Aba-Novák began his career as a graphic designer and illustrator. He later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, where he met fellow Hungarian painters Laszlo Mednyanszky and Janos Thorma. The three artists often painted together, and their work was deeply influenced by each other.
Aba-Novák's early paintings were often dark and melancholic, reflecting the mood of Hungary during World War I. However, after the war ended, he began to experiment with brighter colors and lighter subjects. This change in style coincided with a move to Paris in 1925, where he was exposed to the work of French impressionists.
He quickly developed his own unique style, which combined elements of both Hungarian folk art and French impressionism. His work from this period is characterized by bold colors and strong brushstrokes. He often used a technique called “dissolving boundaries” which blurred the lines between different colors, creating a sense of movement in his paintings.
In the 1930s, Aba-Novák returned to Hungary where he continued to paint until his death in 1945. His later works are more subdued than his earlier paintings, but still retain their characteristic use of color and light. Vilmos Aba-Novák is considered one of the most important Hungarian painters of the 20th century