Home Artists Bálint Szombathy


Bálint Szombathy

Vojvodina, Serbia

2 Works exhibited on Kooness

Current location

Budapest, Hungary

Represented by


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Works by Bálint Szombathy

Berlin Citation II


24 x 18cm


Deconstruction of Jugoslavia


70 x 50cm


Bálint Szombathy, a conceptual artist born in Vojvodina in the former Yugoslavia (1950), is one of the key names of the former Yugoslav as well as Hungarian art. His practice included a wide range of artistic activities, from visual poetry, processual art, land art and performance, to conceptual art. Quite early on, he drew attention to his performative projects, such as The Trails (Subotica, 1970), or the photo performance Bauhaus (Novi Sad, 1971), while becoming particularly renowned for addressing the topic of socialist reality in projects such as Lenin in Budapest (1972), when after the end of the May Day celebrations, he provocatively carried Lenin’s portrait along the streets of the Hungarian capital. In 1969, he and Slavko Matković founded the Bosch + Bosch group, which represented a platform of neo-avant-garde artists from Vojvodina, Serbia, and Hungary. The group played a significant role in connecting with related movements and artists across Europe, particularly with its access to relevant information from the Western world.

Szombathy has been dealing with photography in a specific and authentic way since the late 1960s. In the first place, he photographically documented his performances and conceptual projects, such as the Flags project from 1971 or the project 36 Fixatives from 1973. While working as a graphic editor and designer at the daily newspaper Magyar Szó, he became interested in the anomalies that occurred in the telegraphic mode of transferring photographs. In this regard, he began to develop “telephotographs”, black and white photographic works including interventions into the basic photograph, repetitive patterns, and micro structures, which may resemble the techniques of collage or montage and were presented in the exhibition projects Telephotography of the 1980s and Suprematists. Most of the projects and works that have been created as a result of Szombathy’s interest in the photographic medium in the 1970s were presented in the Photoworks 1971−1981 exhibition at the Vintage Gallery in Budapest in 2010.

Recent Exhibitions (Selected):

2018: REZ / CUT, MSU – Museum of contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia
2018: Signs of the City, Vladimir Bužančić Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia
2018: Left Performance Histories, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst(NGBK), Berlin, Germany 
2017: Photosuprematists, Balassi Institut, Brussels, Belgium
2017: With the Eyes of Others: Hungarian Artists of the Sixties and Seventies, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, USA
2017: Non-Aligned Modernity, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary
2016: Non-Aligned Modernity, FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milano, Italy
2016: Photosuprematist, Photon Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2016: Poetics and Politics. Artistic Strategies in the Hungarian Neo-Avantgarde, Espaivisor, Valencia, Spain
2016: We Were Heroes, acb Gallery, Budapest, Hungary