The Kepes Institute Modern and Contemporary Art Centre—located in the pedastrian street of the historic centre of the city of Eger, in the proximity of all local sights, and having the largest art exhibition space of North Hungary (2,700 m2)—is built around the legacy of George Kepes (1906–2001), renowned artist and theorist. The mission of the Kepes Institute is to commemorate with their exhibitions and cultural programs, the outstanding artist and thinker, introduce his work as photographer, painter and light artist, as well as his attitude shaping and innovative thinking, furthermore to point at the up-to-date and exemplary patterns of Kepes’ oeuvre and world view, and deploy contemporary art related to and reflecting on Kepes’ works.
In the building of the Kepes Institute you can visit the permanent exhibition entitled New Image of the World, which provides and overall selection of George Kepes’ photo archive. After Kepes’ epoch-making book published sixty years ago, the exhibition raises basic questions of the encounters of art, science and technology, confronting the period documents with our current thinking. The exhibition includes pieces from George Kepes’ private collection.
A further permanent exhibition entitled Light as Creative Medium showcases the oeuvre of Attila Csáji, Munkácsy Prize holder painter, graphic artist, light artist and holography artist. Csáji’s oeuvre, who is a founder, member, and from 2011 to 2016 Vice President of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, is based on Kepes’ theoretical principles. He began creating images with the use of light from the second half of the 1960s. Using the coherence of laser light he invented his pre-holographic or super-positional method, which proved to be unique internationally. Attila Csáji’s exhibition explores the internal correlations and perspectives of his multithread oeuvre between the form creating will and the scientific activity.
Our exhibition rooms can welcome large audiences. Using this feature, Kepes Institute organises and welcomes programs related to and beyond their exhibitions, as well as ones intermediating cultural experiences. We give room to different art educational programs popularising Kepes’ art philosophy. There are frequent programs in the fields of music, performance arts and literature. Kepes Institute has an intense relationship with the Visual Art Institute of the Eszterházy Károly University and the Kepes College for Advanced Studies.
The aim of the Kepes Institute is to introduce the effect of George Kepes’ art on the art of the 20th-century by means of visually appealing, innovative works of art and exhibitions. They also strive to give room to the introduction of other fields of art. George Kepes returned to Hungary several times. It was important for him to see a significant part of his oeuvre to where he started from: Heves County. Accordingly, the Kepes Institute is proud to wear the artist’s name and safeguard his legacy. 5 Since 2012 the Kepes Institute has had a ministerial permission granting an independent museum exhibition space status.