MA

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MA group in Vienna, c. 1922.
MA journal, cover, 1924. Design by Lajos Kassák.

MA was a Hungarian group of artists and writers and an avant-garde magazine, both active between c1916 and 1926. MA refers to the movement 'Magyar Aktivizmus' [Hungarian Activism], and was also derived from the Hungarian for 'today'.

Founded by the writer and artist Lajos Kassák, the magazine MA: Internacionális aktivista müvészeti folyóirat first appeared in November 1916, and until it was banned on 14 July 1919 it was published in Budapest, at first edited solely by Kassák and from 1917 onwards together with Béla Uitz. From 1 May 1920 until its demise in mid-1926 MA was published in Vienna under Kassák's sole editorship. It was the most important forum for Hungarian Activism, and over the years its members included Sándor Bortnyik, Péter Dobrovic (1890–1942), Lajos Gulácsy, János Kmetty, János Máttis Teutsch, László Moholy-Nagy, Jószef Nemes Lampérth, Béla Uitz among others.

The first issue had a Cubist cover by the Czech artist Vincenc Benes and an article by Kassák entitled "A plakát es az uj festészet" [The poster and the new painting] (MA, 1:1, pp 2-4), which set the revolutionary tone of the group. The article suggested that painting should aspire to the same aggressive power as that achieved by posters: "The new painter is a moral individual, full of faith and a desire for unity! And his pictures are weapons of war!". Many members of the MA group did in fact produce posters during the short Communist regime under Béla Kun in 1919; Uitz, for example, designed Red Soldiers, Forward! (1919).

Issues[edit]

MA (15 Jan 1925). PDF.
MA (15 Jun 1925). PDF.

The above PDFs are sourced from Bibliothèque Kandinsky.

Literature[edit]

  • Oliver A.I. Botar, "From the Avant-Garde to 'Proletarian Art'. The Émigré Hungarian Journals Egység and Akasztott Ember, 1922-23", Art Journal 52(1): "Political Journals and Art, 1910-40", College Art Association, Spring 1993, pp 34-45; exp.version as "From Avant-Garde to 'Proletkult' in Hungarian Émigré Politico-Cultural Journals, 1922-1924", in Art and Journals on the Political Front 1910-1940, ed. Virginia Hagelstein Marquardt, University Press of Florida, 1997, pp 100-141. (English)
  • Edit Toth, From Activism to Kinetism: Modernist Spaces in Hungarian Art. Budapest-Vienna-Berlin, 1918-1930, Pennsylvania State University, 2009, 335 pp. Dissertation. (English)
  • Éva Forgács, Tyrus Miller, "The Avant-Garde in Budapest and in Exile in Vienna: A Tett (1915-6), Ma (Budapest 1916-9; Vienna 1920-6), Egység (1922-4), Akasztott Ember (1922), 2x2 (1922), Ék (1923-4), Is (1924), 365 (1925), Dokumentum (1926-7), and Munka (1928-39)", in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines, Vol. 3: Europe, 1880-1940, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp 1128-1156. [1] (English)

See also[edit]

Links[edit]


Avant-garde and modernist magazines

Poesia (1905-09, 1920), Der Sturm (1910-32), Blast (1914-15), The Egoist (1914-19), The Little Review (1914-29), 291 (1915-16), MA (1916-25), De Stijl (1917-20, 1921-32), Dada (1917-21), Noi (1917-25), 391 (1917-24), Zenit (1921-26), Broom (1921-24), Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet (1922), Die Form (1922, 1925-35), Contimporanul (1922-32), Secession (1922-24), Klaxon (1922-23), Merz (1923-32), LEF (1923-25), G (1923-26), Irradiador (1923), Sovremennaya architektura (1926-30), Novyi LEF (1927-29), ReD (1927-31), Close Up (1927-33), transition (1927-38).