(CHICAGO 1968 - VIETNAM 1969-70)

This post is also available in: French

Kolta Galeria Budapest Photography Center in cooperation with the artist’s studio presents an exhibition dedicated to the work of Laszlo Kondor.

The first American acclaim of Hungarian born Laszlo Kondor’s photographs was – 1971 Portrait of America – Life Magazine Award Exhibition, which included, Boys with A Flag, Chicago 1968. Now the Budapest audience will have a chance to see his most iconic works expanded to include a wider perspective on the early years of his career. Leica on the Frontline (Chicago 1968 – Vietnam 1969-70) looks at Kondor’s response to the conflicts he witnessed during the Vietnam era, his photographs conveying the feeling of the time.

The exhibition of black and white images was created in the late 1900s. The point of departure begins with a selection of Kondor’s lesser-known work as a photojournalist with the Whole World is Watching, Chicago 1968. A counter-reaction as an embedded combat photographer in Vietnam includes his famous work – Extraction under Fire, 1970. A significant section of images that reflect the reality, with empathy and sensitivity for the Vietnamese civilians caught up in the war, is illustrated by – Saigon Street Orphan, 1970. The exhibition’s 70 works include 20 artist-printed selections from the permanent collection of the NVAM, National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago.

Megan Owoc, NVAM Collection and Gallery Coordinator: ”Laszlo Kondor’s photographs of the Vietnam War are essential to the National Veterans Art Museum’s permanent collection. Kondor’s photos capture the inexorable horrors and anxieties of wartime, as well as the enduring moments of camaraderie, empathy, and innocence of both the American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians. These important images illustrate, first hand, the moments that defined the experience of serving in Vietnam during the war, and that continue to shape the character of our country in the years since.”

Kondor enjoyed a diverse career in America but rarely exhibited, the day-to-day pressure of creating photographs for the press, in publications, and in print took priority. The photographer was either directly commissioned by one or another magazine or client (including Iconic Chicago Mayor Richard J Daley) to produce their press photos, or his photo-reports from the front lines of the Vietnam War were published in newspapers. However, Kondor had an instinct to horde and carefully maintained an archive from his 35-year career. Today retired and living in Kapolcs, Hungary, Kondor is revisiting his archives to select images that illuminate this life in photography.

These photographs are now reaching a wider audience thanks to the consistent attention of historians, collectors, curators, filmmakers, and prominent museums in the USA and Hungary. They are attracted to the discovery of this 20th century contribution. The history of photography is a work in progress, and these images are finding their place.

The exhibition opens with an artist conversation moderated by the journalist Ditzendy Attila, and a corresponding documentary film, Laszlo KONDOR – Out of a Darkroom by Endre Dozsa.

photographs by Laszlo KONDOR

From 01/02/2020 to 06/03/2020
Semmelweis u. 4

Opening hours : Monday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm
Phone : +36 20 351 5375