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Hungarian Caricaturists 1848-2007

Exhibition date: 
15 May - 14 June 2008

The kArton Gallery exhibition on the history of animation is followed by another comprehensive show: this time Hungarian caricature takes centre stage.

In Hungary, newspaper caricature drawing can be said to have begun in 1848, when the humour magazine Charivari (Dongó) was first published. For visual artists, the genre of visual humour was something that was barely tolerated, more for securing a living, in some cases a means of teasing one another or a third person – but under no circumstances a “real” artistic pastime. The first famous artist who left his profession – also giving up his studies – to become nationally known and praised for his caricature art was János Jankó (1833 – 1896). The newly launched left and right wing papers alike (!) based their popularity on his work. Another one of Jankó’s great merits was that he discovered the autodidactic Atanáz Homicskó, who left his medical kit behind in exchange for a pencil. Perhaps it is thanks to these two dynamic and unique figures that, in the second half of the 19th century, more and more graphic artists tried their talents in the genre of caricature art.

(excerpt, Kálmán Gyöngy: The Data and Signature Collection of Hungarian Caricature Artists/ A Magyar karikaturisták adat és szignótára, 2008. Ábra KKT, kArton, Budapest)

The exhibition entitled “Hungarian Caricature Artists 1848 – 2007” presents the prominent Hungarian figures of the genre from a historical perspective. The approximately 80 artworks on display at the kArton Gallery were categorized in accordance with their place of publication (Ludas Matyi 1945 – 1990, 1990-1993, Szabad Száj 1946 - 1951, Pesti Hírlap, Füles, Hócipő).

A recently published book by the curator of the show, Kálmán Gyöngy, served as the “specialized literature” for the exhibition. The Data and Signature Collection of Hungarian Caricature Artists was published by Ábra KKT and the kArton Gellery. The book launching event will take place on 8 April 2008 at PM at the kArton Gallery.