Concept Art Today
(Introduction, 3/1997)

The history of the texts and visual materials used as a starting point for this study is contained within introductions #1 and #2. I have not changed anything in the original 1988 manuscript except for a corrected electronic version. It is my hope that a collective memory, (art)historic reflections and new information deriving from the subjective knowledge of the artists will ultimately transform the original material, depriving it of the author's dominance and simultaneously letting its usefulness, exactness and even its curiosity advance further.

Dear Colleagues and Friends, enjoy your work.

Budapest, July 24, 1997

The Influence of Conceptual Art within Hungary*
(Introduction, 2/1997)

The recent thirty or forty years of Hungarian art's history is a rather maltreated territory from a historic-scientific aspect. Except for a few fragments from otherwise unpublished texts and the quite well-documented material on the arts and artists that could be regarded as being official, there is not much more to be said of. The artists and work of the Hungarian Avant-garde has run parallelly with and up to the standards of the international art community both in respect to matter as well as quality, however, the Hungarian cultural community, except for a few experts, remain unaware of its nature or history. This can be observed by the data from surveys carried out in the spheres of higher education, television and other public fields, yet one might also observe that its obvious absence becomes more and more a conscious and real one. From this perspective, the present study might as well be termed gap-filling, its major objective being the discussion of concept art from the sixties and continuing into the early eighties, with a particular concentration on its influence and manifestation within Hungarian art. The study is supplemented by documentary and literary material and images, most of which has never been published and was inaccessible to a general public. It may hold of special interest to note that since the early nineties conceptual art has been in the focus of artistic interest again; yet even if one of the most prominent figures of the movement, Joseph Kosuth, had an exhibition in Budapest (Knoll Gallery) the public has received only hints about his Hungarian relations.
Budapest, 1991.

Miklós Peternák

* (This was a study written between 1983-85, was accepted by the Magvetõ publishing company, yet, shortly before the four-year publishing contract expired, it was canceled.)

(Introduction, 1/1988)

The majority of the manuscript for the present volume was written in 1983 and extended with some smaller additions through 1985. Originally, it was preparatory material for a planned yet never realized series of exhibitions and catalogue essay. Parallelly, I had been researching the domain of happenings-actions-performances and also collecting documents describing the concurrent appearance of environments and installations, which I supplemented with a shorter text. This partly explains my decision to exclude certain facts and events concerning the influence of conceptual art from the present text that were rather connected to the other topic.
Since I decided to publish the manuscript in its original form, it is necessary to make some (especially historical) explanations here in the foreword, since statements that were true in 1983 will not continue to be in the time of its actual publication. I think that this solution will provide more information than if I had simply added it to the appropriate sections within the text. It is also worth pointing out that only one such addendum raises the problem of a complete revision, which, considering the amount of time that has passed might have meant the creation of an entirely different text. This is not to say that I cannot identify myself with the main substance or formal elements of the text (which if true I would naturally refuse to publish) but because the usage of vocabulary, or, more grammatically, "the routine of wording" has been changing.
Thus, we begin with the two parts that need to be rectified above all: Tamás Szentjóby's film "Kentaur" made in the "Béla Balázs Studio" was eventually "found" and can be projected since 1985.
The discussion of Béla Hamvas (in the main body of the text as well as footnote #22) would need a thorough rewriting, especially since the newest editions (excluding publications in periodicals, his only works published in Hungary before 1988 were: A világválság [The World-Crisis], "Magvetõ" 1983; Karnevál [Carnival], "Magvetõ" 1985; Szellem és egzisztencia [Spirit and Existence], "Pannónia" 1987; Silentium - Titkos jegyzõkönyv - Unicornis [Silentium - Secret Notebook - Unicorn], "Vigilia" 1987; Hamvas Béla 33 esszéje [Thirty-three Essays by Béla Hamvas], "Tartóshullám - Bölcsész Index" 1987 ; A láthatatlan történet [The Invisible Story], "Akadémiai" 1988; Scientia Sacra [Scientia Sacra], "Magvetõ" 1988)
In our study focusing on a more narrow topic we need to refer to the following works (most of them contain further bibliographies):
- "Helyzet".A 70-es évek mûvészete a Sárospataki Képtárban. Fõvárosi Tanács Kiállítóháza (Lajos u. 158) 1983 Budapest ["Situation". Art from the Seventies in the Gallery of Sárospatak. Exhibition House of the Capital (Lajos street 158) 1983 Budapest]

- AL (Aktuális Levél)
Galántai György kiadványának egyes számai
[AL (Actual Letter). Certain issues of György Galántai's publication]

- Film/mûvészet
A magyar kísérleti film története. Budapest Kiállítóterem 1983
[Film/Art. The History of the Hungarian Experimental Film. Budapest Gallery 1983]

- Maurer Dóra: Munkák/Arbeiten 1958-1983
Ernst Múzeum, Budapest, Museum Moderner Kunst Wien 1984
[Dóra Maurer: Works/Arbeiten 1958-1983. Ernst Museum, Budapest, Museum Moderner Kunst Wien 1984]

- Hajas Tibor 1946-1981. Magyar Mûhely 1985 Paris [Tibor Hajas. 1946-1981. Hungarian Workshop 1985 Paris]

