Lajos Kassák

b. 1887

At the age of twenty, Lajos Kassák began to teach himself painting and to write poetry. In 1915 he founded the revolutionary periodical “A Tett” [“The Deed”], around which he collected young artists and writers who were against the war. After “A Tett” was proscribed, Lajos Kassák founded and edited the avant-garde Activist journal “MA” [“Today”] in 1916. In it he published work by Grosz, Schwitters and Hans Richter until 1921. After the failure of the Hungarian Communist Republic, Lajos Kassák emigrated in 1920 to Vienna, where he continued to publish “MA”.

Although Kassák’s early work was strongly influenced by Dada, he became a Constructivist since he was now inspired by László Moholy-Nagy, who later taught at the “Bauhaus”. It was in “MA” that Lajos Kassák formulated the theoretical agenda of Hungarian Constructivism in 1921. In November 1924 Kassák joined many well-known sculptors and painters of his day, including Brancusi, Arp and Schwitters, in showing work at the “First International Exhibition of Modern Art” in Bucharest.

Exhibitions were devoted to the work of this versatile and prolific painter, sculptor, printmaker and collagist in Paris, Munich, Warsaw, Cologne and Paris. In 1966 Kassák participated in the large-scale Dada exhibition mounted by the Zurich Kunsthalle and the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.

In 1967, the year he died, Lajos Kassák was honoured by a retrospective at the Adolf Fényes Gallery in Budapest.

d. 1967