The Kovács Gábor Art Collection from Munkácsy to Tóth Menyhért

Tornyai János Museum and Community Center

Date: 22/May/2016 - 31/July/2016

Opening on 22 May, the János Tornyai Museum in Hódmezővásárhely will host an exhibition of more than 100 works from the 400-strong collection of Gábor Kovács (founder of the Gábor Kovács Art Foundation), which spans the history of Hungarian painting from the 18th to the mid-20th century.

Like every important private collection, Gábor Kovács’s too has a specific characteristic. A patron of the arts, Kovács started buying art over two decades ago with a view to creating a collection that fittingly represented modern Hungarian art. The collection spans art from the early eighteenth century to our day, and currently consists of some four hundred works. The main body of works represents naturalist landscape painting and a classical beauty ideal, with many other works of different themes.

The collection’s highly treasured gems include twenty works each by painters Károly Markó and János Vaszary, as well as rarities such as pictures by Ádám Mányoki, Mihály Munkácsy, Lajos Gulácsy and Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, and a few works dating from the latter half of the twentieth century or the current age. Mr Kovács has a special intellectual affinity with artists such as Béla Kondor, Tóth Menyhért, Tibor Csernus and Zsuzsa Péreli.

Zsuzsa Péreli is the only contemporary artist whom Gábor Kovács collects systematically. Apart from an intellectual affinity, they have a long-standing friendship. Her Gobelin tapestries, collages and watercolours constitute a separate section in the exhibition, affording a cross-section of the artist’s oeuvre. Her Aequilibrium, with the angel hovering between heaven and earth, seeking a balance between the material and the spiritual, has become a symbol of the collector’s outlook on life in a quest for beauty and harmony.

After many exhibitions in Hungary and some important shows abroad, the ever-growing Gábor Kovács Collection goes to Hódmezővásárhely, near the collector’s birthplace, with a special selection that takes the visitor on a tour of perhaps the most exciting half-century in Hungarian painting.

The exhibition is hosted with support from the Ministry of Human Resources, the Gábor Kovács Art Foundation, the Municipality of Hódmezővásárhely and the János Tornay Museum. It is open until 31 July 2016.