BOGLÁR – HERE AND NOW exhibition
In 2023, it will have been 50 years since the authorities closed down the Balatonboglár Chapel, one of the most important, and today, one of the best-known sites of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde. It was there that for four years, mainly in the summer, nearly two hundred artists used to exhibit their work and numerous accompanying programmes were held.
BOGLÁR – HERE AND NOW – György Galántai’s Balatonboglár chapel studio 1970–1973 exhibition at Vaszary Gallery.
György Galántai's chapel-workshop in Balatonboglár between 1968 and 1973 is a key site and institution in the history of 20th century Hungarian art in many respects. On the one hand, many of the works exhibited there are of outstanding importance in the context of Hungarian and Central and Eastern European art of the 1960s and 1970s, and on the other hand, the history of the studio reflects the system of relations between power and art back in the day. The beginning and the end of its existence are emblematic: the new economic mechanism was launched in Hungary in 1968, and the end of the relative relaxation came in 1973, just when the authorities made it impossible for the chapel-workshop to operate.
The exhibition attempts to place the history of the Boglár Chapel Workshop from its beginnings to its closure and beyond in a cultural and political context that is understandable to younger generations. How did a chapel become a venue for contemporary art under Socialism? In what form did the 3Ts exist and what did they stand for? Who were the banned and who were the tolerated ones? Equally important, the exhibition aims to reassess the art historical context of the event. Where can the event be placed in the international art context of the time? How was it possible that, in a short period of time, the chapel workshop became a meeting point for artists who had never found common ground before or never did afterwards?
The exhibition seeks to reinterpret the past for the present by focussing on selected works or groups of works shown side by side at the time. In addition, the exhibition opens up a number of separate but coherent cabinets with a special section on the underground art workshops that existed between 1970 and 1973, and the relationship between László Beke and Boglár. The artists' group 'Little Warsaw' (Bálint Havas and András Gálik) will update the history of the Boglár chapel-workshop from their own perspective.
Curator: József Mélyi
Photo © György Galántai, 1973, courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts - Artpool Art Research Centre