modern Hungarian photography

A closer look at modern Hungarian photography

Two exhibitions — one that wrapped up recently and the other ongoing — have spotlighted influential Hungarian photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as part of “Modernity X Hungary — A Festival of Hungarian Modernism in New York,” a series of exhibitions, concerts and performances taking place through Aug. 14.

“My brother Jeno as Ikarus,” Dunaharaszti, Hungary, June 1919. (André Kertész)

Moholy-Nagy’s fascination with geometry and perspective established a “new vision” of the modern world. Hungarian photographers of past and present, of fine art and photojournalism, have been influenced by this vision.

“Untitled (Self and Lucia),” 1926. (László Moholy-Nagy)

The curator of both exhibits, Gary Van Wyk, told In Sight that Maholy-Nagy’s presence in both shows demonstrated the “index of how extraordinarily diverse his practice was,” by fitting into the separate themes of abstractionism and social environment. The second theme is visible through the 1970s and 1980s, when neo-avant-garde and new-wave artists in Soviet-era Hungary used their artistic medium to express frustration against the repressive government.

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