József Bartl


A determining element of my artwork is the color white and the square shape. I fill the surface of the canvas with white squares and paint triangles, dots, arrows, finials, puppets, crosses, and lines upon them. My motifs are detailed but abstract, decorative but meaningful at the same time - an ensemble of forms with layered meaning that appear both playful and disciplined. I accentuate and differentiate my figures that originate from folk art by adding geometric details to them, which is how they become a complex symbology.


1932, 25th of September The artist was born in Soroksár. Growing up, the local Kraut culture was a defining element of his childhood.

1948–1949 Began his studies at the Szépműves Líceum as a textile design student.

1950–1952 Studied painting at the Művészeti Gimnázium.

1952–1959 Studied fine arts at the Képzőművészeti Főiskola. His masters were: Gyula Pap, Béla Bán, Géza Fónyi, and Aurél Bernáth.

1959 Became a member of Fiatal Művészek Stúdiója.

1963 Organized his first exhibition at the Mednyánszky exhibition room.

1964–1967 Received the Derkovits-scholarship.

1964 Went on a trip to Baranya to collect folk art. Inspired by folk motifs and ornaments, he depicted objects, like painted chests and carved statues in his still-lifes and interior paintings.

1965 Was invited to join the executive board of the Fiatal Művészek Stúdiója and also became a member of the Képzőművészek Szövetsége.

1966 Took part in the organization of an exhibition titled Stúdió ’66.

1972 Was invited to become a member of the Szentendrei Régi Művésztelep. He was given a studio at the newly renovated Régi Művésztelep along with Béla Kondor and Károly Klimó.

1980 Opened his first solo exhibition, consisting of 120 works at Műcsarnok.

         Designed a 17 m² wall tapestry for the Mátészalkai Pártbizottság.

1981 Exhibited his wooden sculptures, glass mosaics, screen prints, and wall tapestry at the Hungarian National Gallery's exhibition titled the Studio Exhibition Series.

1984 Exhibited at the Szentendrei Műhely Gallery, where textures created by a palette knife started to emerge in his art. In his opening speech, Lajos Németh pinpointed Dezső Korniss as an inspiring factor for Bartl.

1985 Designed a 16 m² wall tapestry for the XXth District Council.

1992 Opened an exhibition at the Szentendrei Képtár.

1993–1994 Exhibited in Stuttgart, Nürtingen, Düsseldorf and Berlin.

1994 Received the Hungarian Republic's Golden Cross of Merit.

1995 Was awarded the Munkácsy Mihály-award for his oeuvre.

1996 Published the Soroksár Picture book, in which he eternalized the disappearing motifs of the town.

1997 Received the Hungarian Republic's Golden Cross of Merit for the second time.

2000 Became an honorary citizen of Soroksár.

2000-2005 Took part in solo and group exhibitions in Bad Cannstatt, Ulm, Tübingen, Stuttgart, and Berlin.

2005 Received the Baden-Württemberg Art Award's main prize.

2007 Exhibited in Brussels, Berlin, and Stuttgart.

2009 Was awarded the Hungarian Republic's Order of the Knight's Cross. He received a Life Achievement Award during the Hungarian National Day of Art.

2012-2013 Several exhibitions honored his eightieth birthday: Galéria 13, MűvészetMalom, Lenau Ház, Barabás Villa.

2013, 17th of July Passed away in Budapest.

The biography was arranged by: 

Katalin Kopin, art historian