Debrecen has exciting exhibitions for art lovers all year round. If you’re looking to relieve stress amidst the end-of-year rush or Christmas shopping frenzy, take advantage of the last few weeks of the year to visit local museums and galleries for a visual experience, as there are many exciting exhibitions in Debrecen until the end of the year. Below you will find a selection of these.
MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art
The Gospel 21 contemporary art collection and exhibition result from a unique undertaking. Levente Kovács and Tímea Kovács-Szabó Kovács have created a private thematic collection, which aims to interpret and promote the Gospel through artworks that reflect the present. The result is a collection of works of art whose creators, as prominent figures of the Hungarian art scene, have contributed to the contemporary transmission of biblical content. The diversity of expression and perception gives us an idea of what the artists’ interpretations add to the Gospel stories and how contemporary 21st-century art conveys universal ideas that define the Westerner’s understanding of life through the Bible.
For the artists of Gospel 21, the starting point was the four Gospel texts. Together, they form the events and teachings of Jesus’ life, the foundation of the message of Christianity. Levente Kovács divided all the scenes, teachings, miracles, meditations, and the Passion story into 1+12 units. The artists were free to choose the unit that best suited their interests and concerns.
The exhibition is open until the 31st of December 2021.
Abstraction-Création. Kandinsky, Hélion, Calder, Moholy-Nagy…
On the 3rd of October 2021, the internationally unique exhibition Parisian Abstracts opened at the MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art in Debrecen. Abstraction-Création. Kandinsky, Hélion, Calder, Moholy-Nagy…. At the heart of the 1500 m2 exhibition is the world-renowned Abstraction-Création, the most prominent official non-figurative grouping ever. With nearly 100 works, the exhibition brings together artworks from museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Galerie Le Minotaure in Paris, the Mumok in Vienna, the Belvedere in Vienna, and the Musée d’arts de Nantes. Abstraction-Création presents paintings and sculptures by world-famous artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Jean Hélion, Alexander Calder, Auguste Herbin, František Kupka, Jean Arp, etc. The exhibition will be the first to present the work of world-renowned Hungarians such as László Moholy-Nagy, Alfred Reth, and Étienne Beöthy, as well as avant-garde artists such as Lajos Tihanyi and Ferenc Martyn. They are renowned in Hungary, in the Paris Abstraction-Création. Art historian Dr. Flóra Mészáros curates the exhibition.
The exhibition is open until the 30th of January 2022.
István Burai (1951-2017) was influenced by Béla Kondor and Lajos Szalay in his early ink drawings, and his painting was inspired by the works of Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and György Kovásznai, while he created his own means of expression for his world of images, which he built with rigour and monotonous consistency. The distinctive Burai characteristics are easily recognisable, but the richness of the technical experiments in his oeuvre has been less well explored. The exhibition also includes his early paper engravings, realistic landscapes with a plan air effect, sensitive, abstractly demanding panel paintings, and free canvases.
Burai’s active professional career, during which he organised numerous national and international exhibitions, was a leader of artists’ associations and professional organisations, has left a significant legacy in his artistic work. On the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Debrecen painter, graphic artist, and sculptor, the MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art will guide the public through the most significant stages of István Burai’s career with a retrospective exhibition and catalogue.
The exhibition will be open until the 20th of February 2022.
The temporary exhibition traces the changes in Hungarian borders and destinies, i.e. the effects on society, from the world of the “happy peacetime” to the era of territorial reattachments. It brings to life the world of refugees, the presence of revisionism, and irredentism in everyday life. The story of Debrecen, from the Romanian occupation onwards, shows how the city became the centre of the region after nearly a decade of initial uncertainties and stagnation. Objects, documents, period photographs, film newsreel footage, and diary recollections help to recall the events of Trianon and its aftermath and convey the feelings and pain of the people of the period.
The exhibition is open until the 31st of December 2021.
“Paradise Lost” – The vanished world of the Mesolithic hunters
The people who lived in the Carpathian Basin during the Mesolithic period left behind many memories, but only a tiny part of them is known to researchers. The temporary exhibition presents a selection of the currently known domestic finds. They will also have the chance to see a life-size hut reconstructed from the remains of a Mesolithic building discovered on the outskirts of Jásztelek, and to get a taste of the fishing, hunting, and gathering lifestyle of the past. The thousands of years old bone snail, given to the public by the King Saint Stephen Museum in Székesfehérvár, will be presented in perfect condition. But a unique attraction of the exhibition is the only known Mesolithic tomb in the Carpathian Basin, which is the first to be exhibited by the Déri Museum, courtesy of the János Tornyai Museum in Hódmezővásárhely.
The exhibition is open until the 31st of December 2021.
House of Literature, Debrecen
Elephant Catcher – Temporary exhibition of works by Alexandra Grela, illustrator and painter
Children’s and fiction illustrations with a unique atmosphere for all ages. While fairy tale illustrations will enthrall children, adults will be captivated by illustrations of poems by Endre Ady and János Pilinszky.
The exhibition is open until the 25th of June 2022.
Keresztpontok – Pályakép (Crossroads – Career Path)
The nearly 50 years of artistic and professional practice of textile artist Margit Kányási Holb Holb will be brought to life in a cross-section focusing primarily on woven fabric, presenting an exciting world of applied art, home textiles, pattern pieces, and autonomous textile artworks.
