press release

This autumn, celebrated Hungarian author Péter Nádas (b. 1942) is to be guest curator at the Hague Museum of Photography. The museum has invited him to devise an exhibition throwing light on the development of modern Hungarian photography from the First World War era to the end of the 1960s. In addition to a line-up of famous names like Robert Capa, Brassaï, André Kertész, Martin Munkacsi and Eva Besnyö, the show will feature various lesser-known masters of vintage Hungarian photography.

Nádas plans to adopt a highly personal line in a show designed to reflect his own off-beat view of the vintage period of modern photography in his country. Perhaps he will be able to explain why so many internationally famous photographers were born there. In any event, the writer’s exhibition concept is certain to get tongues wagging, since Nádas has no intention of leaving himself out of consideration. After all, before embarking on a career as a successful author, to date most memorably with his monumental novel A Book of Memories (1986; English-language translation 1997), Nádas was himself a professional photojournalist working for various magazines. As guest curator, therefore, he plans to punctuate the review of great vintage Hungarian photographs with dozens of his own poetic images from the 1950-1965 period.

In the last of the display areas in the Museum of Photography (known as the Statenpleinzaal), Nádas will conclude the exhibition with his magnum opus: an impressive installation of countless photographs of his ancient wild pear tree, which he has photographed year in year out, at every season and always from the same fixed viewpoint. The tree stands in the garden of his cottage in the hamlet of Gombosszeg (population: 37). Péter Nádas: “Sometimes I photograph the tree all the time for days on end and then maybe not for weeks, because there’s just nothing happening to it”.

The exhibition is part of the festival of Hungarian culture taking place in the Netherlands in the second half of this year under the title Hongarije aan Zee (Hungary by the Sea).


only in german

"Kindred Spirits" Peter Nadas and Hungarian Photography 1912-2003

Arbeiten von Peter Nadas, Robert Capa, Brassaï, André Kertész, Martin Munkacsi, Eva Besnyö, László Moholy-Nagy, u.a.