An exhibition organised from the highlighted works of the museum’s Collection of International Art after 1800 opened on 7 December 2018 in the Hungarian National Gallery: the new international selection encompassing more than two centuries of art and including contemporary compositions was designed to bring a large number of novelties to visitors besides the well-known masterpieces. New acquisitions, freshly restored pieces and rarely displayed works will focus attention on the rich palette of the collection and the dynamic professional work carried out within the framework of the collection.
The exhibition contains two main chronological parts. The halls showcasing 19th-century art gives an overview ranging from Late Romanticism to Symbolism. Besides the great masters of French Impressionism – Cézanne, Pissarro, Monet –, works can be seen by Austrian, German, Belgian and Scandinavian artists (Lenbach, Leibl, Meunier, Gallén-Kallela), thus providing a complex and subtle picture of the European art of the period.
The 20th-century and contemporary section is arranged around various tendencies and questions, and presents some important international trends of recent decades, such as kinetic art, Op Art and geometric abstraction, as well as their prominent representatives (Günther Uecker, Victor Vasarely, Josef Albers, Peter Halley). Special emphasis is placed on the acquisitions of recent years (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Erwin Wurm, Antoni Tàpies, Eduardo Chillida, Vera Molnar, Simon Hantaï) with the aim of illustrating the main directions of the collection’s development and augmentation.
Exciting plans ahead in the Collection of International Art after 1800
The reunification of the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery will bring about important changes and pose new challenges.
The long, multi-step process began in 2015, when the department’s permanent exhibitions were closed due to the start of reconstruction works in the Museum of Fine Arts building. Since after its reopening in 2018 the Museum of Fine Arts will be home to art periods spanning from ancient times to the end of the 18th century, preparations are already being made for the relocation of the collection.
In the coming months, the 19th– and 20th-century and the contemporary works, currently in the vaults of the Museum of Fine Arts, will be moved from Heroes’ Square. The 2,300 or so artworks will be transported to the National Museum Restoration And Storage Centre – a new institution to be completed within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project by 2019 –, where they will be stored under the most modern circumstances. The modern foreign works of the Collection of Art after 1800 will be exhibited together with the Hungarian pieces from the same periods in a newly built museum: the New National Gallery.