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Bortnyik, Sándor




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Sándor Bortnyik was born in 1893 in Marosvásárhely (Romania). An early age he began to deal with advertising graphics, in 1910 he prepared his first poster for the Reményi-bazaar, this success has made it possible to move to Budapest, for the invitation of the Savoly perfume manufacturer. In 1913 he enrolled the free school led by Rippl–Rónai–Kernstok–Vaszary. In the free school he met with János Mattis Teutsch, who presented him to Lajos Kassák in 1916, and there he met with Gyula Derkovits as well in 1918. From this year he became a member of the Kassák Society and took part on the collective exhibitions of „Ma”. Later, the magazine regularly published his graphics, and even after 1920 he remained the employee of the “Ma” magazine, when he emigrated to Vienna, where he planned Book covers. In 1921 he released his first album with abstract pattern prints. After his return between 1925 and 1926 he was a founding member of the Green Donkey absurd theater. In 1927 he was the editor and graphic designer of the New Earth magazine. Between 1928 and 1938 he opened a private graphic school as "Workshop", where he taught the principles of the Bauhaus. In 1933 he published an own magazine with the title "Poster". He produced a number of covers for the Dante book publisher.

He successfully combined the assets of futurism with the expressionism and cubism specific signs. He used cubistic elements on his linoleum and woodcuts. This time his works mainly were based on black-and-white spot contrasts. For the Árpád Szélpál, Sandor Barta and Erzsi Újvári’s poems created illustrations have grotesque shapes and fill with powerful emotional makes it related with the works of the German expressionist. On his engraving portrait from Lenin, Liebknecht and Kassák he combined the activist human ideal with the individualized portraits. The strength of the composition of his paintings is strongly emphasized by his individual color dynamics, (Yellow-green landscape, Constructive composition with three shapes, Composition with six figures). Between 1918-1919 the works were mainly based on geometric shapes. On his autonomous works he covered his doubts in sarcasm, original and fertile; he benefited as a successful advertising graphic designer the functional graphic design methods. In the 1930 he painted in lighter, decorative style, the civil life depicting genre painted was typical of his arts.

Later he also painted naturalistic themes, urban and rural people life presented paintings. After 1945 he continued this way. Rest of his life he was committed to the art of communist politics.

Year Biography
1913-1915 free school led by Kernstok-Vaszary-Rippl-Rónai
from 1918 member of the Kassák-Society
1921 he published his first album with abstract pattern prints
1925–1926 he was a founding member of the Green Donkey absurd theater
1927 editor and graphic designer of the New Earth magazine
1930 founding member of the Hungarian Artists of Books- and Advertising Society
1932 became a committee member of the Hungarian Workshop Association
 1928–1938 he opened a private graphic school as "Workshop"
1933 he released an own magazine with  the title "Poster" 
1946 member of the Arts Council
1947–1949 editor in chief of the Free Art magazine
1948–1949    teacher of the Hungarian College of Applied Arts
1949–1956 director of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts
1973 Kossuth-award
1970 outstanding artist
1964,1968 Work Merit Gold degree
1956 merited artist
1955 Munkácsy-award
1953 Work of the Order
1950 Hungarian Republic merit gold degree
1933 Milan Applied Art Triennial silver coin
  Single exhibitions
1993 A graphic designer and book artist, Petőfi Literature Museum, Budapest
1978 Memorial Exhibition, Uitz Hall, Dunaújváros
1977 Literature, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1969 Repertory exhibition, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1930 Tamás Gallery, Budapest
1925 Mentor bookstore, Budapest
1924 September to October, Vychodoslovensky Museum, Kassa
1923 March, J. P. Neumann Graphisches Kabinett (During Karl Nierendorf Directors), Berlin
1922 March, J. P. Neumann Graphisches Kabinett (During Karl Nierendorf Directors), Berlin
1919 Today's premises, Budapest
1916 National Salon
  Group exhibitions
1981 Eight and activists, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
1973 Hungarian activism, Janus Pannonius Museum, Pécs
1971 Internationale Plakate 1871–1971, Haus der Kunst, München
  Ungarische avantgarde 1909–1930, Galerie del Levante, München
  Osteuropäische Avantgarde, Galerie Gmurzynska-Bargera, Köln
1967 Avantgarde in Osteuropa 1910–1930, Berlin
1961 Herwarth Walden und die osteuropäische Avantgarde 1912–1932 Berlin
1954-1955 Upgraded classics, Budapest-Moscow
1945 First Free National Exhibition, Art Gallery, Budapest
1937 Hungarian National Print Exhibition, Art Gallery, Budapest
1933 Kálmán Györgyi memorila exhibition, Applied Art Museum, Budapest
  Applied Art Triennial in Milan, Milan
1931 Bortnyik-students exhibitions, National Technical Educational Society, Budapest
1931, 1933 Exhibition of Artists' Groups, Art Gallery, Budapest
1930 Hungarian Artists of Books- and Advertising Society introductory exhibition, Arts and Crafts Museum, Budapest 
  International Poster Exhibition, Bolzano
1929, 1930 New Society of Artists, Budapest
1927 Stadtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim
1923 Eeckeren-Antwerpen
1923 Der Sturm Galerie, Berlin
1922 Der Sturm Galerie, Berlin
1919 Graphic exhibition of "Ma" Society , Budapest
1918 "Ma" III. demonstrative exhibition
1916 National Salon, Budapest
  Works in pubic collections
  Capital Gallery, Budapest
  Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest
  National Széchenyi Library, Budapest
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