Born in Budapest in 1938, Nádor was discreet. She worked as a museum photographer for over 30 years at the Janus Pannonius Museum of Pécs, the town where she passed away in 2018. In the context of this archival work, she took photographs of the multiple works of art of the museum with a great thoroughness. This careful consideration given to details is a characteristic that we can find in her artistic production as well. Her work makes the connection between photography as a means of documentation and photography as an artistic medium in its own right.
Throughout her career, she drew inspiration from various sources. The Janus Pannonius Museum is a cultural institution that is particularly directed towards modernity and there she documented the work of renowned artists such as Ferenc Martyn or Victor Vasarely.
Katalin Nádor’s prints, by breaking away from the figurative dimension of the object photographed, can exist for themselves. They become a form of art properly speaking and they no longer are just a simple means to apprehend reality. It is in this dimension, both concrete, anchored in reality, but also abstract and conceptual, that lies all the ambiguity of these prints that become the support of the dialectic between reality and image.
In the 1970s in Hungary, creating abstract works of art goes against the realistic art advocated by the State. Therefore, abstract art is given, voluntarily or not, a political dimension. For example the Chapel Exhibition of Balantonboglár, in which Katalin Nádor participated alongside with the Pécs Workshop in 1973, has been considered retrospectively as a political action and has consequently been banished by the State. The relationship to abstraction was different on the east side of the iron curtain. This was also the case for objects of everyday life that were given a new strength far from the nationalist Magyar aesthetic that tended to document the happiness of living in the countryside.
Aside from her abstract series, Katalin Nádor produced a significant number of other prints which explore the different genres and techniques made available by photography. She nevertheless refused the status of photographer until the end of her life and referred to herself as "someone who works with light". In that respect, she reminds us of one of the masters of 20th century art, László Moholy-Nagy.
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