Updated: Jan 12, 2021
Under the authoritarian regime of the 60's and 70's, Hungary's art scene utilized the Neo-avant-garde movement to disperse political ideas. The Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York City has curated a stunning show of these artists who fought against their communist regime with art.
The geometric abstractions of this era seem innocuous - and the color palates even joyful - but are actually imbued with cryptic, political commentary. The act of creating art itself is was a precarious expression in a state under communist control. Hungary was less-regulated than other communist states at durning time, but art publications were scarce, and artists were prompted to present their art within their personal home - not to the public.
Artists, by nature, tend to be rebellious. So it is not of much surprise that pieces of this unofficial art movement held codified messages of political views and expressions of insurgency.
Works of geometric abstraction often used shapes and color as a way to escape the political system as a whole. However, even these pieces make a subtle nod at a Western allegiance due to their abstract nature, dominant in the Western art scene. Other works were imbued with a sense of humor that pointed fun at the governing entities.Many Hungarian instituted a coded language that was only understood by other artists within this small, inner circle of creators.
Images courtesy of Elizabeth Dee Gallery