1956 | Magdolna Ban | 1988
Hungarian Magdolna Ban begins her career painting innocent canvases, but quickly changes her production and her motifs became more surreal. With a bright palette, Ban paints landscapes of worlds long gone or, at least, that survive in the artist’s mind.
In 1956, we see a rural landscape of her native Hungary. In the middle of the green pastures, we see birds that enjoy a lake which reflects the yellow of the sun, which has a special character in the composition.
So far, we could speak of the painting as a quiet and relaxing work, which we could hang in our living room without any problem.
But our acute artistic eye is suspicious. Yes, there is something wrong with the painting, isn’t it? Personally I discovered it with the barb wire crossing the work from right to left, almost blending with the horizon. Looking for more information on the painting, I read that the birds that fly through the sky are not birds, but people… of course, if I now look at the picture, it is clear: they are people. And what does this mean?
The title of the work refers to the Hungarian revolution of 1956, when the people stood up against the government, with pro soviet/communist policies. The conflict lasted for 20 days, until the soviet troops invaded the country to reestablish the order and they crushed the revolution. As a result, 2.500 Hungarians died and 200.000 fled the country as refugees.
Ban’s work now has other sense and what seemed innocent and naive turns into something tragic and nostalgic.