- Budapest, Hungary
- Spišské Podhradie Spišská kapitula 12, Slovakia 053 04
The writer David Albahari was born in 1948 in Peja (Kosovo).
He studied English literature and language at the University of Belgrade. His first published book was a collection of short stories in 1973. Among various prizes for his work, the most important are the Ivo Andrić Award for the novel Opis smrti [Description of Death] in 1982 and NIN Award for the novel Mamac [Bait] in 1997. In between 1973 and 1994, Albahari worked in editorial board of many Belgrade and Novi Sad based magazines and publishing houses, such as Književna reč, Pismo, Kulture Istoka, Politika, Mezuza, Prva knjiga Matice srpske, among which the most important in the context of cultural opposition was the magazine Vidici.
Polja was among the first magazines to publish his stories. Albahari reflected on this on the fiftieth anniversary of the magazine, stating how much did this support mean to him. (Polja 435, September/October 2005).
His work has been translated into 14 languages. Albahari was translated among others by Nabokov, Updike and Shepard. Although he moved to Canada in 1994 with his family, Albahari does not consider himself a writer in exile and spends time in Serbia too.
Painter. After early drawing studies he learned pharmacology, then painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest. He moved to Szigliget in 1965 and beside artistic activities, he farmed there as well. He was brave to use the limitless possibilities of contemporary art, in a sovereign way. He borrowed the extreme handling of materials from surnaturalism, and the open use of forms and content from Pop Art. He painted with pastel and oil, utilized collage and assemblage as well. As a member of the circle around Miklós Erdély, he participated also in art performances. He developed his own private mythology, “gagaism.”In 1971 he had an exhibition at the Mednyányszky Gallery, Budapest, which turned into a major press scandal. He had no more solo exhibitions during his lifetime. Parallel to his radical art practices, he regularly contributed (very well painted) landscapes and still lifes to the Képcsarnok Company (the official distributor of popular artworks to the people) for financial reasons. In his final year, during his serious illness, he created new works from the pieces of his old pictures, “to give shape and therefore meaning to all that happens to a person.” His memorial exhibition was organized in the Szent István Király Museum, Székesfehérvár, in 1990. His retrospective was held at Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), Budapest, in 2003.
- Szigliget, Hungary 8264