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In 1931, eight modernist painters presented themselves to the public at the National Salon. Their work, and those of other artists who worked in a group with them will be on display at the Modern Hungarian Gallery (Modern Magyar Képtár) in Pécs, opening on May 25 with a book launch and discussion, open until the end of September, reports Index.

Bartók Mária, Bartoniek Anna, Dullien Edith, Endresz Alice, Futásfalvi Márton Piroska, Hranitzky Ilona, Járitz Józsa, Kiss Vilma, Muzslai Kampis Margit, Lóránt Erzsébet, Perényi Lenke, Szirmai Ili, Sztehlo Lili, Szuly Angéla, and Berta Wabrosch were among the first in the history of Hungarian modernism to form a small group of professional women artists in January 1931, who were committed to modern art.

The group defined itself as “new,” which implies that their activities were not conceived in the sphere of academic, art-hall art, but within the framework of modernism.

The women artists’ histories were closely interwoven, and their careers were defined by a number of common features. They began their artistic studies in the period before and during the First World War. According to the communiqué, the women artists, who were forced to make a living on the job market and had to leave the protection of the college, found it difficult to make a living, but they were bound together by a sense of community, with a strong vision and a modern outlook.

Piroska Futásfalvi Márton (1899-1996): Two Nudes with Cats, circa 1930, Photo: Janus Pannonius Museum

They worked in traditional genres, but they were brave enough to take on new themes and assert their own point of view. Their art was shaped by a sense of community, but they also forged their own individual paths. During this period, too, it was very difficult for women to be professional artists. They had no desire to join an exclusively gendered group of artists, necessity dictated it. In the end, disadvantages were turned into strengths.

Margit Muzslai Kampis (1898-1981): The breastfeeding mother, Photo: Janus Pannonius Museum

Despite a promising start, the painters’ names slowly faded from modern Hungarian art history, though they were rediscovered in the late 1990s.

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via Index, Featured image: Facebook/Modern Magyar Képtár

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