Spring Festival, Ernst Gallery
19 March - 30 April, 2005

The exhibition opened by: dr. Janos Shiffer deputy major of the city of Budapest

Budapest is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Spring Festival, and the exhibition you are now visiting would like to mark this special event by displaying items from a most remarkable and creativ era of Hungarian Arts.
To aptly celebrate this 25th anniversary, we have decided to select 25 artists who worked between the two World Wars, and who captured our attention during our time as art-dealers. The list of names appearing in the exhibition, however, is by no means completeas there are many other artists that would equally deserve a mention.
While in foreign countries museums tend to join forces with antique shops to conduct research in the field of art history, in HUngary research ids mostly carried out by museums alone. The present exhibition is attempting to change this situation, and is also meant to illustrate that discovering and researching lost treasures of Hungarian Arts can be, and is indeed an important, challenging and gratifying task. Our non-Hungarian (Austrian and Greek) background helps us remain objective and, as much as possible, unbiased. we do hope that this exhibition will put these forgotten artists into the limelight once again, and they will now have the opportunity to regain their rightful place in Hungarian art history.

 
WHY?

Did they cease to be the focus of attention due to political, economic, religious or other private reasons?

WHY?

Did artists finding themselves outside Hungary after the Paris Treaties of 1920 experience a kind of exclusion from their new home countries? Consequently did they not receive an adequate amount of spiritual inspiration?

WHY?

Did the Republic of Councils of 1918 mean a double blow for Hungarian artists? First destroying those who did not support extreme leftist views, then crushing those taking an active role in the proletarian revolution and compelled to leave the country after the fall of the regime. How many of these artists chose to stay abroad?

WHY?

Could artists with alternative religious backgrounds make a career in Horthy's Christian-national political regime?

WHY?

Was it the outcome of the Anti-Jewish laws and the so-called numerus clausus (limiting the number of Jewish people admitted to higher education) that many artists fled from Hungary in hope of a better life? How many of them died in World War II? How many in ghettos, in battles, in captivity, or in concentration camps?

WHY?

How destructive was the effort to entirely eradicate church art and the tradition of art patronage?

WHY?

Just how many of our excellent artists were considered to be persona non grata during the communist regime? How was the artistic freedom of these artists restricted within the narrow walls of this shaky "egalitarianism"?

WHY?

What kind of artistic sacrifices had to be made in order to avoid prohibition and receive support? Could only artists obeying the rules of the system make their way to the market? To what extent did art dealing boost artistic life?