Judit Reigl

1923 (Kapuvar - Hongrie)

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Judith Reigl en train de marcher


Judit Reigl is a Hungarian artist pioneer of Abstraction.

During the Second World War, she was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest – more precisely from 1941 to 1946. Provided with a scholarship, she left the city in December 1946 to settle in Rome until ‘in 1948, when she returned to Budapest.
It was only after eight attempts that she succeeded in leaving Hungary, on March 10, 1950. She was arrested in Austria, in the area occupied by the English, and imprisoned in a camp from which she managed to flee afterwards. only two weeks of detention.
Then she began a long journey, mostly on foot, to Paris, where she arrived on June 25, 1950. Welcomed by her compatriot Simon Hantaï, she was introduced to André Breton.
It was therefore thanks to Hantaï she linked up with the Surrealist group in 1950. Breton’s Etoile Scellée offered her first exhibition in 1954. He himself wrote the preface to Judit Reigl‘s catalog. He took it up again in 1965 for his book Le Surréalisme et la Peinture. In 1956, she was one of the artists, along with Jean Degottex, Hantaï and Viseux, who participated in the Tensions exhibition at the René Drouin gallery. Between 1958 and 1965, Judit Reigl created the Guano series. These are failed canvases placed on the ground and on which the painter “worked, walked, poured pictorial material which flowed, soaked, was crushed under [my] feet”, thus bringing in “objective chance”. Dear to Surrealism. In 1966, she developed a series of human torsos, proof that with Reigl abstraction was not everything. From 1973, in the series Déroulements, Reigl caused stains aligned on unstretched canvases of different background colors. The process, as in the Entry-Exit series (1986-1988) which follows, is original and new: it causes a diffusion of colors by capillary action of the linen fibers of the canvas, which produces a moiré effect by transparency. Reigl is known for her works on canvas, she has also devoted a large part of her career to drawing. More exactly, the series of drawings punctuate his creative journey. For her first series entitled Présence, she only works in small format due to tendonitis. These are India inks on paper. She draws inspiration from the great composers of classical music to create her own black and white scores. Judit Reigl’s freedom depends more and more on the breadth of her movement. Quickly, she deploys larger-format canvases on the floor, and works in a spontaneity of gesture that resembles a dance, or a fight. Its bursts are strongly felt by these jerky and powerful movements. The artist engages his whole body in it.In 1983, she participated in the traveling exhibition “Twenty Years of Art in France” which, in addition to France, toured Germany and Italy.

In 2004, the Musée de Soissons in the Aisne devoted a retrospective to him and, in 2010, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes.

In September 2018, she exhibited at the Art Absolument space.

From June 27, 2019 to January 5, 2020, Judit Reigl appears in the exhibition “Real life is elsewhere – Women artists around Marta Pan: Simone Boisecq, Charlotte Calmis, Juana Muller, Vera Pagava, Judit Reigl” at the Musée des Beaux Arts of Brest.


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