16. March 2017 to 28. May 2017
Júlia N. Mészáros


The Grüner Collection is a highly focused assembly of twentieth century Hungarian art from the Post-World War II to the contemporary periods, in various mediums, including masterpieces of many directions and many outstanding artists. The emphasis is on the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde works, tracing the history of non-figurative, abstract art of Hungarian artists whether they lived in Hungary or abroad.

The Collection starts with developments in Hungarian abstraction from the 1945-1948 “European School” in the period where geometric abstraction, surrealism, and also merging of the two were all in vogue – and duly banned by the Stalinist regime taking control in 1948. Leading artists of the period, Tihamér Gyarmathy, Tamás Lossonczy, Ibolya Lossonczy, and Endre Bálint are all represented in the Collection.

After the invasion of Czechoslovakia for which the Hungarian Communist Party kept, for a short while, apologizing inside the country, a short period of permissiveness followed. The most significant neo-avant-garde generation, that of the „IPARTEV” (named after the venue of their shows in 1968 and 1969), was active in the era where censorship had already introduced the “3 T” system that stood for tilt (prohibit), tűr (tolerate), and támogat (support). This generation is present in the Collection by such outstanding and internationally known artists as Ilona Keserü Ilona, István Nádler, Imre Bak, Tamás Hencze, János Fajó, Ákos Birkás, and István Harasztӱ. Many of them are also represented in the permanent collection of the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. Including in the Collection are also works of leading artists who had left Hungary at the same period for shorter or longer time, made their name abroad, but returned and continued to participate in the artistic, and intellectual culture of Hungary, Katalin Hetey, Tamás Konok, Tibor Gáyor and Dóra Maurer.

The Collection does not stop with the artists already considered as classics, it is continuing the narrative through a third generation and stepping up to the period of the social and political “fall” of Communism in the early nineties. The forward-looking, avant-garde art is present through young artists’ works like Kati Haasz, Andras Wolsky, Barna Benedek and Bálint Bolygó.

The Grüner Collection is highlighting works of Hungarian artists of international orientation, offering, by this selection, invaluable assistance in constructing the narrative of progressive, internationally informed creative work in Hungary.

Beyond detailed presentation of The Grüner Collection, the exhibition also intends to help the visitors create an image of the results and changes that occurred in the special area of the gravitational field of the progressive Hungarian and universal fine art, which is also represented by this collection.