Béla Nagy Abodi

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Béla Nagy Abodi
Abodi Nagy Béla
Born (1918-07-13)13 July 1918
Székelyszenterzsébet, Transylvania, Kingdom of Hungary (now Eliseni, Romania)
Died 9 December 2012(2012-12-09) (aged 94)[1]
Budapest, Hungary
Known for painter, graphic artist, professor
Website http://www.abodi.org, http://www.abodi.hu

Béla Nagy Abodi (Hungarian: Abodi Nagy Béla; 13 July 1918 – 9 December 2012) was Hungarian painter, and professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca.

He studied in the class of Camil Ressu at the Academia de Belle-Arte in Bucharest, and ended up then at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, as a student of István Szőnyi. He spent five years as a soldier in the Hungarian army, then as prisoner of war in Russia. He was a teacher at the Kolozsvár Academy of Fine Arts, actually University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca, Romania, then he worked as the head of the department and a master for generations of artists between 1949 and 1983 [2]. He has been a Kolozsvár resident until 2008, and lives since then in Budapest.

Béla Nagy Abodi is one of the most universal representatives of modern Hungarian and Romanian fine arts. He is a typically Hungarian and at the same time, a distinctively Transylvanian artist. He is a highly qualified, conscious artist, but at the same time a sensitive, true colourist, “a painter of the soul”. His marvellous artwork bridges over several artistic periods and expressive systems of forms, though it constitutes a distinct entity: Abodi’s dominant artistic character can be immediately traced in his diverse and always renewing oeuvre. He is a daring experimentalist, a persistent seeker who never strains after visual artifices or unnatural stylistic unity for his own sake. Abodi is the archetype of a professional and intellectual creator who is in possession of a complete range of professional tools and who is endowed with superior knowledge.[2] His abundant lifework is a mine of deeply sympathizing, socially committed, objective-realist or dramatic and shockingly expressive depictions, at other times pictorial satires deploying the weapons of irony or even dead-on sarcasm, and the master-like composition of absurd and grotesque figurality. His later works are characterised by monumental pictorial architectures, genius “full orchestra” structures, figural-decorative compositions that are inspired by Hungarian folk art, and then geometrical-abstract or abstract-expressionist representations.[3]

The pictures he painted at a later age are staggeringly clear artistic and deeply human conclusions: they are the pictures of an age, genius clinical aspects of the period.[4] Abodi is mostly known as an artist who is wrestling with questions of human fate and as a painter of compositions that create master-like systems of pictures.[5]

Besides his artistic activity, Abodi is a devoted public personality who has been fighting throughout his life for the survival of the Hungarian population of Transylvania – including their lawful community rights, uniquely rich culture and education at all levels. He did so as a leader of Hungarian social and professional organisations (vice-president of the Association of university and college students of Székely Land – SZEFHE after 1939, honorary president of the Barabás Miklós Céh (Miklós Barabás Guild) after 1990, etc.),[6] as a university student (Bucharest, Budapest), as a university lecturer and leader, as a prestigious artist, and as a master of the written and spoken word.

His work of art can be best studied by reading Andor Bajor Bajor Andor’s marvellous book, the Abodi monograph that has been published by Kriterion in 1986, as well as by consulting “Who is Who 2011”, the thick catalogue of his collection exhibited in the Museum of Transylvanian Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca ( Kolozsvár) (Bánffy Palace) in 2004. Numerous data and visual information may be found about Abodi on the Internet. His portrait film, “The light of the future”[7][8] has been broadcast several times on Duna Television [3].


