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    BÉLA KÁDÁR (Hungarian, 1877-1955)
    Troy, 1929
    Oil on canvas
    38 x 22 inches (96.5 x 55.9 cm)
    Signed lower right: Kádár Béla
    Label verso: Oil / Troy / 1929

    Private collection, California.

    Béla Kádár is regarded today as one of the most important and influential Hungarian members of the early modernist movement. Born in Budapest into a working-class Jewish family, he lost his father at a young age and was consequently obliged to apprentice himself to an iron-turner after completing only six years of primary school to help the family's financial situation. He eventually began his artistic career by painting murals in Budapest. In the wake of the First World War and its tragic political outcome, the promising process that would have allowed modern art to take root in Hungary was interrupted. Though not initially persecuted politically, Kádár, due to his leftist commitments, found himself in a void in Budapest. Like other young artists of his time, he made two pilgrimages to the art centers of Paris and Berlin by 1910 and was eager to expand his professional opportunities internationally. By 1918, he had left his family behind in Hungary to try to make a career in Western Europe.

    Kádár's first important opportunity came in October 1923 when Herwarth Walden, owner of Der Sturm gallery in Berlin, invited him to stage an exhibition. Walden's importance to the German avant-garde also stemmed from his work as a publisher of a journal, also called Der Sturm, which promoted the works of Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, and Oskar Kokoschka. During a group exhibition at Walden's gallery with other artists of Der Sturm, Kádár met Katherine Dreier whose Société Anonyme was instrumental in bringing the work of the European avant-garde to New York. With Dreier's help, two major exhibitions of Kádár's work were planned for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the second of which Kádár traveled from Europe to attend in 1928.

    During the course of his years in Berlin, Kádár's earlier expressionist style changed: the emotionally charged and powerfully graphic tone of his work before the 1920s was replaced by a more romantic mood. Elements of folktales and fantasy entered his work, and his subject matter became more narrative. Influenced by the German Expressionist artists, Kádár depicted rustic village scenes, often incorporating dreamlike imagery which has notable affinities with the work of Marc Chagall. Over the years, Kádár experimented with a remarkable number of international trends, including Cubism, Futurism, Neo-Primitivism, and Constructivism. The present work of 1929 is a particularly successful blend of the Cubist vocabulary with quietly evocative, dreamlike imagery.

    Condition Report*: Wax relined canvas, minor horizontal cracking but stablized through relining.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,212

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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