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Béla Kádár (1877 - 1956)

Two Figures

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Ink wash on paper
52 x 35 cm (20 ½ x 13 ¾ inches)
Signed lower right, Kádár Béla

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Artist's Biography

Hungarian artist Béla Kádár was born at Budapest and after his father’s death was apprenticed as an iron-turner. Attending the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts (where he won the Kohner Prize in 1910), Kádár’s early work demonstrated an affinity with the Secessionists and the Post-Impressionists.

Incorporating and often synthesising stylistic elements of Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Constructivism and German Expressionism, Kádár’s decorative and metaphysical subject matter was often based upon Hungarian peasant culture and its ancient legends.

Travelling to Berlin in 1923, Kádár began exhibiting with the highly influential Galerie Der Sturm. A meeting at the gallery with American collector Katherine Dreier lead to his work being included in the 1926 and 1928 Société Anonyme exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in New York organised by Dreier and the artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp.

Politically left wing, Kadar spent a year in the Budapest ghetto (1944-45) where he managed to render almost 50 drawings about the pain and suffering he endured. However, he survived the war as one of Hungary's greatest modern artists.

Béla Kádár