Kieselbach /Dec 6, 2002
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Artworks in Arcadja43
Some works of Etienne FarkasExtracted between 43 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Kieselbach -May 11, 2007 - BudapestLot number: 153
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signed bottom left: Farkas 39 on the verso: deposit sticker of the Hungarian National Gallery, export stamp, exhibition label KUT, and autograph inscription: ?9. Sápadt volt?. Exhibited: Retrospective István Farkas exhibition, Hungarian History Museum, March 4 - May 9, 2005. Published: Retrospective István Farkas exhibition, Hungarian History Museum, March 4 - May 9, 2005. cat. p. 62.S.Nagy Katalin: István Farkas, Fondazione István Farkas, 2002. p. 136.
Auction: Kieselbach -Dec 15, 2006 - BudapestLot number: 103
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Signed bottom right: Farkas, 1941 On the reverse: label of the Nemzeti Szalon Muvészeti Egyesület Provenance: earlier in the collection of Ferenc Glücks, later in the collection of Charlie Farkas Exhibited Farkas István festomuvész kiállítása. Tamás Galéria, 1941. Farkas István gyujteményes kiállítása. Nemzeti Szalon, 1947. Farkas István gyujteményes kiállítása. Székesfehérvár, István király Múzeum, 1969. Farkas István gyujteményes kiállítása. Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, 1978. Farkas István festomuvész gyujteményes kiállítása. Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, 2005. REPRODUCED Farkas István festomuvész kiállítása. Tamás Galéria, 1941. catalogue Pataky Dénes: Farkas István. Budapest, 1970. Budapest, 1978/7. 27.l. Farkas István gyujteményes kiállítása. Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, 1978. catalogue S. Nagy Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1979. Kernács Gabriella: Farkas István. Budapest, 1980. IRODALOM Salmon, André: Étienne Farkas. Párizs, 1935. Nyilas-Kolb Jeno: Farkas István. Budapest, 1935. Pataky Dénes: Farkas István. Budapest, 1970. S. Nagy Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1979. Kernács Gabriella: Farkas István. Budapest, 1980. S. Nagy Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1994. Farkas István festomuvész gyujteményes kiállítása. Budapesti Történeti Múzeum, 2005. catalogue
Auction: Kieselbach -May 16, 2003 - BudapestLot number: 59
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Signed and dated lower left Farkas Paris 1930 Literature Salmon, André: Étienne Farkas. Párizs, 1935. Nyilas-Kolb, Jeno: Farkas István, Budapest, 1935. Pataky, Dénes: Farkas István, Budapest, 1970. S. Nagy, Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1994. "The most difficult and final task of the artist is the representation of giving up of the constant , highly refined, simple and unique charm..." Nietzsche suggests avoiding the empiric forms instead of mechanical and detailed representation of the spectacle idealizing the real art which inspires the deep relationship coming through the various surface of the things. In the history of hungarian painting we can find some artists who gave up cosistently the attractive and graceful gestures of creation for the sake of revealing a highly refined, overal truth. They have the common desire: to see and make the peole see the hidden reality behind the outer mask of the things. István Nagy, János Nagy Balogh, even Simon Hollósy in his last artistic period concentrated to the extremely simplified motifs avoiding every accidental parts with a nearly ascetical self-control. They gave up with similar determination the attractive, but concidered being useless artistic gestures. We can also see an another artistic way coming through the ephemeral cover of the empiric world. The depiction with uncertain space full of mysterious, amorphous figures give impulsive associations to the viewer orientating them towards internal ways with doubtful real purpose. On the basis of the French symbolistic artist'words,Odilon Redon we can get closer to the interntion of the artists such as Lajos Gulácsy or the artist of this painting in question, István Farkas. " The sense of mystery is our being always in ambiguity, in double and triple points of view, in the forms just in the first steps of coming into being and in the ones will be forming by the inner state of the spectators. Everything becomes more suggestive because of their ephemeral caracters." Desregard the sylistic features of the paintings of Farkas and only list the characters of the depicted scene and its objective motifs, we receive almost an idyllic episode. At the table in a comfortable armchair a woman in yellow dress is sitting having her child in front of her knees who is building a sand fort. However the pale colours, the rusty brown marks give a shiver, mysterious vision. On the dreamlike stage there are seperately the accessories of a strange comedy, the participanst of the artist's world full of visions. The wellknown motifs from the paintings of István Farkas appear in front of us: the threatening rising figure of an adult person, a child hidden under the table, the house with its threatening windows, tottering brown gate, bare trees with a locomotive blowing white steam in the background. Appearing details from the mist of remote memories among which the subconscious makes a subjective order. The works of Istvan Farkas are the works of the artist who lived his artistic work, creation of his works as a recover from the sore of his individuality. He gives evidence of his sensitive psychological character in his paintings showing a unquiet internal tracing and trying to find his release of his anxiety through some intuition, and guess. He does not give unambiguous references, his symbols are not clear, and rather spiritual expecting serious immersion from the viewer. If somebody wishes to have a joy looking at this picture, he must return again and again to discover it.
