BLOW-UPS – 1963. The Age of Jancsó’s Cantata

An Exhibition of Art and History

New Budapest Gallery

1093 Budapest, Fővám tér 11–12., (Bálna Budapest)

8 June – 18 September 2016


József MÉLYI

Assistant Curator:


Exhibition design:


Graphic design:

Ferenc ELN


7 June 2016 (Tuesday) 6–8 pm

Opening speech by:


Blow-Ups centres around one particular year in the Sixties: 1963. It does this through the lens of a single work, Miklós Jancsó’s film Cantata, which was shot in 1962 and released in early 1963. In the film, the main protagonist, Ambrus Járom (played by Zoltán Latinovits), meanders around Budapest, strolling from one meeting place for intellectuals to another. He eavesdrops on seemingly endless debates in cafés, or, during a gathering in a studio apartment, watches an experimental film that was made with his participation. The series of scenes, which begins in the EMKE building and ends in the apartment of Járom’s physician colleague, offers a vivid portrayal of the intellectual milieu, with all its dilemmas, in which the Hungarian intelligentsia found itself at the time. The focus on individual scenes, locations, objects and subjects raised in the film allows the outlines of the tensions among and faced by the intellectuals of the era to emerge.

Béla Gruber

Still Life with “Fecske” Cigarettes / Still Life with “Esti Hírlap” Newspaper and Jug, 1963, mixed media, newspaper, 35 × 48 cm

The exhibition examines numerous areas of culture. Proceeding from the concepts and relations of the visual arts, it endeavours to reinterpret questions pertaining to culture, art and society in Hungary from the perspective of today. It investigates official art and alternative culture and their parallel existence. The exhibition, which has been divided into several sections, focuses on different aspects of the film. It highlights certain objects, works of art, and documents, and it outlines the context necessary for a nuanced understanding of the era.

The individual sections focus in particular on the art of Lili Ország, János Orosz, Ákos Szabó, and Béla Gruber, as well as on painting in the early 1960s, posters by Gábor Papp, the architecture of the period and the city of Budapest at the time, and the gatherings which took place in private apartments (the saloons of Dr László Végh and Pál Petrigalla), also devoting attention to the furnishings of contemporary apartments.

Miklós Jancsó

Cantata, 1963, filmstill

Ákos Szabó

Cantata Profana (details), 1960-63

Photo: Gyula Sopronyi

The exhibition was realized with the assistance of:

On behalf of the Budapest Gallery: Gábor ANDRÁSI, Ádám CSÁBI, Sándor MURÁNYI, István STEFFANITS, Ágnes SZABICS, Zsuzsanna SZEGEDY-MASZÁK, Tamás TÖRÖK, Anna VERES, Mónika ZOMBORI

Curator of the architecture and design sections:


Conception for the Kol Nidre section:

Hedvig TURAI, Zsófia FARKAS, Nemere KEREZSI

Content specialist of the section on Dr Végh:


Planning for the Generation of Rust wall was done in collaboration with:

Lóránt BÓDI, Dóra MATYUS

Films by:

Lajos BOGLÁR, Péter FORGÁCS, Nándor HEVESI, Zsuzsanna SIMON – Benedek BOGNÁR, Gyula SOPRONYI

Production of films was done in collaboration with:


Interview with Dr Gábor Kovács was done in collaboration with:


Special thanks to the Semmelweis Medical History Museum

Photography and photo editing:


Principal lending and collaborative partner:

Municipal Gallery – Kiscell Museum: Ágnes BAKOS, Péter KÖBLÖS, Zsóka LEPOSA, Judit LORÁNYI, Sándor PAPP, Enikő RÓKA, Magdolna SIMON, Ferenc SPRINGER, Bence TIHANYI, Dóra VINCZE

Special thanks to:

Bálint ÁCS, Katalin BAKOS, István DARVAS Rabbi, Zoltán FARKASDY, Tamás FÉNER, Éva HORÁNYI, Tibor HUSZÁR, Alexandra JENEY, Tamás JUHÁSZ G., Zsolt K. HORVÁTH, György KONRÁD, Dr Gábor KOVÁCS, Eszter KOZMA, Katalin KIM, Peter LANGH, Lajos LOVAS Director of MaNDA, Gábor PATAKI, Balázs PEJKÓ (Studio H), Monika PERENYEI, Mihály POHÁRNOK, Flóra POLNAUER, Máté ROGOVSZKY, Zsuzsa SEDLMAYR JÁNOSNÉ BECK, György SÜMEGI, Ádám SZABÓ, Annamária SZŐKE, Tamás SZŐNYEI, Péter SZÖRÉNYI, József TÓTA, Balázs VARGA, György VÁRKONYI, Iván VITÁNYI, András WILHEIM

Budapest History Museum: dr Péter FARBAKY Director-general and the Office of the Directorate, Erika SZABÓNÉ FORGÁCS Financial director and the Directorate of Finances, Department of Operations

We would like to express our gratitude to the Levendel Family; the Gruber Family, dr. Györgyi Brunecker, Katalin Németh, and Kornél Jánosi, private collectors of works by Béla Gruber, and also to Bálint Sárosi, Kálmán Kecskeméti, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, the Private Photo and Film Foundation, the Janus Pannonius Museum of Pécs, and the Rómer Flóris Museum of Art and History in Győr for lending works of art from their collections.

Collaborating partner:

Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute

With the support of:

National Cultural Fund of Hungary