“Fabric, cloth, shawl, ribbon. The link between these words is the weaving technology, creating weaving that has remained unchanged in its construction for thousands of years. Product, object, and what else can textiles be? Object. Is it possible to present nearly 50 years of professional ‘practice’ in an exhibition that faithfully represents the journey that has been travelled? This exhibition attempts to do so, focusing primarily on textiles, presenting a world of applied art, home textiles, samples, and autonomous textile artworks. I was constantly preoccupied with the visual vision, the expression in textiles, and the possibilities of creating art. I have had nearly 50 solo exhibitions and hundreds of group shows. As a result of my knowledge of the technology and history of weaving and a deeper understanding of its role in human life, my autonomous objects, textile objects, and installations have been permeated by the ancient textile-making process, revealing the universal meaning of weaving.”
The exhibition is open until the 7th of February 2022.
Reformed Great Church
A future dreamed of from our roots
In the Gallery of the Reformed Reformed Church of Debrecen, an exhibition by Jr. István Fazekas, a potter and his partner, Brigitta Sütő, opened on the 5th of December.
Ifj. István Fazekas, a potter and folk craftsman, has been working for decades to cultivate his family roots. In addition to traditional black pottery, he likes to experiment with the possibilities of clay. At the same time, his creations are beautiful and useful, making them handy utensils for today’s households. In addition to her creative work, she feels it is important to promote the black ceramics of Nádudvar and the history of the Fazekas Dynasty as widely as possible.
Brigitta Sütő, embroiderer, Young Master of Folk Art, was born in Debrecen and has been living in Nádudvar for almost four years with her husband, Jr. He is residing in Nádádvarva with István Fazekas, a young man of Nádádvarta and his family. The world of embroidery and textiles has accompanied her throughout her life. In his creative work, he processes the embroidered patterns found in folk art and makes them part of the textile culture of today. She aims to create something new by drawing on her roots.
This exhibition aims to show that the artists’ lives are intertwined, not only in everyday life but also in their creative work. In this way, they strengthen each other. Beyond this, it has an unparalleled value that faithfully demonstrates the functionality of folk art, the harmony of co-artists working together.
The correctly applied patterns and formal elements fit perfectly into the stylistic trends of the present day. A high level of professionalism, craftsmanship, and uniqueness is reflected in each of the works of these two young people. Brigitta’s textiles are rich in variations of form, colour, and stitching, which are unified by István’s clean ceramics. You can also see some of the highlights of their work, which they have created over several years as part of the Hungaricum competition. Brigitta has recreated the shapes and colours of István’s pots on contemporary dressings. Many new and never-before-seen interiors are revealed to visitors, which can become precious pieces of our own everyday life.
DEMKI Youth House
The wonders of winter through the eyes of nations
As part of the “Christmas of Nations” series of events, an exhibition entitled “The Wonders of Winter through the Eyes of Nations” will open on 12th December at the DEMKI Youth House. József Babinec, László Czibere, György Katona, Valogyin Pauk, V. Patik, Michalski Krisztov, Daviduk Malgorzata, Marszalek Tadeusz.
Eger Winery Bar Gallery
Rudolf Velényi Exhibition
Rudolf Velényi was born in Szatmárnémeti on the 19th of December 1940, the year of the Second Vienna Decision, a fact that would define his entire life. He has lived here ever since, but he has also visited Partium and Transylvania on numerous occasions, as well as art centres abroad, the USA and the magical landscapes of the Balaton Highlands and the Káli Basin, where he has captured the world of the landscape and the people he holds so dear, primarily through photography. A selection of these and other photographs will be shown at his latest exhibition, which opens on the 10th of December at 6 p.m. and is the final year exhibition at the Wine Bar Gallery in Egri. The exhibition will be opened by Károly Fekete, Bishop of the Tiszántúli Reformed Diocese, and graphic artist Zoltán Fátyol.
Velényi’s career is characterised by a long series of group and solo exhibitions, as he has created a lasting impression in almost every genre: painting, graphic art, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, textiles and their applied fields – book illustration, advertising photography, jewellery, exhibition installations, emblem, logo, trademark and image design, invitations, posters, posters, poster design, poster frames. As a curator of exhibitions, she is exceptionally well prepared. His fine artwork has made him unique in the overall artistic palette through the “ethno-art” movement.
He is confident not only with the brush but also with the camera. His photographs also show his preference for and awareness of the world of the wide-angle of view to capture the richness of detail and the subtleties of the surface of the materials. Folk art is a source of inspiration for his art, and he also sees visual potential in simple everyday objects, often making these pieces part of his artistic composition. In his tableaux, he achieves a high synthesis of folklore and modernity. He has created a tradition in his large-scale, appropriately appliquéd and mixed-media paintings, which has made his artistic style distinctive.
He is an active member of the Ajtósi Dürer Association of Graphic Artists in Debrecen and the National Association of Hungarian Artists. He constantly creates, exhibits, and participates in competitions at the local and national levels. He has received several awards and recognitions for his work, including the Debrecen Prize for Culture (2020).