November 12, 2023 – September 8, 2024


Vajda Museum


Noémi Szabó


11. 11. 2023., 4:00 PM



The life and work of Lajos Vajda (1908–1941), a pre-eminent creator of Hungary’s 20th-century avant-garde and modern art, are inseparable from Szentendre. The town’s distinctive motifs, its architectural and natural heritage, its hidden treasures and unique atmosphere were an ample source of inspiration for Vajda’s progressive outlook on art. The exhibition entitled Lajos Vajda’s Szentendre connects some of the artist’s works to iconic sights in the town, establishes the links between the artistic motifs and their original sources, and highlights, through the lens of the oeuvre, the history of the town, a rich past that is worth conserving, and its present in the 21st century.
Lajos Vajda’s relationship to the townscape of Szentendre, its distinctive atmosphere, the local tradition and the various motifs changed continuously: in the early years of his search for his voice, the artist was mainly interested in the ‘great sights’ of the town, before he went on to examine its built heritage more and more closely, focusing on the specifics: the cemeteries, the small details of the streets of Szamárhegy, the quickly fading folk relics. From 1938 on, not a single fragment of the town was to appear in his works. Vajda’s oeuvre is an eminent illustration of the ways of such progression that draws on tradition, the possibility of an avant-garde revival of the past. The exhibition also looks at Vajda’s Szentendre-related motifs in the context of those fellow artists who worked around him, through the works in particular of Dezső Korniss and Endre Bálint.
We demonstrate the stimulating effect and migration of motifs through a particular example in the last room, where we reveal the origin of the dummy figure that developed from representations of Christ in icons and on roadside tin-plate crucifixes, and its sustenance by Szentendre artists between 1968 and 1975, the transformations of its form and meaning.

Exhibiting artists:
VAJDA LAJOS, Aknay János, Balogh László, Barcsay Jenő, Bálint Endre, Deim Pál, Korniss Dezső, Matyófalvi Gábor, ef Zámbó István