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Dezső Czigány, Schauspielerin, ca. 1907   © Rippl-Rónai Múzeum, Kaposvár


The Eight. Hungary’s Highway to Modernism

12.09.2012 - 02.12.2012

Ödön Márffy, Landschaft, 1910-15, Janus Pannonius Múzeum, Pécs © VBK, Wien, 2012Róbert Berény, Stilleben mit Obst, 1910, Privatbesitz © VBK, Wien, 2012Róbert Berény, Selbstbildnis mit Strohhut, 1906, Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest © VBK, Wien, 2012Béla Czóbel, Nackte Knaben, 1906/07 © Janus Pannonius Múzeum, PécsKároly Kernstok, Reiter in der Dämmerung, 1911 © Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, BudapestÖdön Márffy, Ziegelfabrik an der Donau, ca. 1910, Püspöki Palota, Sümeg © VBK, Wien, 2012Lajos Tihanyi, Der Pont St.-Michel in Paris, 1908 © PrivatbesitzÖdön Márffy, Mädchen aus Nyerges, 1908 © PrivatbesitzDezső Orbán, Stilleben mit Krug, 1910 © PrivatbesitzBertalan Pór, Selbstbildnis, 1912 © Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest

In autumn the Bank Austria Kunstforum will be opening the exhibition “The Eight. Hungary’s Highway to Modernism/The Modern Age”. It features the group of eight painters – Károly Kernstok, Béla Czóbel, Róbert Berény, Ödön Márffy, Lajos Tihanyi, Dezsö Orbán, Bertalan Pór, Dezsö Czigány – who around 1909/10 launched Hungarian painting into a new phase through their connection to the most modern movements that Europe had to offer at that time.

The Eight set off for Paris and studied the painting currently being hailed there: their direct contact to the Fauves surrounding Henri Matisse, their encounter with Paul Cézanne’s work and the study of the French Cubism of a Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque revolutionised their painting. Suddenly their pictures no longer corresponded to the traditional painting style of around 1900 adhering to Late Impressionism and Symbolism, suddenly they left the academic traditions of genres and pictorial composition behind them: instead, their painting becomes marked by refulgent colours, subtly harmonised chords of colour and unconventional compositions with unusual views. The Eight first showed their works in Budapest in 1909 – the scandal was complete. In the following years the group endeavoured to continue their unusual painting style, showing in a total of three major exhibitions the path that new painting in Hungary could take.

The impression made by this branch of the European avant-garde is astonishingly fresh and undiscovered – quite contrary to Austrian painting of the same years, dominated by late Symbolism and most of all by this year’s ruling star Gustav Klimt.

The Bank Austria Kunstforum is consciously entering into dialogue with our neighbour country here, with the goal of positioning these hitherto far too little known Hungarian modernists on the international stage, and of supporting them in gaining a level of repute that is appropriate to the quality of their painting.


The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bank Austria Kunstforum and the Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest and the Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest.

curated by

Gergely Barki

Evelyn Benesch

Zoltan Rockenbaue


Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest


Miquel Barceló

12/12/2012 - 10/03/2013

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My Private Passion - The Hubert Looser Collection

26/04/2012 - 15/07/2012

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