Imre Bak (b. 1939 Budapest, Hungary) was involved in the creation and development of two leading Hungarian neo-avant-garde groups of the second half of the Twentieth century; Iparterv and Budapesti műhely. Part of the group of young ‘self-educated’ Hungarian contemporary artists from the 1960s, Bak departed from the drab browns and greys of Hungarian realism and was strongly inspired by the vivid palette of Impressionism and the forms of Cubism.
In 1962 Bak travelled to Moscow and St Petersburg, where he saw for the first time works by Matisse, Picasso, Léger and Kandinski. Bak became increasingly attracted to geometrical abstract and hard edge painting. Inspired by the German Concretists, the Signal artists, Pop Art and American Minimalism, Bak focused on non-figurative painting, exploring both strong, pure colour and strictly structured, sharp forms and lines in his works. By fusing the universal symbolism of European and Central American cultures with some of the lessons he drew from conceptual art, Imre Bak fashioned a unique form of emblematic representation in his works from the 1970s.
Imre Bak has exhibited widely, in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and the USA since 1966, and his works are in numerous public collections, including Tate Modern, London, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, MUMOK, Vienna, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.
The exhibition catalogue features an interview with Imre Bak conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2018.