The Society of Hungarian Painters

The Society of Hungarian Painters is member of the Association of Hungarian Fine Art and Applied Arts Societies.




Dear Friend,

Dear visitor to our website,

accept our friendly welcome in the spirit of the freedom of art and the equality of all genres, techniques and movements!

  • Our Society maintains a relaxed attitude towards technique. In addition to the representatives of panel painting, we also accept works such as collages, plastic art and free canvas pieces as well as all related techniques. By doing so, we wish to promote and popularize contemporary Hungarian fine arts for the widest possible audience and modern, contemporary art as such.
  • The Society of Hungarian Painters has no preference for any particular artistic movement or fashion. We believe it is important to cultivate many varieties of Hungarian painting, and we are committed to supporting all new artistic initiatives, all unique forms of expression as long as they are up to a certain standard.

Well yes, “the standard”, and “the quality”. “Who is to say?” – the question is frequently posed. Who is going to say what’s good, what’s acceptable, and what isn’t? How does anyone take the liberty of judging the work others, colleagues, contemporaries?

  • First of all: nobody is under an obligation to submit their work to a jury, to the organizers of a future exhibition. But once they’ve done it, they are obliged to accept the decision of the jury. Perhaps when they submitted their work, they themselves felt that the jury had some authority before them, and that was why they chose that exhibition.
  • Secondly: indeed, it is sometimes a very difficult decision. But many years of experience, the memory of hundreds, or thousands of works, as a representative sample of good examples accumulated through the eyes of the judges is what authorises the jury to compare and to measure. And after the assessment, the deliberation, they make their decisions.
  • Thirdly: yes, indeed there is such a thing as personal taste. Yes, there is a risk of subjective judgements being made. But the juror must try to put his own taste aside, if he is an artist, he must also put aside his own artistic interests. In the ideal case, the juror must rise to a “style-neutral” zone in order to be able to judge works of various gravity and sometimes very different directions, considering only quality. And there can be friendships, personal prejudices, which must be forgotten or suppressed in the interest of making a sober judgement. Only quality matters.
  • Fourthly: There are some objective factors that the jury can use in their work. First and foremost, the professional criteria. These are the aspects of art that can be learnt. This side of art, but already within the domain of the spirit is craftsmanship, and mastery or indeed deficiencies of craftsmanship are both immediately visible to the eye. The extent to which the opinions of jury members coincide when selecting works for a larger exhibition is also telling: the first-rate, high quality pieces are immediately recognised by all, straight away; those that may also make the grade are usually also quickly recognised, with few disputes. In the case of mediocrity, there may be difficulties, disagreements, debates.
  • And what about the equality of artists? The members of the Society of Hungarian Painters are equal in their membership rights and obligations. They are all entitled to submit works for the Society’s exhibitions, and all members are entitled to use the services of the Society (circulars, information, publications). But there is no such equality in art. The right to submit work doesn’t guarantee that the work will be shown. The prestige, the weight, the quality of the works themselves are the things that count there.

Founded in 1995, the Society of Hungarian Painters has acquired a long and rich history. A certain projection of that past – the sequence of catalogues about our exhibitions – will become available to all with the launch of our website. The images in the catalogues follow the work of may of our artist members, the works of deceased members testify to their worthy oeuvres, and the individual exhibitions are also presented as autonomous entities, as unique intellectual achievements. We hope that the images also give some impression of all the work, effort, ideas and organization that went into the Society’s exhibitions and publications. Among others, the catalogues of the Szekszárd Triennale of Painting can also be perused. The Triennale exhibitions were always tied to some notable anniversary; so, through the essays in the catalogues and through the work of contemporary painters they commemorated the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the work of Paul Klee, among our own great painters, Lajos Gulácsy, István Farkas and József Rippl-Rónai, and we have also dedicated a triennale to the memory of the poet Mihály Babics. Visitors to our website can also study our largest publication to date, with a great wealth of images and essays: the catalogue of our exhibition about the history of collage in Hungary, entitled Hungarian Collage.

The Society of Hungarian Painters was founded in the summer of 1995 by 33 painters. In 2013, with 296 artist members, it is the largest national professional organisation of Hungarian painters. Its founding chairman was the painter and author Gábor Karátson; currently, Albert Kováts is the chairman, and the other members of the board are the painters Daniela Bikácsi, Péter Kovács and Berta Mayer. From the very beginning, the Society of Hungarian Painters has been a member organisation of the Federation of Hungarian Fine and Applied Arts Societies and through it the European Council of Artists.

MFT pecsét