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Hungarian Painter Among the Greatest Modern Artists

Fanni Kaszás 2019.09.12.

From September 2019, Gagosian, one of the most prestigious contemporary galleries in the world will represent Simon Hantai painter, who was born in Hungary but has spent most of his life in France. The American gallery chain will hold an exhibition in October in Paris of the works of the Hungarian-born artist, who died in 2008.

According to the announcement of Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts Gallery, the American gallery chain borrowed several significant Hantai paintings, which will be on display in the Paris exhibition as well. The exhibit Les noirs du blanc, les blancs du noir will be a selection of black and white paintings and prints from Simon Hantai from 1969 to 1997.

Hantai is best known for originating the technique of pliage (folding), in which a canvas is crumpled and knotted, uniformly painted over, and then spread out to reveal a matrix of abstract alternations between pigment and ground.

photo: Ludwig Museum

The Gagosian represents a great number of major contemporary artists, such as Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky, Takashi Murakami, and Richard Serra; and apart from Paris, they have exhibitions in cities like New York, San Francisco, London, Rome, and Hong Kong.

The Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts Gallery also notes that the Gagosian’s market position and decades of international prestige are a guarantee that Hantai’s value will significantly increase worldwide within a few years, although with a record price of EUR 4.4 million, he is already in the leading group internationally.

The Gagosian’s Le Bourget exhibition will be on display until March 14, 2020. On September 26th, another Hantai exhibition will open in Budapest at the Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts Gallery in Falk Miksa Street, where Hantai’s art works will be on display together with the works of Judit Reigl, another significant, Hungarian-born Parisienne abstract artist of the second half of the 20th century.

Simon Hantai’s first Hungarian life work exhibition was opened six years after his death at the Ludwig Museum, and several of his paintings are currently on display at the ‘Hungarian Surrealism’ exhibition in the Ferenczy Museum Center in Szentendre.

featured photo: Edouard Boubat via Gagosian/