Budapest Gallery is the non-profit gallery of the Municipality of Budapest. Administratively it is one of the main subdivisions of the Budapest History Museum. Within the Budapest Gallery there are two sub-departments: the Exhibition Department and the Department of Public Art. The Gallery oversees two exhibition spaces: the New Budapest Gallery (1093 Budapest, Fővám tér 11–12.) and the Budapest Gallery (1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158).
In November 2013 the institute was relocated from the Budapest Exhibition Hall and the central offices were moved to the Budapest Gallery, which is located in Lajos Street in Óbuda. The Department of Public Art, which is responsible for issues pertaining to fine and applied works of public art (sculptures, murals, commemorative plaques), was also relocated to Lajos Street. In the case of a new work or a proposal, colleagues of the Department provide assessments and recommendations. The Department is also responsible for the implementation of plans that have been approved by the General Assembly of the Municipality of Budapest, as well as the preservation, reconstruction, restoration, and in some cases disassembly of works of public art and the registration and documentation of these works. With its exhibitions, the Budapest Gallery seeks to present contemporary Hungarian and foreign art to the wider public and familiarize international audiences, particularly audiences in other countries of Europe, with contemporary Hungarian art. We interpret visual art in the broadest possible sense, so our exhibitions include works of an architectural nature, photography, and works of the applied arts and design.
Our programme consists primarily of concept-based exhibitions proposed by the Gallery’s art historian colleagues, exhibitions that address various questions relevant to the visual arts. In addition, we also consider it important to create opportunities from time to time to house solo exhibitions for artists who turn to our institution for support, to enable guest curators to present their ideas for group exhibitions and allow participants in the exchange programme to showcase their work. Furthermore, we support young artists by affording them opportunities to hold their first solo exhibitions or organize exhibitions of their works that exceed in their size anything held previously.
Our artist exchange programme, which is organized with the cooperation of numerous European cities, not only enables artists from Budapest to present their works abroad, but also serves as a foundation on which they can strengthen their international ties. The Budapest Gallery in Lajos Street and the New Budapest Gallery, located on the 1st floor of the Bálna Warehouse, aim to become important and pivotal locales in the capital’s art scene. The new exhibition space, which provides 760 square metres of usable exhibition space, will become a location for showcases of works by artists from Budapest and presentations and exhibitions that display their international ties. It will also provide a space for large-scale group exhibitions that illustrate Budapest’s links to partner cities. Lighting, climate control, and other technical furnishings of the gallery are comparable to those of the most up-to-date European museums, and this creates a high degree of security and flexibility for future exhibitions.
The new locale and the new profile facilitate the organization of large-scale international thematic exhibitions that will touch on and reflect the most important developments in contemporary art today. The notion of a distinctive Danubian cultural space, a space of which the local and historical attributes of the city of Budapest are paradigmatic, will be embodied by exhibitions that are the fruits of collaborative projects with international partners of the Danubian Basin. The opening exhibition of the New Budapest Gallery, entitled Budapest Immersion and curated by Andrási Gábor, Fitz Péter and Török Tamás, was opened on 14 November 2013. Some sixty well-known Budapest artists symbolically took possession of the new location with an exhibition that included a diverse array of genres.