MADI Universum
20 years of the Mobil MADI Museum
23. March 2013. - 9. June
Opening: 22. March 2013 at 18:00
Curator: Dárdai Zsuzsa
The primary precursor of MADI was the South American school of “constructive universalism” founded by the Uruguayan-born Joachim Torres Garcia (1874–1949) on his return from Paris. The MADI movement itself started in Buenos Aires in 1946, proclaimed by Carmelo Arden Quin and his associates Martin and Ignacio Blaszko, Rhod Rothfuss, Estaban Eitler and Gyula Kosice. They set out an artistic programme whose main elements were polygonality, the coherent representation of motion and systematic construction in every sphere of art.

After the united initial show, MADI divided into two distinct groups. The South American MADI group was led by Gyula Kosice and, later, Rhod Rothfuss. This company gradually dissolved. The European branch was launched in Paris by the Uruguayan artist Carmelo Arden Quin (1913–2010) in 1948. In the MADI Workshop set up in Montparnasse became the venue of exhibitions, debates and lectures. Carmelo Arden Quin remained the prime mover of MADI in France until his death in 2010. In 1952, the Galérie Denise René took notice of the group and held the first group MADI exhibition in Europe. In 1953, MADI had a separate room in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles exhibition. That was when Frank Stella met MADI and Carmelo Arden Quin. The outcome of this encounter was the North American movement “shaped canvas”, which in the sixties became known to the wider world public before MADI did. MADI has now grown into an enormous group that spans Europe, with followers in a dozen countries.

MADI’a been formed by Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Russian Suprematism, and Constructivism. If you analyse those movements, you’ll see that each moved along a concept: Fauvism went back to the break with the first, direct view of nature; Cubism searched for the solid structure of sight and cut motifs into geometric forms; the concept of speed, dynamism, and movement belonged to Futurism, we can say the first mobile was made by Futurists; Dada was provocation, negation, but also the absurd, the free verse that became the basis for the dream-automatism concept of Surrealism; the objectless world has come through the Suprematism of Malevitch, leading to the unfolding of Constructivism.

The MADI dealt with the problems of polygonality. The term as a mathematical/geometrical concept. The MADI form had to emerge in order to free the surface of painting from the rectangular frame it had been imprisoned in for centuries.

János Saxon Szász and Zsuzsa Dárdai first met MADI artists, among them Carmelo Arden Quin, in Paris in 1991. Since the basic theory of MADI is grounded in the work of László Moholy-Nagy and László Péri, they resolved to forge a link between contemporary constructive, geometric artists in Hungary and the international movement. In 1993, they founded the Central European branch of the MADI movement, before Arden Quin set up the International MADI Society.

Contemporary constructive-geometric movements are fed by strong roots in Hungary, including the work of – besides Moholy-Nagy and Péri – Miklós Schöffer, Victor Vasarely, Vilmos Huszár and above all Lajos Kassák, who in 1921 created the art form “image architecture”. The youngest artists were students of the constructivist free school led by János Fajó, a disciple of Kassák’s.

A series of exhibitions of work stretching back to the seventies started in 1993, in the Gyor Mucsarnok gallery, and then in the Kassák Museum in Budapest. In the twenty years since, hundreds of exhibitions and dozens of festivals have followed in Europe and North and South America, ten issues of the MADI art periodical have come out, and the world’s largest MADI collection built up out of artists’ donations. The Mobil MADI Museum holds five hundred works (sculptures, image-objects and graphics) by a hundred contemporary artists from twenty countries.

The current exhibition is a selection from the collection of Mobil MADI Museum. Participants: Carmelo Arden Quin (ROU), Bányász Éva Mária (H), Ira Bernardini (I), Joël Besse (F), Martin Blaszko (ARG), Bolivar (ROU), Giancarlo Caporicci (I), Lex Caral (F), Franco Cortese (I), Gilbert Decock (B), François Decq (F), Marian Drugda (SK), Erdély Dániel (H), Ézsiás István (H), Fajó János (H), Jean-Claude Faucon (B), Joël Froment (F), Aldo Fulchignoni (I), Galgóczy (Gall) György (H), Ingo Glass (D), Haász István (H), Octavio Herrera (V), Sandee Hoffer Johnson (USA), Cajsa Holmstrand (S), Horvath Pal (B), Viktor Hulík (SK), Roland de Jong Orlando (NL), Vyacheslav Koleychuk (RUS), Kovács Tamás László (H), Antonia Lambelé (B), Josée Lapeyrere (F), Alberto Lombardini (I), Gino Luggi (I), Carl Magnus (S), Jaildo Marinho (BR), Vincenzo Mascia (I), Mitsouko Mori (J), Roger Neyrat (F ), Gaetano Pinna (I), Poirot-Matsuda (J), Salvador Presta (I), Marek Radke (PL), Torsten Ridell (S), Volf Roitman (ROU), Giuseppe Rosa (I), Saint Cricq (F), Saxon Szász János (H), Somfai Rezso (D), André Stempfel (F), Didier Stephant (F), Philippe Vacher (F), Piergiorgo Zangara (I)