Le K'dar - biography
PAINTER, GRAPHIC ARTIST, SCULPTOR, PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST,MAGAZINE EDITOR, ARTS WRITER, ART COLLECTOR, MUSEUM FOUNDER
Joseph Kádár was born in Debrecen, Hungary in 1936. His career in art began in 1956, a time of revolution, and his rebellious temperament has accompanied him throughout life. He is the kind of person who is unsatisfied with the status quo and is always seeking change. He is receptive to new forms, new content, and new techniques. In 1964, after studying art, he moved from Budapest to his hometown, hoping to shake off the compulsory socialist realism that dominated art in Budapest. After a year, though, he realized there was no artistic freedom in his hometown either. He had in fact found himself at odds with the dictatorship of the local art director. In the years that followed, he turned from realism to experimentation in areas in which he knew or suspected the theoretical background: expressionism, cubism, and abstraction. He even made a few abstract monotypes. He changed and developed quite a bit as an artist over a few years, but he was no longer able to participate in one-man or collective exhibitions because the authorities had branded him a renegade.
He was confronted by the question of whether to be or not to be. Should he leave art or Hungary? He chose Hungary, and in 1969 he went (illegally) to Paris, where he found unlimited artistic freedom. He worked in peripheral genres and plunged into surrealism. This unfettered creation liberated him from the intellectual slavery he had brought from home. He then began to assess the state of European art. In addition to working in the peripheral genres (book-objects, post-mail-art, collage, recup’art, etc.), he took art photos and made photograms. He expressed his Indian, Italian, Israeli, and Spanish experiences in art photos that even Lucien Hervé admired. In 1979 he began to work with electrography and use photocopiers for artistic purposes. He copied, stretched, and shrank his photos and collages. He made works that could not be made with traditional duplication technology (e.g., three-dimensional relief- electrography).
His surrealist period was followed by a more disciplined geometric period. His works at this time are generally characterized by tight composition, a constructive approach, and a propensity for geometrizing. Neoconstructivism (changing geometry) includes horizontalism. He has also done quite a bit of art organization and analytical writing and has organized and staged several biennales and exhibitions in France, Germany, South Korea, Hungary, Belgium and elsewhere. He has published and edited several journals (Revue d’Art 90°, Parisiens Hongrois, Revue Enveloppe, and Elektrografika). His most important writings on art deal with post-mail-art, dualism, and horizontalism.
He has founded several museums and donated their core material from his own private collection. These include the International Modern Art Museum (Hajdúszoboszló), the Post-Mail-Art Museum, the Joseph Kádár Museum, and the Hajdúság Museum of Fine Arts.
A recurring theme in his work since 1971 has been dualism, which involves depicting two different theories or styles on a single surface by combining or contrasting them, either harmoniously or discordantly, depending on the content. As a mature artist, he has found dualism to be the form of expression that reflects our age and encourages modern man to think. He has developed the themes and pictures he made primarily in his surrealist and geometric periods and used them as a basis for his dualist works.
He began to work with geometric forms again at the turn of the century. He searched for a new starting point and suddenly realized that flat forms are just reductions of human thought (search for similarity). Everything in the universe exists and moves in space. Masses are dominated by spheres, ellipsoids, ellipses and orbits. The ellipsoid (a new form for him) has come to dominate his canvases in recent years. In 2009 even movement can be felt in his compositions, in which the vertical structure is consciously moving (e.g., space, which had formerly been vertical and static, is leaning (70°) to the right or the left, and the ellipsoid is showing movement in the opposite direction). The new picture, therefore, depicts tense, unnatural movement.
Joseph Kádár is still active and creating. He is currently writing about the experiences he has had in his 40 years in Paris.
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