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essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
MA
country
Hungary
period
1915-1946

The Hungarian avant – garde journal MA (Today), was founded and edited by Lajos Kassak (Ersekujvar, 1887 – Budapest 1967). He was a metal worker, self-thought painter and poet whose fertile and innovative visual, literary, editorial design, theoretical and critical work, together with his avant-garde attitude, managed to create the most coheren opus in the Hungarian art of the 20th century as well as the international inluence and acclaim. He is called th father of many modernisms. In 1915 Kassak launched the revolutionary journal A Tett (Action) gathering the young anti-war intelligentsia. It was soon banned. hen he launched the MA journal based on the avant-garde activism inspired by Dada. Herewith he published contributions from artists like Georg Grosz, Kurt Schwitters and Hans Rich ter. He printed the Construcivist manifestoes Keparchitecura (he Architecture of Image, 1922), Vissza akaptafaho (Return to Foundations, 1923) and A konstruktivizmusrol (About Constructivism, 1923). During the Hungarian Sovie Republic (3/21/1919 – 8/6/1919) he was member of the Writing Bureau but soon quit because of the ideological conlic with its leader Bela Kun. However, he still considered himself a socialist. After the revolution had failed, the edito rial stuf moved to 1920 to Vienna where it continued with publication. Inspired by Laszlo Moholy – Nagy, Kassak turned to the esthetics of Constructivism. On the pages of the MA in 1921 he published the theoretical guidelines fo Hungarian Constructivism. Along Brancusi, Arp and Schwitters, in November 1924, his work is displayed at the “Firs International Exhibit of Contemporary Art” in Bucharest. He returned to Budapest in 1926. He began publishing th leftist journals Documentum (Document, 1926-1927), and Munka (Work, 1928-1939). he rise of Nazism in German and the creation of the puppet regime in Hungary frightened him. He published his autobiography Egy ember elet (A Man’s Life) in 1937. he chapter dealing with his involvement in the Hungarian Soviet Republic provided ground for prosecution. However, he kept publishing in leftist journals; after the war, from 1945 until the ban in 1947, h was managing editor of the journal Kortars (Modernity). In 1947 he became the president of the Art Committee of th Social-Democratic Party; in 1948 the MP, but was soon relieved of duty. Criticizing the cultural politics in 1953 got him thrown out of the Party. he authorities banned him from publishing until 1956 when he became the president of the then inluential Writer's Association. After the failure of the Hungarian Uprising in 1957, the Party placed the ban on travel, exhibitions and publishing. Despite that his local and international inluence steadily grew. His work wa included in the great retrospective of Dada –in Zurich Kunsthalle, and Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, both held in 1966 he editorial politics of Lajos Kassak and journal MA have greatly re-directed Zenit toward its constructivist esthetic the collaboration between the two journals was long and amicable, many collaborators had worked for both publica tions. he legacy of Kassak’ activism, at the beginning of the 70’s, had strongly inluenced the artists from Vojvodin gathered around the group Kod, the journal Ut, and the cultural center Tribina mladih (Youth Tribune) in Novi Sad he Kassak Museum in Budapest, located in the building in which he lived, is taking care of his legacy today.