Lajos Kassák

Born 1887, Nové Zámky (present-day Slovakia)

Died 1967

 

1904   His family moves to Budapest, where he starts an apprenticeship as a blacksmith.

1908   Begins publishing stories and poems.

1909-1910   Travels across Western Europe, spending time in Paris becoming acquainted with modern art.

November 1915   Edits an anti-militarist periodical A Tett (‘The deed’), which focuses on Socialist theories and avant-garde ideas.

Summer 1916   Spends time in the Kecskemét artists’ colony and executes his first ink drawings. 

September 1916   Starts a new periodical MA following the banishment of A Tett.  In MA he promotes Hungarian Activists and contemporary trends. 

1920   Moves to Vienna following the Hungarian Soviet Republic’s ban of MA and increasing tyranny.

1921   Publishes Bildarchitektur, a pamphlet in which he describes his concept of “building a flat surface” and his strive to link international modern art trends.

1923-1937   His autobiography, Egy ember élete (A Man’s Life) was published in sections in Nyugat, a Hungarian literary journal. 

1926   Returns to Hungary and continues editing and publishing leftist avant-garde journals (i.e. Munka and Dokumentum).

1945-47     Edits the journal Kortárs (Contemporary). 

1947   Returns to political duties and is appointed the head of the Social Democratic Party’s Art Commission.

1953   Is expelled from the Party because of his criticism of the Party’s cultural politics.  As a result, he could not publish any writings for years.

1956   Is elected as chair in the Writer’s Association and is allowed to write again. 

1957   Becomes muted by cultural censorship and is banned from traveling, exhibiting, and publishing until his death.  Despite being silenced, Kassák will continue to influence a large number of artists.