The first decades of the 20th century were an amazing time of artistic blossoming in Europe. Artists from all over the continent flocked to epicenters such as Paris and Berlin, and later to New York to participate in an unprecedented art scene driven forward by new ideas about abstraction, a dynamic gallery system, and widespread popular interest. Not surprisingly, the best artists from Budapest were part of the action and found themselves sometimes playing leading roles in the world of Modern art—both at home and abroad.
Art for the Cure is the first time the art of Hungary’s avant-garde
artists have been the focus of a special exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum. The
exhibition spans several key decades and presents the work of more than fifteen
artist including László Moholy-Nagy, Róbert Berény,
Josef Lempertz, and André Kertész.
These exceptional paintings and small masterpieces come from the private art collection of Nancy G. Brinker – founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and former Ambassador to Hungary. One of her goal has been to unite people with a passion for art with those who want to make a global difference in the fight against breast cancer.
Hungary has the fourth highest death rate among women with breast cancer in the world. While serving as Ambassador to Hungary from 2001-2003, Ambassador Brinker was able to increase breast cancer screening rates in that country by 40 percent. Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, during her stay in Hungary, Ambassador Brinker also discovered a passion for the country’s art. She found much comfort in it and sought a deeper understanding of the complex history of the beleaguered Eastern European nation.
“It began as an effort to honor Hungarian artists as seen through the eyes of an American,” said Ambassador Brinker. “These pieces capture a unique time and place in history. I am proud to bring Hungarian art to the American public and raise awareness about the artists just as we continue to raise money and awareness to find the cures for breast cancer.”
Hungarian artists have remained relatively obscure in the United States. But they deserve a wider audience according to Ambassador Brinker, not just for their artistic merit, but also for the light they shed on Hungarian history – a history that has proved so pivotal to the fate of Europe in modern times.
In celebration of Art for the Cure, the Phoenix Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure will host a special, invitation-only event at the Museum Saturday, Sept. 13, featuring remarks from Nancy G. Brinker.
In addition, during the month of October, Phoenix Art Museum will donate 10 percent of its net profits from general admission tickets to the Komen Phoenix Affiliate.
Launched in late 2006 with events at Susan G. Komen for the Cure Affiliate
cities across the United States, Art for the Cure does more than present great
works of art to a world audience. It also increases breast health awareness and
helps raise vital funds to support national and international breast cancer
outreach and education efforts. The Phoenix event is unique in that it coincides
with the 2008 Susan G. Komen Phoenix Race
for the Cure, which is expected to draw nearly 39,000 participants to the
State Capitol District on Sunday, Oct. 12.
Major support for this exhibition is provided by John C. Lincoln Health Network. Promotional support is provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Yelp.com and Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix Public Libraries.
Left: Street on The Gellert Hill, Jozsef Nemes-Lamperth, 1916. Oil on canvas. Nancy G. Brinker Collection. Center: Self-Portrait, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, 1919. Watercolor. Nancy G. Brinker Collection. Right: New York, Vilmos Aba Novak, 1935. Watercolor on paper. Nancy G. Brinker Collection.