Magic of Vision

Female Artists from the Collection of the Central Bank of Hungary

MNB Arts and Culture, the division of the Central Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank, MNB) managing its contemporary art collection, is opening the exhibition entitled Magic of Vision, featuring the works of female artists of the collection.

We are proud that almost a third of the artists in the collection are women. This is a high proportion compared to statistics from Western institutions and the global art world, citing for example the 2019 survey of North American museums over ten years, a collaboration between In Other Words and artnet News, which found that only 14% of exhibitions included women. (The term ‘female artist’ is therefore not the same as the term ‘woman artist’: the former means that the creator of the work is a woman, while the latter refers to an artist who deals with women’s issues and is inspired by the experience of being a woman.)

The Central Bank of Hungary’s art collection, providing the material for the exhibition, is a contemporary collection of around 1,400 pieces, mostly paintings, but also photography, textiles, installations and other mixed media works. Its mainstay is the work of the so-called neo-avant-garde generation of artists who emerged with experimental aspirations in the 1960s and 1970s and have since become renowned. The other strong pillar of the collection is the work of the youngest generation. Magic of Vision aims to show this duality and a kind of continuity through the work of female artists. The selection builds on specific connections: sometimes it is a teacher-student relationship, sometimes a young artist refers to an older master, or the bond is looser, as it is with collage as a working method.

The exhibition is a version of the show Liquid Slices of Time held in the Dubniczay Palace in Veszprém, as part of the official program of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 – European Capital of Culture.

Kinga Hamvai, Art historian, Head of MNB Arts and Culture

Photographer: Lilla Kőnig