Sándor Bortnyik (3 July 1893 – 31 December 1976)
At Art Basel 2019, von Bartha gallery will exhibit a seminal Sándor Bortnyik painting from 1924, titled Räumliche Komposition. It is highly likely this will be one of the only paintings at Art Basel which was painted at the Bauhaus by a member of the Hungarian Avant Garde (it was painted in the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat’s Bauhaus studio).
Bortnyik founded the Budapest Bauhaus movement and the Műhely School, where amongst others he taught Victor Vasarely, considered by many the “grandfather” of Op Art.
The work remains in its original frame (with an unfinished painting by the artist on the back of it); Miklos von Bartha, a friend of Forbat, acquired the work from Forbat’s widow in 1971. It has since been in private collections – and shown at public institutions - before returning to the von Barthas.
The art historian Judith Gesko described the work as one of the five most important paintings of the Hungarian avant garde movement.