Auction: Kieselbach -Dec 6, 2002 - BudapestLot number: 142
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signed, on the bottom right corner: Farkas Paris Literature: Salmon, André: Étienne Farkas. Paris, 1935. Nyilas-Kolb, Jeno: Farkas István. Budapest, 1935. Pataky, Dénes: Farkas István. Budapest, 1970. S. Nagy, Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1994. Farkas's oeuvre is represented by two important works at our present auction. While at the discussion of the picture Woman by the Window the features connecting the painter to the national trend of the school École de Paris were evoked, here one has to stress those features of the painter's lonely character that he brought from home. During his apprenticeship he was corrected by Károly Ferenczy in Nagybánya and later he worked with Adolf Fényes in Budapest. Still, his first real master was László Mednyánszky. The artist often let the teenager boy accompany him, and later he also helped the young painter with his instructions. Mednyánszky's closeness, his art, which could see the things behind the hidden faces of entities and could reveal them as well, became an enthralling experience in Farkas's life. In both painters' pictures, the viewer can catch the creative will that suggests transcendental content through the picture of the represented nature by the spiritualization of sight. They found ways to the deepest layers of human soul. This deep relationship of the student's art to that of the master's, which was not necessarily revealed on the surface, was recognized by the critics of the period as well. His first monographer, Jeno Nyilas-Kolb, wrote about the relationship as follows: ' Farkas called the old painter his "foster father". His teachings were seeds which sometimes sprouted at the most unlikely places, only decades later. Farkas's spiritual life, which was susceptible to mysticism, must have been shaken by the peculiar personality of the Tostoyan-Buddhist painter, who taught him to believe in the deep relationship of painting to cosmos.' Mednyánszky's influence - because of the revealing impulses of French art - was pushed into the background for decades. In the 1910s the marks of cubism, in the following decade the stylistic characteristics of the École de Paris were dominant in Farkas's painting. At the end of the 1920s he gave up painting those compositions that brought him such a huge success. Around 1930 the most important pieces of the oeuvre were born; they projected the painter's lonely, anguished world. The picture discussed here - just as Mednyánszky's enigmatic landscapes - is a hidden portrait that projects the oscillations of the painter's soul. The scenery of a numb, silent world is formed by rusty browns and charred grays in the landscape fallen into gray dusk. The simplified forms, the reduced colorit, the conscious keeping a distance from every epic element detach the representation from the reality of sight and raise it into a more general, spiritual sphere. According to Nyilas-Kolb, Farkas 'likes to give the world without any kind of human supplement, in its sober, virgin nakedness. His pictures represent the virgin order breathing calmly, the secret private life of nature, which is in an endless distance from the unnecessary movements of human rowdiness. Even the houses are standing there as if they did not have any earthly purpose?Everything the painter had seen, felt and experienced, everything he had recorded into his notebook and into his nerves was only for creating eternal pictures; so that the records could set into something firmly final in the spiritualized forms of fields, seas, skies and grounds. Painting for Farkas is life and worship, as if he made every brushstroke in the name of eternity.'