- 101 tárgy Objektek 1955-1985
Óbuda Galéria 1986 Budapest
[101 Objects 1955-1985. Óbuda Gallery 1985]

- Pauer. Fotó és szövegdokumentáció
ö.á. Szõke Annamária. Budapest 1985 sokzorosítás
[Pauer. Photo and Text Documentation. ed. by Annamária Szõke. Budapest 1985 copying

- Erdély Miklós kiállítása Óbuda Galéria 1986 Budapest [The Exhibition of Miklós Erdély. Óbuda Gallery 1986 Budapest

- Gáyor, Falcollagen/ Hajtott kollázsok 1972-1986. Museum Moderner Kunst Wien, Ernst Múzeum, Budapest 1986 [Gáyor. Faltcollagen/ Folded Collages 1972-1986. Museum Moderner Kunst Wien, Ernst Museum, Budapest 1986]

- Maurer Dóra: Képvetületek/Projectionsbild Budapest Galéria 1986 [Dóra Maurer: Image Projections/Projectionsbild. Budapest Gallery 1986]

- Maurer Dóra - Beke László: Nézetek I: magyar avantgárd mûvészet az 1960-as, 70-es években, A Balázs Béla Stúdió filmje, 1986 [Dóra Maurer - László Beke: Views I: Hungarian Avant-Garde Art in the 1960s and 70s. A film of Béla Balázs Studio, 1986]

- Hajas Tibor
Székesfehérvár 1986
[Tibor Hajas. Székesfehérvár 1986]

- Bódy Gábor (1946-1985) Mûcsarnok - Mûvelõdési Minisztérium, Filmfõigazgatóság 1987 [Gábor Bódy (1946-1985). Kunsthalle, Budapest - Ministry of Culture, Film Headquarters 1987]

- Szabadi Judit: Hagyomány és korszerûség. Avantgarde kezdeményezések a 60-as évek magyar festészetében. Magvetõ 1987 Budapest [Judit Szabadi: Tradition and Modernness. Avant-Garde Initiatives in Hungarian Painting in the 1960s. "Magvetõ" Publishing Company 1987 Budapest]

- Bán András: Újra a Dicsõ Társaságról, Mûvészet 1987 feb. 4-9.p. [András Bán: Again about the Glorious Company. "Mûvészet" 2/1987 pp.4-9.]

- Tolvay Ernõ, Tatabánya, Kernstock terem 1987 [Ernõ Tolvay. Tatabánya, Kernstock Hall 1987]

- Károlyi Zsigmond, Budapest Galéria kiállítóháza 1987 Budapest [Zsigmond Károlyi. Exhibition House of Budapest Gallery 1987 Budapest]

- Swierkiewicz Róbert, Ernst Múzeum 1987 Budapest [Róbert Swierkiewicz. Ernst Museum 1987 Budapest]

- Türk Péter: Pszichogrammok, Fenomének, Budapest Galéria Józsefvárosi kiállítóterme 1987 [Péter Türk: Psychograms, Phenomena. Budapest Gallery, Józsefváros Exhibition Hall 1987]

- Mágikus Mûvek
Budapest Galéria kiállítóháza - Szombathelyi Képtár 1987
[Magical Artwork. Exhibition House of Budapest Gallery - Exhibition Hall, Szombathely 1987]

- A huszadik század magyar mûvészete Régi és új avantgárd (1967-1975). Csók István Képtár 1987 Székesfehérvár [Hungarian Art in the Twentieth Century. Old and New Avant-Garde (1967-1975). István Csók Exhibition Hall 1987 Székesfehérvár.]

- Szövegek. Kép-vers/vers-kép
Petõfi Irodalmi Múzeum 1987 Budapest
[Texts. Image-poem/Poem-image. Petõfi Literature Museum 1987 Budapest]

- Perneczky Géza: A korszak mint mûalkotás. Corvina 1988 Budapest (A címadó írás mellett különösen: A Fekete négyzettõl a Pszeudó-kockáig Kísérlet a kelet-európai avantgarde tipológiájának megalapozására.) [Géza Perneczky: The Period as an Artpiece. "Corvina" Publishing Company 1988 Budapest /Besides the title-piece especially: From the Black Square to the Pseudo-Cube: An Experiment to Build a Basis for the Tipology of the Avant-Garde in Eastern-Europe]

- Erdély Miklós (1928-1986). Filmek/Films
Budapest Film-T.I.T.-Balázs
Béla Stúdió K-szekció 1988

- Jelenlét/Szógettó 1989. 1/2. issue#14/15

Finally, one more remark: the originally abundant number of images needed to be reduced within this edition,* and in this process I took into consideration the visual material already contained within the previously mentioned publications.
I wish to thank everybody who supported this publication, above all to Dóra Maurer, György Galántai, László Beke, Zsigmond Károlyi, János Gulyás, the artists who lent their work, and last but not least the publishing company.**

Budapest, November 12, 1988.

Miklós Peternák

*The visual material selected for publication contains slightly more than sixty pieces and accompanying documentation.

**Needless to say I no longer feel I owe acknowledgment to the publishing company. I would like to further add my appreciation to among others, Ákos Birkás, Miklós Erdély, Gyula Pauer and Gábor Pataki for their generous contribution of images and information.

PART I.       PART II.       PART III.