House wall with two windows (1935)

Lajos Vajda (1908 - 1941)



31,5 x 43,5 cm


Pencil on paper.


12,000 USD


not signed


Oeuvre number: 1935/22.


Reproduced: Stefánia Mándy: Lajos Vajda. Corvina Publishing House, Budapest, 1983


The most important keywords of Lajos Vajda's art, which was narrowed down due to his early death, were Slavic and Hungarian folk art and icon painting, surrealism and constructivism, montage or the Soviet avant-garde film, the Bartók method (tradition and progression), and finally Paris and Szentendre.


Lajos Vajda was born in 1908 in Zalaegerszeg. The Vajda family moved to Serbia during the First World War and settled in Szentendre in 1923. Vajda started drawing regularly from the age of 4-5, and his first major work was created at the age of 17, in which he depicts himself self-consciously wearing a cap on his head. Szentendre has a fascinating history, with the Illyrians, Celts, Romans and then the conquering Hungarians. There were already Serbs living here in the Middle Ages, but it was only at the end of the 17th century that a large group of them really settled here, when they fled from the Balkans to our homeland to escape the Turks. During the 18th century, the seven Greek Orthodox churches were built, which still give the town its special atmosphere.


Vajda's teenage years were filled with hard work and self-education. It was around this time that he was hospitalised with tuberculosis of the bone and underwent a series of operations that left a permanent mark on his health. In 1928 he entered the college, where he became a student of István Csók. Together with some of his colleagues, they formed the group of progressive young artists (Béla Hegedűs, György Kepes, Dezső Korniss, Ernő Schubert, Béla Veszelszky). They are left-wing in their outlook and constructivist in their artistic guidelines, and are associated with the Kassák circle. However, the group was expelled from the college and most of them continued abroad.


From 1930 Vajda lived in Paris for three and a half years, where he became acquainted with the latest modern trends. He was particularly interested in surrealism and French and Soviet avant-garde film. Yet he considered the movements represented by Kandinsky and Malevich to be the most progressive. Vajda did not draw or paint during his years in Paris, but made photomontages. It was in these that he developed his unique surrealist creative technique, drawing on the lessons of photography and film, particularly the montage technique. 


The artistic product of the first period in Szentendre (1935-1936) is the House wall with two windows from 1935. A common feature of the line drawings of this period is that they depict motifs that have been cut out. They are detached, i.e. they stand in themselves, stripped of reality, stripped of their mass, transparent, where this kind of dematerialisation is intensified by the empty background and the floating in it. These graphics show the process of looking (perceiving) and seeing (thinking). In these drawings Vajda turns from the head and human figures to the houses and the city. His collections of motives mainly record houses, window designs, decorative figures and ornamentation. These architectural and plastic forms, like the willow motif, appear in many variations and contexts in his later drawings. In the pencil drawing of the House wall with two windows, he depicts the two walls of the house extended. 'The plane in which his houses are spread out conveys the serenity of knowledge and the saturation of emotion. We perceive space more sensitively in it than if he had used the usual perspectivist mode of representation, the means of foreshortening and light and shadow, to express his message,' writes Stefánia Mándy Vajda in her monograph.

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(1905 - 1926)

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