Trennung (Separation) Artist: Béla Kádár (Hungarian, 1877-1956)

ca. 1920–24

Prints and Drawings

Not on view

Typical of Béla Kádár’s work during his close association with Berlin’s Der Sturm gallery in the early 1920s, Separation features the horse-rider-lover trio the artist repeatedly employed to convey themes of abduction, parting, and reunion. The colorful palette, the swirling, dreamlike quality of the composition, and the simplified forms inspired by Hungarian folk art imbue this monumental work on paper with the quality of a fairy-tale illustration. Kádár’s subject, however, is the conflict between love and patriotic duty—a struggle he may have faced as a soldier in World War I. A uniformed horseman rides away with a backward glanceat his beloved, divided from her by a tricolor flag near the painting’s center. The church behind them implicitly associates weddings and funerals, just as the pink hearts below the horse double as inverted spades, symbols of the protagonists’ ultimate separation through the soldier’s death. Separation is one of eight works Kádár sent through Der Sturm to be exhibited in the Société Anonyme’s Brooklyn exhibition. Katherine Dreier purchased at least three of these and arranged subsequent showings of his work in the United States.


Gouache over graphite


sheet: 39 3/16 × 58 7/8 in. (99.5 × 149.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 109, 176, fig. 15
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