Béla Kádár began his career in Hungary as a mural painter, and by 1910 he had made two important trips to Paris and Berlin. Katherine Dreier, the enterprising director of the Société Anonyme based in New York, was responsible for bringing the work of many German and European avant-garde artists to America. She introduced Kádár to audiences in America with two exhibitions of his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. During his first visit to New York in 1928, Kádár met Imre and Mary Elizabeth Deák. The couple shared a similar passion for music and collecting. Imre Deák had studied at the Royal Academy in Budapest and continued his education at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he met his future wife Mary Elizabeth Gise, a fellow student. The couple married in 1918 and surrounded themselves with many important artists, writers and musicians of the day. Hungarian, by birth, the Deáks were enthusiastic about Kádár's work and became close friends with the artist.
The following selection of compositions of the 1920s and early 1930s offers a brief but fascinating overview of Kádár's varied and prolific career. In these works the artist brought together the rural traditions of Hungarian folklore, the decorative genius of the country's renowned folk arts, with the stylistic elements derived from cubo-futurism, expressionism and constructivism.