Auction: Kieselbach -Sep 11, 2002 - BudapestLot number: 117
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signed, on the bottom left corner: Farkas 1934 Provenance: Collection of Ferenc Glücks Exhibited: Exhibition of István Farkas' paintings and drawings. Ernst Museum CLVI. January, 1936 (Lot. No. 29. The Narrow-gauge Railway, 1200 pengos) Exhibition held in commemoration of István Farkas. National Saloon. 1947. BÁV auction sale No. 36. May, 1975 (Lot. No. 65. By the Rail Barrier) Exhibition held in commemoration of István Farkas. Hungarian National Gallery. 1978 Reproduced: Salmon, André: Étienne Farkas. Paris, 1935. (No. 4.) Pesti Napló (Appendix), January, 12th, 1936. Pataky, Dénes: Farkas István. Budapest, 1970. (No. 40.) BÁV auction sale No. 36. May, 1975 (Lot. No. 65. By the Rail Barrier) Cat. No. 65. Magyar Napló. December, 8th, 1982. S. Nagy, Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1994. No. 119.1 S. Nagy, Katalin: István Farkas. Budapest, 1999. No. 102.1. Literature: Salmon, André: Étienne Farkas. Paris, 1935 Nyilas Kolb, Jeno: Farkas István, Budapest, 1935. Pataky, Dénes: Farkas István. Budapest, 1970. S. Nagy, Katalin: Farkas István. Budapest, 1994 "The problem cleared out in the least, and the greatest mystery for many is the art of István Farkas." The author of these words is Jeno Nyilas-Kolb. He is the first monograph writer of the painter. With his book he tried to introduce Farkas' enigmatic personality and unique oeuvre to the audience. Since then the way to understanding his art has become easier due to innumerable studies, Hungarian and foreign language monographs. We know the oeuvre, we can observe the reproduction of each important pieces. However, the quoted statement is still true; studying a recently appeared masterpiece, the viewer cannot help feeling uncertain. The present painting is a good example of this; we can find formal and contextual analogous pieces, we can exactly put it into the biography of the artist, but the essence of the work of art cannot be caught. We just stand in front of its ingenuity without any help. We exactly know the place and time of its birth. According to André Salmon's French monograph, he painted it in Paris, December, 1934. It was a closing tune of a successful period in the vivid atmosphere of Paris between the two world wars. When he traveled to Paris in 1925, he rented a studio in the centre of the Parisian art life, on the Montparnasse. He was in close relationship with his former mates in La Palette; Alfréd Réth, and József Csáky, with the writer belonging to the circle of Apollinaire; André Salmon. He exhibited with Braque, Derain, Dufy, Foujita, Matisse, Picasso, and Giacometti. The contemporary art critics regarded him as a leading painter of the École de Paris. Among his collectors were Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier, and Chester Dale (one of the greatest American art collector). This ideal career was broken with the death of his father in 1932. He had to move home to lead the family enterprise (a publishing house), but he rented a studio in Paris for years, and whenever he could, went to paint there for one or two months. This painting is a result of one of these short periods. This picture is like a dream-like fantastic stage, where the objects of the artist's visionary world are the main characters. Their relation is not determined by the rules of perspective. There are some exceptions, for example in the case of the parallels of the railways, but these exceptions are for the sake of the emotional effect. These irrational, surrealist spaces, timeless compositions are the basis of the relation between Farkas' art, and the art of the Italian scuola metafisica, especially that of Giorgio de Chirico. Although their way of painting is completely different, we can still find some sort of close relationship in their work. As André Breton puts it: "It is very probable, that the human spirit reaches a point where there is no opposition between life and death, reality and fantasy, past and future, above and beneath." Farkas' art does not fall under Surrealism, still, Breton's words are characteristic to his world as well. The motifs of the Narrow-gauge Railway can often be seen in Farkas' oeuvre. The fence, the small house, the train with a smoking chimney, the barrier with the red light induce complicated associations in the viewer. The painting is characteristic piece of Farkas' mature period. It cannot be proved by only stylistic features, but also by the applied technique. It is painted - as all his great-size main works - on panel with his characteristic, self-made tempera. What makes it unique is, that he omitted the white basement, and used the network of the wood emphatically. Mednyánszky occurs to us when seeing this artistic solution that he often applied. László Mednyánszky was his master. Apparently, his influence was strong enough for decades to turn up over and over again. As Jeno Nyilas-Kolb put it: "His words were seeds which sometimes bloomed unexpectedly after decades. The Tolstoyan-Buddhist artist had a great influence on Farkas' spirit prone to mysticism. He taught him to believe in the deep relationship between Cosmos and Painting." The same relationship between the two painters is emphasized by the person of the painting's past owner. Ferenc Glücks was an outstanding art collector of the twentieth century. He founded his collection between 1945 and 1948, based on mostly the former Wolfner collection (Wolfner was Farkas' original name), purchased from the artist's children. He collected works by Mednyánszky, István Nagy, Egry, and István Farkas. Nyilas-Kolb's words are most characteristic to Farkas' art, but are true to all the four painters in the collection: "His art, the optical and spiritual performance of his pictures are not among the phenomena that are popular among great masses of people. He does not help making friend with his pictures, moreover, it seems as if he tries to make it difficult. This art is so sophisticated, so symbolic, such a mixture of raw instincts and extreme spiritualism, that it demands a serious attention from the viewer. Who wants to enjoy it, has to conquer it, and then get back to it over and over again. This painting almost indulges in the joy of making obstacles to the approach with a surprisingly odd colour."