We Build Cultural Bridges​

The aim of MNB Arts and Culture,
which managesand takes care of the collection,
is to make the collection accessible and meaningful to the public.
Its goal is to make its material widely accessible and familiar
to the general public, and researchable and processable for the profession, both on the domestic and international scene.

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Franyo AATOTH
And we will dip into this glorious light...

Franyo AATOTH

And we will dip into this glorious light...

Year(s)
2011
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x200 cm
Artist's introduction

Aatoth Franyo is an artist who follows the tradition of New Painting's Neo-Dadaist vein of the 1980s. His œuvre, which unfolds like that of a bohemian cosmopolitan, has been informed by the culture of various countries. Márton Gerlóczy defines him as a "world-famous painter who refrains from world fame". In his own words, he is an "exhibitionist" because he always wants to "show an aspect" of himself. Born in Nyíregyháza, István Ferenc Tóth, creating under the name "aatoth franyo", was a chemical technician, but in the seventies, he chose a career in fine arts. Victor Vasarely brought him to Paris in 1978, where he graduated from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. As a world-travelling artist, he has lived and worked in several Western countries and exotic locations in North Africa, Mongolia and Thailand. His art was inspired by the New Painting of the 1980s in France, the naïve figurativity of Figuration Libre, the spontaneous aesthetics of graffiti and the unbridled spirit of Neo-Dadaism. The sombre colours of his early paintings were replaced in the early nineties, under the influence of his stay in Mongolia, by the emblematic burgundy red, which embodies a wide range of traditional meanings such as fire, blood, love, hell, flame, revolution and hot spices. In the red spaces, elicited through the use of expressive brushwork, grotesque figures and motifs in the style of children's drawings emerge. The often absurd, humorous or philosophical content is complemented by Hungarian, French and English texts. Around 2010, Aatoth Franyo's artistic practice gradually took a new direction: the artist set up a studio deep in the jungles of Thailand, where he experienced the destructive impact of civilisation on the endless rainforest. From then on, the lush vegetation in his work appears as arabesque gestures and calligraphic marks, transforming the paint applied directly onto the canvas from the tube into an abstract system. In addition to his dominant painterly practice, his bohemian œuvre includes a guidebook for travellers, animation films, objects and installations. His work can be found in many international public collections, from the Gallery of Modern Art in Ulaanbaatar to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. He lives and works in Paris and Thailand. Gábor Rieder

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Aladár ALMÁSY
Fragonard the Spider Washer

Aladár ALMÁSY

Fragonard the Spider Washer

Year(s)
2011
Technique
oil and egg tempera on canvas
Size
120x150 cm
Artist's introduction

Aladár Almásy is one of the most distinctive figures of the generation of graphic artists of the 1970s, whose graphic universe is defined by mystical-psychological symbolism, romantic sensibility and linguistic humour. Noémi Szabó, art historian, described his distinctive character vividly: "He is invested in a romantic-surrealist eclecticism, constructing a dream world far from the current age, full of pretension, but at the same time honesty as well." Born in Debrecen, Almásy completed his graphic studies at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in 1976. In the 1970s, together with Imre Szemethy, he was the successor of the generation of graphic artists that had defined the previous decade and had established an important tendency and which was marked by the names of Béla Kondor, Arnold Gross, Csaba Rékassy and Ádám Würtz. His first works were etchings, lithographs, aquatints, mezzotints, and pen and ink drawings. His aesthetic world was characterised by jagged, fragmented draughtsmanship, dreamlike, surreal visions and playful linguistic humour. His numerous national solo exhibitions were accompanied by several international exhibitions. In his scandalous statement of 1978, he described himself as an individualistic dreamer: "My existence is a unique visual world of forms, determined by inner emotions, a pure inexhaustible world view, never committed to any fix direction." He gradually drifted towards painting in the 1980s, combining cloud-like patches of colour with his broken line work. His art, which looked to the past, evoked the poetic mood of turn-of-the-century symbolism, from the metaphorical enigma of Baudelaire to the nostalgic dreamscapes of Lajos Gulácsy. The heroes of his poetic narratives are often drawn from cultural history (István Széchenyi, Martin Luther, Zarathustra, etc.). Around the turn of the millennium, the medium of bronze sculpture also appeared in his œuvre, which embraces a wide range of techniques. His successful start to his career was accompanied by numerous state awards in the 1970s and 1980s. He has been a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2015. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Imre BAK
Morandi I.

Imre BAK

Morandi I.

