibition during the lifetime of that emblematic figure of the historic avant-garde in Hungary. It also serves as a window into the emergence of self-financed exhibitions at that time. There were two mutually contradictory phenomena connected with Kassák and his art in the Sixties: resurgence and rejection. Mounting demands for Kassák’s art to be put on show were set against the banishment of such exhibitions to the periphery. Kassák fought hard for acceptance as a painter. The contradictions typified by this simultaneous resurgence and rejection beset all kinds of intellectual accomplishment in the Kádár era, and more accurately characterize the period than the — nowadays somewhat worn-out – concept of ‘prohibition.’
After 1956, the cultural authorities’ relations with artists and cultural intellectuals were decidedly cold. After reaching a low point in 1957, cultural relations began to improve in the 1960s through a process that may be most simply described as a gradual widening of dialogue or attempts at dialogue, with both the authorities and those involved in cultural life putting out feelers to each other at varying levels of intensity. They sought a broader set of partners, on one side in the hope of a more rewarding pursuit of culture, and on the other in hope of justification. This process continued to unfold until the events of 1968, after which it stagnated and began to deteriorate. Set against this simple schema, Kassák’s exhibition in 1967 took place as optimistic dialogue was reaching its peak. But even in that brightest phase of compromise-seeking between the system and the cultural sphere, there was to be no prestigious, publicly-funded life’s-work exhibition for Kassák; only a modest, ‘off-site’ self-financed show in the Fényes Adolf Showroom.
This period saw an extension of the ‘tolerated art’ category. The regime could not — or did not want to — maintain its division into friends and enemies. By the end of the period, the passively-tolerated category had completely displaced the active, judgemental thrust of cultural policy and with the emergence of the self-financing exhibition system it became firmly established.
In this article, an attempt is made to show how freedom is possible. The objection that Divine Providence and its opposite, scientific or physical determinism, make freedom impossible is examined. The question is raised as to whether the universe consists of things (beings/substances), which is a presupposition of scientific determinism. The order in the universe is held not to be an objection to freedom. It is argued that the future is not determined on the basis that causes refer to the past, not the future. Freedom would appear to depend on the soul not being determined like a stone, but a self-mover. In addition, intellect appears necessary, since freedom requires choice, which in turn requires the capacity to deliberate. If both soul and intellect are required for freedom, it is understandable that human beings alone in the universe are free.
In the course of my research in archives – in search of documents about the history of the Art Foundation of the People’s Republic (from 1968 Art Fund) – while leafing through the sea of files in the National Archives of Hungary (MNL OL) year after year, I came across so-far unknown documents on the life and fate of Béla Kondor which had been overlooked by the special literature so far.
Some reflected the character of the period from summer of 1956 to spring 1957, more precisely to the opening of the Spring Exhibition. In that spring, after relieving Rákosi of his office, the HWP (Hungarian Workers’ Party, Hun. MDP) cared less for “providing guidance for the arts”, as they were preoccupied with other, more troublesome problems. In the winter/spring after the revolution started on 23 October and crushed on 4 November the echelon of the HSWP (Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Hun. MSzMP) had not decided yet whether to strike a league with extreme leftist artistic groups or to pay heed to Memos Makris (Hun. Makrisz Agamemnon), the ministerial commissioner designing the reform of the artists’ association and organizing the Spring Exhibition and to leave the artists – so-far forced into the strait-jacket of socialist realism – alone. I found some documents which shed bright light on the narrow-mindedness of the dogmatic artistic policy trying to bend the artists toward its goals now with the whip, now with milk cake.
I start the series of recovered documents with a ministerial file dated summer 1956 on the decision to purchase Kondor’s diploma work (the Dózsa cycle). The next piece of good news is a record of the committee meeting in February 1957 awarding Kondor a Derkovits scholarship. This is followed by ministerial letters – mirrors of the new artistic policy – by a changed, truly partyist scholarship committee which apparently revel in lecturing talented Kondor who was not willing to give up his sovereignty, so his works were often refused to be bought on state funds for museums.
In addition to whip-lashing documents, I also present a few which offered some milk cake: a letter inviting him to a book illustrating competition called by the Petőfi Literary Museum and one commissioning him to make the sheets on the Heves county part of a “liberation album”.
Next, I put forth a group of illumining documents – long known but never published in details: the files revealing the story of the large panels designed for the walls of the “Uranium city” kindergarten in Pécs and those revealing the preparations for the exhibition in Fényes Adolf gallery in 1960 and the causes of the concurrent tensions – including texts on decisions to hinder the publication of Lajos Németh’s catalogue introduction.
The last group includes futile efforts by architects to get Kondor commissions for murals. They give information on three possible works. Another for Pécs again (this time with Tibor Csernus), for works for a “men’s hostel” and on the failure of the possibility. The other is about works for Kecskemét’s Aranyhomok Hotel, another failure. The third is about a glass window competition for a new modern hotel to be built in Salgótarján, to which Kondor was also invited, but the jury did not find his work satisfactory in spite of the fact that the officials representing the city’s “party and council” organs, and the powerful head of the county and town, the president of the county committee of the HSWP all were in favour of commissioning him.
Mind you, the architects’ efforts to provide the handful of modern artists with orders for “abstract” works caused headache for the masterminds of controlled art policy, too. On the one hand, they also tried to get rid of the rigidity of the ideologically dogmatic period in line with “who is not against us, is with us”, the motto spreading with political détente, and to give room to these genres qualified as “decoration”. On the other hand, they did not want to give up the figurative works of socialist contents, which the architects wanted to keep away from their modern buildings. A compromise was born: Cultural Affairs and the Art Fund remained supporters of figurative works, and the “decorative” modern murals, mosaics and sculptures were allowed inside the buildings at the cost of the builders.
