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Collections and Critiques


Modern Hungarian art has rarely been shown in this country, and never before in New England. The Germanic Museum is to be commended for exhibiting through this month the show of modern Hungarian painting, assembled by the College Art Association.

The modern art of Hungary, if it is to be judged by this show, can be called interesting, but hardly of outstanding importance. It lacks on the whole a depth of thought and feeling, without which the paintings appear weak and insipid. This is not however a wholesale condemnation, for there are notable exceptions in this exhibition. Istvan Pekary, for instance, in his small canvas called "The Funeral," has with his purposely naive and provincial style given us a picture fairly bristling with emotion. For some reason, his many genre figures scattered all over the picture do not distract us from the central idea.

In contrast, however, there are such pictures as "Hungarian Village" by Denes Csanky. A curious Combination of Impressionism and pretty subject matter cannot make up for the "fuzzy" quality of the brushwork, and the rather weak colors.

The outstanding painting of the show in our estimation is the lovely "Holy Family" by C. Pal Molnar. Vivid coloring, good composition, a modified form of cubism in technique, and a total lack of religious feeling mark this picture. A great and serene simplicity give this work a monumentality almost totally lacking in the other paintings.

"Circus" by Vilmos Novak Aba and the "Whirlwind" by Tibor Polya are both outstanding pictures. The latter is an excellent scene of a village marketplace caught in a whirlwind. The brilliant colored figures run to shelter as the wind catches the canvas roofs of their market-booths.

As for the rest of the paintings, with a few exceptions; they are highly decorative with their brilliant color, and bouyancy of spirit, but exposes too little feeling to be of lasting importance.

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