Two figures, 1930s
b. 1877, Budapest, Hungary
d. 1956, Budapest, Hungary
Béla Kádár was a Hungarian painter and one of the most famous members of the early twentieth-century Hungarian avant-garde. Born in Budapest to a working-class Jewish family, Kádár was forced to work as an iron-turner from a young age after his father’s death. Kádar was introduced to painting while working at a mural painting company in Budapest. He visited Paris and Berlin in 1910 and by 1918 had moved to western Europe. In Berlin, Kádar befriended the fellow Hungarian painter Hugo Schreiber and settled for a time in this western European city to further exhibit his work. The artist had his first important exhibition in October 1923 at Herwarth Walden's Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin, showing work in an expressionist style. During the exhibition he met Katherine Dreier, who put on two exhibitions of his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City, the second of which, in September 1928, Kádár attended.
Kádár notably employed styles from a range of movements, including Constructivism, Cubism, and German Expressionism, and focused on traditional Hungarian folklore to inspire his imagery. His scenes of abstracted figures, objects, landscapes, and interiors feature bright, jewel-toned palettes and a fractured approach to rendering space, which can be seen in his work on paper, Two figures. Today, Kádár’s works are in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.