Budapest Art Gallery Guide

Budapest is full of life in the summer, with exciting exhibitions and new art spaces awaiting the visitors hungry for some culture-filled moments.

Social Realism Visual Arts during the Rákosi-Kádár Era

At Gaál Imre Gallery, a free-to-visit exhibition boasts rare social realism paintings that were collected and selected by Hungarian art vendor Géza Barabás during a year of research. The long-forgotten treasures of the 20th century’s social realism art movement were found at various art collectors, flea markets, as well as the warehouses of the Hungarian National Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. The paintings tell the visitors stories about the everyday life between 1945 and 1990, the common people of the era, and their set of emotions.

Until 6 August 2022 | Gaál Imre Gallery

Ördögh László
Photo credit:, Ördögh László

Ballenesque – The World According to Roger Ballen

One of the most significant representatives of contemporary photography, Johannesburg-based American photographer Roger Ballen became known for his eerie, sometimes even radical photos. His most common themes include chaos, madness, the relation between mankind and the animal kingdom, as well as the inevitability of death. He describes his art as existential psychodrama, focusing on people on the periphery of society and their scheme of emotions. Ballen’s works are now on display at Mai Manó House, in Budapest.

Until 21 August 2022 | Mai Manó House

Roger Ballen
Photo credit: Roger Ballen Photography

Budapest Unbuilt

In the future home of the Hungarian Museum of Transport, the Northern Maintenance Depot (Északi járműjavító), a new permanent exhibition completes the popular display named Once There Was the Északi… The Story Continues, unveiling an alternative Budapest with the help of old blueprints and maps about unbuilt metro lines, motorways, funiculars, and boulevards. It is the first time the public will see these forgotten drafts that could have defined the look of the city we live in today if they had been built. All the exhibitions in the Depot can be visited with just one ticket.

Until 30 September 2022 | Northern Maintenance Depot

Meg nem épült Budapest NYD_4202

William Kentridge: More Sweetly Play the Dance

The latest cultural institution in City Park, NEO Contemporary Art Space has opened with William Kentridge’s 2015 video installation titled More Sweetly Play the Dance. Located in The House of the Hungarian Millennium, the new exhibition space aims to introduce the Hungarian audience the most outstanding contemporary artists in the world. First up is the South African William Kentridge and an essential piece of his oeuvre that portrays the different layers and figures of society as part of a panoramic circular cinema.

Until 2 October 2022 | NEO Contemporary Art Space

Photo credit: Liget Budapest

Balaton RETROspective

During the hottest months of the year, Balaton RETROspective, arranged at the outside ramp of Várkert Bazaar, evokes the unforgettable summers spent by Lake Balaton. Through emblematic locations, products, and developments, the free-to-visit outdoor exhibition recalls the golden age of the Hungarian sea, aka the 1960-1990 period that is commonly described as retro today. Bringing the idyll of waterside summer to Budapest, Balaton RETROspective is complete with free, thematic outdoor movie screenings with a repertoire boasting Hungarian films shot by the lake.

Until the end of August, 2022 | Várkert Bazaar, Southern Panorama Terrace

Photo credit: Várkert Bazár Facebook