Szalay - Sokol - Picasso

Castle Garden Bazaar - Guards' Palace (Northern Palace)

Date: 19/August/2016 - 13/November/2016

The exhibition entitled Szalay – Sokol – Picasso, to be held at the Palace of Guards at the Castle Garden Bazaar, is the result of professional cooperation between the Kovács Gábor Art Foundation and the Bratislava Municipal Gallery. The Kovács Gábor Art Foundation, which owns some 500 graphic works by Lajos Szalay, and the Bratislava Municipal Gallery, which contributed important specialist knowledge towards the exhibition, have sought to create a display that explores the roots and cultural historical background of 20th-century classicizing draughtsmanship—rather than offering a monographic treatment of the oeuvres in question—through the work of two Central European artists who never met in life, but shared common elements in their biographies.

The cooperation of the Foundation and the Gallery began in January, with an exhibition of the same title presented in Bratislava. The Slovak exhibition was so successful that the organizers decided to present the display, which looks into the oeuvre of Lajos Szalay and Koloman Sokol, and is complemented with works by Pablo Picasso, in Budapest as well.

Lajos Szalay (1909–1995), an outstanding artist of Hungarian drawing, and Koloman Sokol (1902–2003), the enigmatic figure of Slovak graphic art, started to work in the same geographical and intellectual environment, and their lives showed astonishing correspondences: for a substantial part of their lives, both lived in the Americas, both created the major part of their oeuvres in the United States, and both was intent on retaining, even guarding carefully, their Central European identity.

The exhibition also highlights the fact that, along with the similarities in their lives, the creative outlook of both Lajos Szalay and Koloman Sokol owed much to the decisive influence of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973): while what Picasso stood for affected each artist differently, neither could free himself from the charisma of the Spanish master.

This exhibition examines the lives, outlooks, and similarities in the artistic beliefs of these two Central European artists, the thematic and stylistic parallels in their work, as well as their distinctive differences—and places this investigation into an international context. The exhibition features over 130 works by Szalay, some 70 pieces by Sokol, and 13 compositions by Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition is on view from 19 August, and has been realized with the support of the Ministry of Human Resources, through the cooperation of the Kovács Gábor Art Foundation, the Bratislava Municipal Gallery, and the Castle Garden Bazaar.

Patrons of the exhibition:
János ÁDER, President of Hungary, and Andrej KISKA, President of the Slovak Republic

Curators of the exhibition:

Dr. SZABÓ Lilla, art historian
Dr. Iván JANČÁR PhD, director of the Bratislava City Gallery
KOSINSKY Richárd, art historian (KOGART)

Visitors' information: 

Castle Garden Bazaar - Guards' Palace | H-1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 2.

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