File:Banffy Palace Cluj-Napoca.jpg
Cluj-Napoca Bánffy Palace
  • 13 July 1918 – he was born in Székelyszenterzsebet, actually Eliseni, in Transylvania, in the former Kingdom of Hungary, actually Romania, in Harghita County, where his father, Dr Nagy Géza hu:Nagy Géza (lelkész, 1887) - the historian of religion and the future theology professor -, served as a Reformist parson. His mother was Juliska Csoma. His brothers were Géza and István, his sister’s name was Julianna.
  • Fall, 1924 – the family moved to Magyarbikal Bicalatu, (Kolozs County), actually Judetul Cluj. This is where he finished elementary school.
  • 1928 – he finally settled down in Kolozsvár with his parents, where his father – a notable church historian and theologian – became professor of Reformist Theology (Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológiai Intézet).
  • 1928-1936 – he studied at the Reformist Lyceum of Kolozsvár. In the meantime, his writings were published in the Ifjú Erdély and Pásztortűz literary magazines.
  • Fall, 1936 – he applied for the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest. He chose Camil Ressu to be his master.
  • Spring, 1940 – 24 of his paintings were displayed in a group exhibition in Bucharest.
  • Fall, 1940 – he continued his studies at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, where his master was István Szőnyi. As a vice-president of SZEFHE, he organised the lives and fostered the further education of Hungarian students in Transylvania.
  • Spring, 1941 – he displayed his paintings at the Műbarát art-exhibition in Budapest together with the other members of the Miklós Barabás Guild. The ministry purchased his self-portrait.
  • 1941 – he graduated from university. In the fall, he won the first prize of a town competition in Kolozsvár. He became a member of the Miklós Barabás Guild.
  • 1941-1942 – he did the artistic master course of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest.
  • Spring, 1942 – he married Éva Klára Teutsch, another Szőnyi-student at the college. They had four children in their marriage. Abodi became a teacher in the village of Kolozskovácsi in Transylvania right before he was enlisted in the army. In the fall, he was called to the army.
  • 1943 – he participated in the group exhibition of the Miklós Barabás Guild.
  • March, 1944 – six of his paintings were displayed at the exhibition of the Milós Barabás Guild in the National Saloon in Budapest. In August he displayed ten artworks at the first group exhibition of the Miklós Barabás Guild. In the fall of 1944, he was sent to serve as a wireless officer at the Russian front-lines. In 1945, he became prisoner of war.
  • 1948 – he returned home to Kolozsvár from Armenia, the Soviet Union and already in the very same year, he displayed his paintings, and undertook jobs as a graphic artist and an illustrator.
  • 1948-1964 – he illustrated the books of several contemporary writers and he did for book publishers the portraits of many classical figures of Hungarian literature. Abodi Nagy Béla Hungarian Electronic Library
  • 1948-1985 – his paintings were displayed at state exhibitions of Hungarian fine arts and officially organised exhibitions abroad: in the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, etc. [4]
  • 1949-1983 – until his retirement he was the head of the painting department at the Ion Andreescu Academy of Fine Arts in Kolozsvár.
  • 1951-1957 and 1970-1983 – he was the head of the department.
  • From 1951 – he was a member of the Association of Fine Arts of the Romanian Socialist Republic at present the Romanian Fine Arts Union.
  • 1954 – Romania State Award.
  • 1955 – Romania State Award.
  • 1956 – he made a study trip to Hungary and Bulgaria.
  • 1958 – he participated in the 1st triennial of Socialist countries in Moscow.
  • 1961-1962 – he made his monumental wall paintings in the Student Culture Hall of Cluj-Napoca. In 1966, he made a study trip to Czechoslovakia and Germany.
  • 1970-1978 – Study trips to the Soviet Union.
  • 1972-1983 – study trips to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Italy. From 1989, after the Romanian revolution, he played an active part in the cultural and public life of Transylvania. He recreated the Miklós Barabás Guild with several colleagues, and became its honourable president.
  • 29 April 1994 – his wife, Éva Klára Teutsch deceased in Kolozsvár (Cluj).
  • A collection of his paintings was displayed in Budapest in 1998.
  • In 2004 a retrospective collection of his artworks was displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca (Bánffy Palace).
  • From 2008 he has been living in Budapest with the family of his son, Géza Nagy, who is also a fine artist.

Further details about the bibliography and artworks of Béla Abodi Nagy can be found in contemporary artistic encyclopaedias that were published in Hungary and Romania, in publications about the fine arts of Transylvanian Hungarian and Romanian artists, in the Transylvanian Hungarian Who is Who volumes, in the Who is Who Hungary, in the monograph entitled Béla Nagy Abodi by Andor Bajor that was published by Kriterion in Bucharest in 1987, in the album entitled Abodi 2004, on artistic web portals as well as on the www.abodi.hu, www.abodi.org websites.


  • Nagy Géza painter, graphic artist, computer artist (Hungary, Budapest)
  • Nagy Stoica Georgeta painter, graphic artist, computer artist (Hungary, Budapest)
  • Dora Abodi fashion designer, stylist (Hungary, Budapest)
  • Anna Nagy painter (Hungary)
  • Klára Kocsis Nagy pianist (Hungary)
  • Zsófia Nagy, mathematician (Hungary)


  1. "Elhunyt Abodi Nagy Béla festőművész". Index.hu. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2012-12-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Adrian, Beldeanu (28 January 1972). "Abodi Nagy Béla. Dictionar plastic". Saptamana, Bucharest.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Andor, Bajor (1986). Abodi Nagy Béla. Bucharest: Kriterion. p. 62.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Viorica, Guy Marica (25 Aug 1989). "Három Nemzedék". Utunk.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Livia, Dr. Dragoi (2004). Abodi Nagy Béla. Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Museum of Transylvanian Art in Cluj-Napoca. p. 130. ISBN 973-8198-87-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Frigyes, Udvardy (13 January 1994). "Barabás Miklós Céh (Databank)". Szabadság (Cluj-Napoca).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Sára, Szakács. "A jövő fénye". documentary film. Duna Television.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. ″A jövő fénye″, film director: Szakács Sára [1], camera: Nemescsói Tamás, Hungarian film, 28 min.


  • Művészeti Lexikon (Encyclopedia of Art), Vol. III. L-Q, “Nagy Béla Abodi”, Editors: Zádor-Genthon, Publisher: Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1967, AK 208 k 6770
  • 111 Contemporary painters: 111 Peintres contemporains, Publisher: Fine Arts Union of the Socialist Republic of Romania (Bucharest), 1980, 2001 LC NUMBER: ND928 .A11 1980
  • Romániai magyar irodalmi lexikon (Romanian-Hungarian Literary Encyclopedia) Editor: Balogh Edgár. Bukarest: Kriterion. 1981–2010. o. ISBN 973-26-0212-0 [5]
  • Bajor Andor: Abodi Nagy Béla (monograph), Bukarest, Publisher: Kriterion, 1986. 76 o. ill. 30 t. ISBN 963-271-445-8
  • Kortárs magyar művészeti lexikon I. (A–G). (Contemporary Hungarian Art Lexicon) Főszerk (Editor) Fitz Péter. Budapest: Enciklopédia. 1999. 36. o. ISBN 963-8477-44-X
  • Dr. Livia Dragoi : ABODI NAGY BÉLA, Publisher: Muzeul de Artă din Cluj-Napoca (Museum of Fine Arts in Cluj-Napoca) 2004. ISBN 973-8198-87-9

Additional information