JUDIT KÁRÁSZ (Szeged, May 21, 1912 – Budapest, May 30, 1977)
Kárász lived quietly and inconspicuously, although her talent, knowledge and past would have entitled her to much more. She is regarded as one of the best Hungarian social documentary photographers. As a student of the Bauhaus she was familiar with the modes of pictorial formation according to the new artistic trend. As the author of her biography wrote, she was not able to display her talent in photography, to produce, in Hungary. As a photographer of works of art in a museum she was only able to reproduce. She was not appreciated enough during her lifetime.
She spent her childhood in the towns of Pécs and Szeged, and in Budapest. She learned the basics of photography from a photographer in Szeged while completing her high school studies. After graduating high school she became a student of the École de la Photographie in October 1930, after which she attended the Bauhaus Hochschule für Gestaltung as a photography major together with Etel Fodor and Irén Blüh. Hans Albers, Vasily Kandinsky, as well as Walter Peterhans, were some of her teachers. She received her degree on June 21, 1932. She took pictures of the day-to-day lives of the Bauhäuslers from a bird’s eye perspective using daring compositional devices. As several of her companions she also was an avid photographer of industrial structures, bridges and construction sites.
In 1931 she became a member of the Kommunistische Studenten Fraktion (Kostufa), and since she had taken part in electioneering she was expelled from the Sachsen-Anhalt area. Between 1932-1935 she worked as a laboratory technician at the Dephot in Berlin, the same place as Endre Friedman, later known as Robert Capa. She traveled throughout Germany taking pictures of her experiences, and the massive building going on in Berlin, with her Leica. She spent the summers in Szeged. As a member of the Szeged Youth Art College she contributed to the preparation of a social documentary publication and participated in the rural sociology movement in the company of the famous Hungarian ethnographer Gyula Ortutay, György Buday, Ferenc Erdei and Ferenc Hont. She favored taking photographs at markets. The majority of photographs displayed at the Városból tanyára 15 km (From Town to Homestead 15 kms) exhibit in Szeged were her work.