Vilmos ABA-NOVÁK (Hungarian, March 15, 1894 – September 29, 1941)

Self-Portrait with Pipe, 1926 
Oil on canvas, 91 x 55,5 cm
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

Having finished the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts, Vilmos ABA-NOVÁK apprenticed with Adolf FÉNYES in the Szolnok colony for a year in 1913. In the summer of 1921 and 1923 he visited Nagybánya and in 1928-1930 he was on scholarship by the Hungarian Academy of Rome.
His painting of vigorous forms based on a keen observation of reality gained new impetus from Neo-Classicist spirit of Novocento. As the leading figure of the Roman School he switched over to tempera and produced historical and ecclesiastic mural paintings. While his frescos testify to his bent for monumentality and stylisation, his canvases of everyday topics display perceptive characterization, sometimes verging on caricature.
His choice of themes was influenced by his attraction both to rural scenes and to the evolving folklore of modern urban life with its jazz bands, circus scenes and waitresses. He used the powerful contrast of pure colours as well as forms built of massive blocks and steep edges to express his experiences. From 1939 on he taught at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts. In 1940 he won a grand prix at the Venice Biennale. (Source: kieselbach.hu)

Laura No. 1, 1929
Oil tempera on canvas, 94 x 78 cm
Private collection

Red's Band, c. 1930
Tempera on wood, 72 x 58 cm
Private collection

Taverna, 1931
Tempera on cardboard, 50x60 cm