János Haas started to collect fine artworks back in 1970. He has always been attracted to the world of painting. Ever since his childhood he attended exhibitions, and later got involved with graphic works as a typographer. Attraction has gradually deepened into passion by his first purchase - a beautiful Czóbel painting,. Recalling his own words, then he became affected by the "collecting virus". His interest has led him towards unique art specialities, hidden values and artists and artworks awaiting invention. Thanks to the collector's 'ars poetica': intuition, evaluating the picture and its painter as well as the public interest in focus ? even well reputed masters are present with artworks from their rarely seen and less well-known periods in the collection.

The most characteristic part of the collection contains expressionist, cubist inspired pieces of art from the time of the second wave of Hungarian avantguard in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Among them are the paintings and graphic works of Géza Bene, István Ilosvai Varga, Jancsek Antal, Béla Kádár, János Kmetty, Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba, Viktor Ráfael, György Ruzicskay, Hugó Scheiber, Armand Schönberger, János Simon György and Dezső Tipary. The collection is invigorated by colourful paintings of artists who studied in Paris like Aurél Emőd, Rezső Bálint and Frigyes Frank. There are nice examples of long but undeservingly unnoticed, extremely talented woman painters as well, illustrating the real honour of their artistry: Mária Barta, Margit Gráber, Gitta Gyenes and Boriska Polgár have enriched features of modern Hungarian painting with lots of colours. Much of the characteristics of the upcoming one and a half decade after 1930 are very well preserved by the French style delicacy of Géza Bene, Margit Gráber, Gábor Peterdi, the ambition for decorativity of Miklós Farkasházy, the achievement of left wing commitment program by the landscape-, still life-, and labour works of István Dési Huber, Béla Bán, Endre Fenyő Andor, György Ruzicskay, Andor Sugár, the affection for the surreal through the water-colors of the Szentendre painter couple, Margit Anna and Imre Ámos. The great solitary painter of the period, István Farkas is present with two emblematic and important works. The most uniform parts of the collection after 1945 are the art pieces of the Európai Iskola (European School) members such as Endre Bálint, Tihamér Gyarmathy, Magda Zemplényi and Jenő Gadányi. Hungarian art from the 1960s, 70s is represented by Pál Bor, Menyhért Tóth, Pál Molnár C., Zoltán Klie, Ferenc Bolmányi, Vladimir Szabó, György Z. Gács, Lajos Ágh Ajkelin, Erzsébet Vaszkó, Lajos Szentiványi, Gusztáv Sikuta, János Repcze and Ferenc Börzsönyi Kollarits among others.

The Haas János Collection was autonomously exhibited in the Concert and Exhibition Hall of Zalaegerszeg, the Town Gallery of Nyíregyháza, the Town Art Museum of Pápa, the Csikász Gallery of Veszprém and the Kassák Museum in Budapest.

(Source: based on exhibition catalogue prefaces written by Katalin Benedek and Ferenc Csaplár.)

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