Exhibition – Paintings of János Balázs from the Horn collection – 2019.

Institution of the Hungarian Academy of Arts – Art Gallery

District, XIV., 37.  Dózsa György Road – Budapest

János Balázs – Hungarian artist and poet of gypsy origin  – 1905. – 1977.

Maybe it is only a short time for tourists to stay in Budapest, yet it is worth visiting the site, learning about the belief of the Gypsy’s Days-and-Nights through the eyes of Balázs János.

The exhibition is open from January, 12. – February, 10. 2019.

Upon press release … The man living in a rural gypsy slum and completing only two grades read everything he could obtain, from Homer through the Hungarian classics to Shakespeare, Balzac and Nietzsche. Nevertheless, his father, his grandfather, was a famous gypsy primate, he turn in his young age painting and writing poems that were inspired by his reading experiences and the world colored by his imagination. The “Hermit of Pécskődomb” even wrote a diary and played instruments created by himself. He started painting at the age of 63, and produced his oeuvre during only 8 years. He became acknowledged by his smaller community. At Salgótarján was his first exhibition organised at the Attila József County Cultural Center – 1971, where his memory has been cultivated conscientiously ever since. His nationwide fame has been followed with a series of international exhibitions, due to the aroused interest towards naïve art in the early’70s.

Domokos Moldován directed his film entitled Hungarian Naïve Artists 1972-74 after the Hungarian National Gallery’s 1972 exhibition Hungarian naïve artists in the 20th century – János Balázs got a significant part in the exhibition and the film alike. He illustrated his book of poems published in 1977 (With Brush and Pencil, Corvina Publishing house) with his own images. The most complete and representative monographs album until now, assembling scripts about him and his diary notes „Cigány büszkeséggel” (Gypsy with pride)… has been published by Kieselbach Gallery in 2009, in Hungarian and English volumes. There is a remarkable collection from the oeuvre of approximately 300 works in the Museum of Hungarian Naïve Artists at Kecskemét, opened in 1976, apart from the Béla Dornyai Museum in Salgótarján.

Nevertheless, the most significant number of the short but productive and unique oeuvre’s works is at private collectors, but first of all … Paintings of János Balázs from the Horn collection.

Update by Aggie Reiter

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