Madeleine and Zoltan Kemeny -- Artist Couple

Margot Welle

The exhibition of Zoltan (1907 – 1965) and Madeleine Kemeny (1906 – 1993), the classics of European art of the latter part of the twentieth century, is the major event of 2008. The exhibition will show the works of both artists from the collection of Karel van Stuijvenberg, a Dutch collector of the COBRA, who presents their art at solo and group exhibitions of the COBRA group.

The work of these artists is regarded as “experimental art of an extraordinary couple”. Although they came from Budapest, they lived in Paris until the Second World War and later settled in Zurich.

Zoltan Kemeny burst onto the art scene in the second half of the fifties with his remarkable relief–pictures. He incorporated welded and soldered metal parts into organic compositions. In 1964 he won the Grand Prix for sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

Madeleine Szemere-Kemeny created her major works between 1942 and 1956. She was involved with expressive figurative work that Dubuffet ranked among Art Brut. Both artists presented their work at the exhibition of the COBRA in 1949. Later Madeleine Kemeny abandoned artistic creation to provide spiritual support for Zoltan Kemeny. Karel van Stuijvenberg is credited with the rediscovery of her work and included it in the Cobra retrospective held in Paris in 1982 and in several other cities.