Vilmos Aba-Novák (March 15, 1894 – September 29, 1941) was a
Hungarian painter and graphic artist. He was an original
representative of modern art in his country, and specifically of its
modern monumental painting. He was also the celebrated author of
frescoes and church murals at Szeged and Budapest, and was
officially patronized by the Hungarian nobility.
Novák was born in Budapest,
Hungary, where he would also die. His father was Gyula Novák, and
the mother was Rosa Waginger (Hungarian: Waginger Róza from Vienna.
After studying at the Art School
until 1912, he began work under Adolf Fényes. Between 1912 and 1914,
Novák studied at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest. Completing
his service in the Austro-Hungarian Army on the Eastern Front during
World War I, he took up drawing at Viktor Olgyai. Aba Novak was
particularly interested in circuses and the village fair
marketplaces which appeared in his early paintings with the vivid
colours of Expressionism and the Italian novocento.
Between 1921 and 1923, he spent his
summers with the group of artists in Szolnok and Baia Mare (Nagybánya),
Romania , and was first exhibited in 1924. He was sent by the
Hungarian Academy as a Fellow on a scholarship to Rome (1928 and
1930), and became a renowned representative of the so-called "Roman
School" in Hungarian painting.
Aba Novák painted many frescoes for
the Roman Catholic church of Jászszentandrás, and Hõsök Kapuja in
Szeged in 1936 (the latter was white-washed after 1945), and painted
many commissions for the Hungarian government. Aba also he worked
on frescoes of the Saint Stephen Mausoleum in Székesfehérvár and on
the Church in Városmajor, Budapest, in 1938. The jury's Grand Prize
at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937 and the 1940 Venice Biennale
were both awarded to him.
He was a teacher at the College of
Fine Arts from 1939 until his death.