Apart from architects, naturally there were other spokesmen in favour of Kondor (and Csernus and the rest of the shelved artists). In an essay in Új Irás in summer 1961 Lajos Németh simply branded it a waste to deprive Kondor of all channels except book illustration, while anonymous colleagues of the National Gallery guided an American curator to him who organized an exhibition of Kondor’s graphic works he had packed into his suitcase in the Museum of Modern Art in Miami.
From the early 1963 – as the rest of the explored documents reveal – better times began in Hungarian internal and cultural politics, hence in Béla Kondor’s life, too. The beginning is marked by a – still “exclusive” – exhibition he could hold in the Young Artists’ Studio in January, followed by a long propitiatory article urging for publicity for Kondor by a young journalist of Magyar Nemzet, Attila Kristóf. Then, in December Kondor became the Grand Prix winner of the second Graphic Biennial of Miskolc.
From then on, the documents are no longer about incomprehensible prohibitions or at time self-satisfying wickedness, but about exhibitions (the first in King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár), prizes (including the Munkácsy Prize in April 1965), purchases, the marvellous panel for the Grand Hotel on Margaret Island, the preparations for the Venice Biennale of 1968, the exhibition in Art Hall/Műcsarnok in 1970 and its success, and Kondor’s second Munkácsy Prize.
Finally, I chanced upon a group of startling and sofar wholly unknown notes which reveals that Béla Kondor was being among the nominees for the 1973 Kossuth Prize. News of his death on 12 December 1972, documents about the museum deposition of his posthumous works and the above group of files close the account of his life.
I wrote a detailed study to accompany the documents. My intention was not to explain them – as they speak for themselves – but to insert them in the life-story of Kondor, trying to find out which and how, to what extent contributed to the veering of his life-course and to possibilities of publicity for his works. I obviously included several further facts, partly in the main body of the text, and partly in footnotes. Without presenting them here, let me just pick one or two.
Events around the 1960 exhibition kindled the attention not only of the deputy minister of culture György Aczél, but also of the Ministry of the Interior: as Anikó B. Nagy dug out, they asked for an agent’s report on who Kondor was, what role he was playing among young writers, architects, artists, the circle around Vigilia and the intellectuals in general. Also: what role did human cowardice play in banning the panels for the Pécs kindergarten, and how wicked it was – with regulations cited – to ask back the advance money from an artist already hardly making a living with the termination of the Der ko vits scholarship. Again: what turn did modern Hungarian architecture undergo in the early sixties to dare and challenge the still prevalent culture political red tape? It was also a special experience to track down and describe the preparations for the Hungarian exhibition of the Venice Biennial of 1968 and to see how much caution and manoeuvring was needed even in those milder years to get permission for Béla Kondor (in the company of Tibor Vilt and Ignác Kokas) to feature in the pavilion. Finally, it was informative to follow the routes of Kondor’s estate as state acquisitions and museum deposits after his death which foiled his Kossuth Prize.
The Ukrainian writer and playwright Hryhory Kvitka-Osnovyanenko wrote his satirical drama The Visitor from the Capital or Turmoil in a District Town in 1827 but it was published only in 1840, while Nikolai Gogol’s play The Government Inspector was brought out in 1835. The topic of the incognito traveller, a false government inspector whom the threatened town officials attempt to suborn in different ways, circulated in the imperial Russian society at that time. The possible influence of Kvitka’s play on the famous The Government Inspector is a question which has excited the imagination of literary critics since the middle of 19th century although they have treated it quite differently. The range of opinions varies from the complete rejection of the possibility to suspect plagiarism, irrespective of the fact that Gogol himself denied he was familiar with his Ukrainian fellow writer’s play. An overview of opinions and articles devoted to the question is presented in the paper.
In the 1960s, students attending the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts – especially female students of sculpture — were socialised in a strange way. This ‘strangeness’ was generated by the latent tension between contradictory values, conflicting motivations and interests — and women were exposed to these dualities a great deal more than men. Being students of sculpture only amplified the effect on them, and overshadowed it with negative stereotypes. The case study sheds light on the latent motives of the rejection of a diploma work made by a female art student, Ildikó Várnagy in socialist Hungary. It examines the case, in the frame of art education and sculpture in the Sixties, as well as gender bias at the Art Academy in Hungary, and also outlines the effects of this incident on her later carrier as an artist.
by the “hero” composer was taken as a symbol of Germanness as a universal value and an embodiment of the European musical canon. Reactions to the Germanic universalism ranged from acceptance and praise to rejection and the “defense” of national
included. Nonetheless, the rejection of one or more of the proposed etymologies does not fatally undermine the premise that demonyms can and do fossilize as toponyms, as has been noted in other cases of early–medieval conquest and settlement, such as the
Authors:Krisztina Károly, Bea Winkler, and Péter Kiszl
, acceptance/rejection statistics, ethical problems, etc.) that might be of interest, however, either due to their confidential nature or to lack of accessibility of data, we needed to refrain from sharing these. On the other hand, from the data gathered, it is
Authors:Katalin Balogné Bérces and Patrick Honeybone
-Arbitrariness Principle) and the rejection of extrinsic rule ordering (in GP, due to the Minimality Hypothesis) stem from the assumption that our model of phonological knowledge should be constrained enough to avoid overgeneration and make predictions that are falsifiable
peers. The Romanian distancing from Moscow resulted in the rejection of Soviet musicology. Under the influence of Mauricio Kagel, but in some respects disputing his de-mythologizing measures, 58 Ciortea addresses Beethoven’s deformed reception over time