III/III-4-b subdivision


B u d a p e s t, 13 July 1981

Six-month assessment report in the confidential investigation codenamed “Painter”


It has been established that György Galántai continues to pursue his activity going against the party’s cultural policy. He is aware that his plans and planned exhibitions do not fulfil the requirements of official policy about art.

He continues to run and expand his Art Pool archives, which he founded without the permission of the authorities. In the last six months he made thousands of pieces of propaganda material and posted them to his - predominantly Western – contacts. His domestic activity has also become livelier. In his calls disseminated in Hungary he not only promotes his own activity but also calls attention to the actions of more and more foreign nationals. He is planning to add a ‘sound archives’ to his collection, as well as to sell his written material as part of ‘samizdat’ literature.

In 1981 his main activity is organising ‘Mail Art’. He has ambitions to organise a large-scale Mail Art exhibition. He is planning to indiscriminately exhibit all the materials sent to him.

He sent materials promoting this exhibition and explaining the concept of Mail Art to 300 persons in Hungary.

Mail Art is an international network of cooperation between artists directed against the corruption and bureaucracy of official art... This art trend reflects a common ideology that crosses geographical boundaries. It can be characterised as bohemian, frivolous, harshly critical and political..."

It can be expected that Hungarians will join the Mail Art action.

Although the overwhelming majority of materials distributed by Galántai domestically and abroad do not contain hostile declarations, they provide the opportunity for our target person to include in his collection some systematically compiled hostile documents that arrive among the thousands of pieces in response to his call for projects. This opens up the possibility for these archived materials to be displayed at exhibitions or disseminated as samizdat literature.

A large amount of material keeps arriving from abroad. More and more of the received material contain obscene and politically damaging pieces. Occasional attempts have been made to send articles and pictures with hostile content. Documents calling for solidarity with the events in Poland and inciting to organise strikes also arrived.

His network of connections – in regard to the domestic scene has undergone serious change. In previous years he was in contact with many artists who regularly collaborated with him in organising and expanding his Art Pool collection. In the meantime, Galántai’s value as a private individual and an artist decreased among artists and art historians. He is no longer accepted as an ideological and artistic leader, because ‘his poor artworks’ are regularly rejected during the jurying processes. His formerly closest friends and associates – András Bán and Dóra Maurer – distance themselves from him, and László Beke completely severed ties with him.

As a result of the above circumstances, Galántai directs his network-building ambitions at recruiting young fine artists.

In the last six months, he contacted some of the leaders of SZETA [Fund for Supporting the Poor], who included him in some of their projects. He has participated in other events of the internal opposition several times. He even conducted discussions with Miklós Haraszti and János Kenedi on occasion.

He contacted about three thousand Western nationals in order to promote his ‘art’ projects and ambitions. He is in regular contact with G. A. Cavellini, an Italian national, who has been sending hostile materials to more and more Hungarians. He [Galántai] is also in regular contact with one of the editors of the Italian periodical titled Art Diary, Gion Carlo Politi[1], who he regularly updates about the situation of Hungarian fine art and opportunities to participate in actions.

The hostile activity of our target person with the alias “Painter” as well as his intensifying efforts aimed at building foreign and domestic relations and the large number of – seemingly official – propaganda materials he sends abroad interfere with our international cultural relations. During his actions, he – increasingly – establishes contact and collaborates with persons whose ‘art’ is not supported in our country. Many of these persons regularly send hostile ‘artworks’ into our country.

It is recommended that the confidential investigation be extended until 31 December 1981.

Tibor Horváth, 1st lieutenant

Registry number: 4/5-536.
Printed in 3 copies

[1] Giancarlo Politi is an art critic, the founder and editor of the periodical titled Flash Art.

[“Zoltán Pécsi” asks for forgiveness]

[To the attention of the readers / researchers]