Only occasionally does the Hungarian National Gallery have the opportunity to host events that are clearly of outstanding international significance. I consider the present exhibition of Mattis Teutsch and Der Blaue Reiter to be just such an event, and all the more welcome for that. It provides us with a rare chance to see a substantial part of the oeuvre of a prestigious Hungarian artist, and to gain new insights into his work. At the same time, it affords us an opportunity to reflect once more on a German School of art that is already well-known and admired throughout Europe.
The exhibition helps us to unravel such complex issues as aesthetic relationships projected on a universal scale, the social and cultural tendencies of a turbulent era, and the intellectual challenges arising from the history of Europe at that particular time. Moreover it sheds light on those uniquely idiosyncratic features that constitute a specific artistic temperament. A basis for comparison with other artists is provided, however, by the examination of affinities and the assessment of quality, as well as the highlighting of significant stylistic elements.
This exhibition will enable us to document more comprehensively than ever before the dynamics of twentieth century European art, at least as viewed from one particularly vivid perspective. In addition to this, it reminds us that an outstanding master of Hungarian art has appeared (or reappeared) on the international scene, and enables us to hope that, with the help of this exhibition, Mattis Teutsch’s art will now claim its rightful place in the mainstream of European art history.
All this has required a great deal of hard work and background research. An outstanding exhibition catalogue has been put together with the co-operation of several leading institutions, all of which provided valuable intellectual support during the preparation of the exhibition itself, as well as generously lending works of art from their own collections. On behalf of the Hungarian National Gallery I would like to thank all the participating institutions and their staffs, whose efforts have turned the germ of an idea into a marvellous exhibition. Further, I would like to thank those who had the arduous task of collating the material, and those who arranged for its accurate publication.
Here at the National Gallery we are especially proud to have hosted the exhibition, and to locate it in a setting no less distinguished than it deserves. Moreover we are convinced that this exhibition, which I warmly recommend to all interested parties, will prove to be one of the most important among those recently held, both with respect to the professional interest it has already aroused, and also in regard to its outstanding artistic quality.
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