Kapuvár, 1923 – Marcoussis, 2020
Judit Reigl was a Hungarian painter. She attended the Hungarian University of Fine Arts from 1942 to 1945 and established herself in France in 1950. Here, she would meet Simon Hantaï, a fellow Hungarian émigré, who introduced Reigl to André Breton. Known as the Pope of Surrealism, Breton welcomed Reigl into his Surrealist artists’ circle and their influence is evident in her early work. She read authors such as Le Comte de Lautréamont and Arthur Rimbaud, whose texts were seminal for the Surrealists. Reigl eventually moved away from Surrealism and towards Lyrical Abstraction. Georges Mathieu, one of the greatest French Lyrical Abstractionists, was one of Reigl’s significant influences during this period. Both series garnered Reigl much success in France as well as in West Germany and in the United States, where she familiarized herself with the American Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline.
Reigl exhibited her work in France beginning in 1954. For her first exhibition, the prologue to the catalogue was written by André Breton. Her works are primarily found in French museums’ collections, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne and Musée de Grenoble. Her works were only displayed in Hungary starting in the mid-2000s.