1890 - 1956
János Tábor (also known as János Tauphert) was a poster designer and painter, active in the first half of the 20th century. He also worked as an illustrator, and designed book covers.
He studied at both art academies of Budapest; his masters were Lajos Márk, Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch and Ignác Ujházy. Besides posters, he created graphic works and still-life paintings. He worked for the Est journals and for Magyar Grafika (Hungarian Graphics), an important graphic design journal of the era.
He started working with posters in the 1910s; his first designs were for movie posters. These movie posters follow the narrative Art Nouveau style – represented by Imre Földes and Lipót Sátori. This very popular, understandable and optimistic style fitted the movies of the age. Most of Tábor’s movie posters depict the image of a beautiful actress or a scene from the movie (such as his two designs for Szökött katona). His interest in Japanese and Chinese prints is visible on one of his works: even though the poster advertises the Nibelungs, the composition is orientalist.
Tábor’s most famous works are his propaganda posters. He made an outstanding poster for the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, which served the recruiting campaign of the Red Army. The poster depicts advancing soldiers (nude male figures), holding a red flag. The design is clearly influenced by Expressionism, the painting of Nyolcak (the Eight), and Kassák’s activists circle.
After the fall of the Soviet Republic, Tábor made two propaganda posters for the opposite political power, the Horthy-regime, together with Ödön Dankó, who earlier designed two propaganda posters for the Hungarian Soviet Republic. These posters of the Horthy regime were made for the propaganda against the Trianon Peace Treaty. The Treaty was signed after World War I and for Hungary it basically meant the detachment and loss of two-third of its territory. Tábor and Dankó used international symbols for the nationalistic propaganda: a wounded lion and dove, combined with elements of the Hungarian coat of arms.
Later, during the 1920s he designed a few more propaganda posters for elections. In the 1920s and 1930s Tábor continued to work as an illustrator and poster designer. He mostly designed commercial and movie posters and a few political propaganda posters as well.
He was a very versatile artist, who designed posters in many different styles throughout his career, as he was influenced by a vast array of artistic trends which emerged during the first half of the 20th century. .