Nagy Albert Retrospective

Speeches: dr. Lucian Nastasă-Kovács, manager of Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, and the curators of the exhibition, art historians Judit Boros and Sebestyén Székely. Albert Nagy (1902–1970) was a defining personality of modern art in Romania, but his work is not well known. The realization of the exhibition was motivated by the fiftieth anniversary of the artist's death and brings together the organizational efforts of several institutions and private collectors. The exhibition, open in two locations, brings together over a hundred paintings and four sculptural pieces and is a premiere for both the general public and specialists because so many works by Albert Nagy have never been exhibited together before, not even during the artist's life. The exhibition at the Quadro Gallery completes the inverted chronological presentation at the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum. Researchers of Albert Nagy's work, Judit Boros and Sebestyén Székely, simultaneously present and dialogue the artist's paintings, drawings, and texts, a motivated and necessary curatorial concept from several points of view. Albert Nagy was one of those artists who did not paint paintings, but through their art created reality. This type of approach to art was also supported by the artist in theoretical texts and letters. The exhibition presents excerpts from published texts, such as the extensive letter Draga Rózsika from 1945, but also from unpublished letters written to the artist and archaeologist Gyula László (the latter are in the Quadro Archive). All the fragments brought to the public's attention are presented for the first time in Romanian and English. Drawings had an important place in the work. Although the artist has often been criticized for his alleged clumsiness in drawing, he plays an important role in his creative process. The drawings in a few lines can be considered true exercises of concentration, in which the artist captured, often repetitively, with such intensity, a human type, feeling, or action, that the expression came close to the sensation of reality in the final work. This deepening is a fundamental aspect of the artist's realistic art, which focused on the man. Of course, the thread of thoughts aroused by writings and drawings is found in the 11 paintings on display, each of which emphasizes a characteristic of the work. The exhibition is completed by documents from the Quadro Archive. We thank the Hungarian Unitarian Church, as well as private collectors from the country, Hungary, and Germany for the borrowed works for this part of the exhibition. On August 20, starting at 11:00, Sebestyén Székely will give a guided tour of the exhibition at the Art Museum, continuing at the Quadro Gallery.   Curators’ statements: "Albert Nagy's unique work was the result of an extraordinarily conscious and thoughtful artistic attitude. In order to understand him, it is not enough to look at what examples and models inspired his thinking, but it is especially necessary to look at what he refused. It is true that he defined himself as a realistic painter, but the way he interpreted realism could not be integrated into the usual formula (academic naturalism). Although, if he wanted to, he could be a high-level naturalist. What separates him in the first place and probably decisively from his contemporaries is the fact that in his art there is no trace of cubism and constructivism, which partially followed from it, so he never practiced that cubist stylization, which was specific to so many Transylvanian painters. It would be too long to list what he started from when he developed his completely original pictorial language. ” - Boros Judit "Albert Nagy's painting was born in an almost miraculous way. He was one of those artists who stubbornly and autonomously developed their own universe in an environment hostile to them, without wasting their energies seeking acceptance. His unique realism is due to the fact that he meditates on life by standing face to face with it. He looked with love and empathy at the man of the PRESENT and expressed with empathy his metamorphoses under the weight of TIME. ” - Sebestyén Székely While the exhibition at the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum can be visited until September 12, the one at the Quadro Gallery ends on November 12. We are looking forward to seeing you!