Year(s)
2000
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
140x210 cm
Artist's introduction

Imre Bak established the specific character of his paintings in the mid-1960s, referencing the lessons of Geometric Abstraction to this day. Along with some of his contemporaries, Bak defied the geopolitics of the era and the existential and further difficulties arising from the existing social order to connect with the global art of the time. During the Iparterv exhibitions (1968–1969), Bak had already formulated the idea of combining the American tendencies of Hard-edge painting and Minimalism with motifs inspired by Hungarian folk art and the traditions of the local avant-garde. This structuralist programme – which consciously examined the nature of signs and symbols – defined his paintings from the 1970s. In the 1980s, the geometric system of Bak's paintings became increasingly complex, leading to the postmodern turn in the artist's work. During the 1990s, Bak's motifs shifted towards "simplification" again, as expanded surfaces of colour started to define his architecture-inspired paintings. In this period, Bak used perspective and a set of geometric elements to construct his landscapes, where the predominant motifs were "structures" consisting of architectural elements. In his latest work conceived after the 2000s, Bak returns to Geometric Abstraction's fundamental question of how spatial illusion is elicited through two-dimensional means. His compositions that combine rectangular fields of colour with dichromatic, meanderlike lines are based on the utilisation of pure, intense colours, which create the illusion of depth on the canvas. Áron Fenyvesi

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Zsófi BARABÁS
Perspective

Zsófi BARABÁS

Perspective

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil, acrylic on canvas
Size
120x180 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsófi Barabás comes from a family of artists, so she started to express herself artistically at quite an early age. This natural, organic attachment to the language of visual art still describes her work. She began her studies in fine arts as a graphic artist, and later painting became her main language of expression. She studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest (2004), Cambridge and Tokyo (2009), and completed her doctoral studies in Pécs under the supervision of Ilona Keserü in 2022. Although drawing remained one of her favourite means of expression, she also made installations during her stay in Tokyo. She has exhibited in Moscow, Buffalo, USA, and in several venues in Hungary, including the Deák Erika Gallery.​ She speaks with ease in the language of drawing, painting and installations, but whatever she touches, her visual world emerges through an organic abstraction. Using different sizes and colours, she throws herself into this swirling world of forms, where the works – following the ideas of László F. Földényi – almost create themselves. At first glance, the abstract forms of the light, colourful paintings blend together with playful dynamics, as if they were deep-sea creatures, projections of a dream world, or even inspired by a fantastic film. In addition to the playful movement and dynamics, the shapes are meticulously crafted and the choice of colour – perhaps just as important as the ensemble of shapes – is also quite deliberate. We get the impression that the artist is – consciously or unconsciously – following her own theory of colour, which is perhaps not so surprising for an artist walking in the footsteps of Kandinsky. ​The art of Zsófi Barabás – despite the fact that the great predecessors the footsteps of whom she follows were mostly men – is clearly feminine. Joan Miró's playful forms, Hans Arp's biomorphic figures, but most of all Alexander Calder's emblematic leaf-like, moving and reflective motifs were the foundation of her path, but her use of form and colour is clearly that of a woman. Despite the predominance of painting, like Calder, she also creates drawings of space, where simple recurring motifs come to life and speak to our collective unconscious, so that they are all very familiar to us all. Délia Vékony

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Áron BARÁTH
Untitled

Áron BARÁTH

Untitled

Year(s)
2019
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
179,5x139,7 cm
Artist's introduction

Áron Baráth has been consistently representing abstract painting in Hungary since his career began in the 2000s. His non-figurative works, based on lyrical gestures, radiate translucent, vivid colour harmonies. Born in Novi Sad, Áron Baráth moved to Budapest with his family because of the South Slavic war. He also completed his art studies here, graduating as a graphic designer from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2006. He soon left graphics – which he chose following the family tradition – for painting. After his early attempts at figurative painting at university, he began his career as an abstract painter in the mid-2000s. The free, improvisational gestures of informalism, the broad brushstrokes applied with one or two colours were close to his stylistic world. His early paintings were characterised by dramatic splashes of colour and vivid contrasts of colour, often building on the gloom of black. The wild gestures have been tamed by the 2010s, filled with melodic harmonies, and wide, translucent blurs, stripes and washed-out fields have taken over from monochrome surfaces. His aesthetic language is an inspiring parallel to the fine dining gastronomy served with Japanese minimalism, which he has also evoked as an installation. His compositions are built up from the spontaneous, glazed main motifs and the overlapping colour harmonies of the different coloured backgrounds, which often function as picture frames. Baráth's paintings are very popular and he has had many opportunities to exhibit around the world, from Belgium to Dallas. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Róbert BATYKÓ
Shredder

Róbert BATYKÓ

Shredder

Year(s)
2022
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
69x100,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Róbert Batykó is one of the most distinctive and best-known representatives of the generation of artists starting out in the mid-2000s, who has built a consistent oeuvre of pop motifs, digital references and alienated image surfaces. The language of his works is, as Áron Fenyvesi has noted, defined by “the visual culture created by the advertising industry, mass culture and design with the help of digital image editors and drawing programs”. Batykó graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2005. The earliest source of inspiration for his painting, which schematized the realistic landscape into emblematic motifs and strikingly textured surfaces, was graffiti. He brought his affinity with him from his hometown of Miskolc. His early images of graffiti have been replaced by the distinctive silhouettes of corporate logos, musical instruments and machinery. He filled in the sharply defined forms created by masking (stenciling) with paint surfaces of various textures, often using a coarse brush to scrub the surface in order to eliminate brushstrokes. During a stay in the Netherlands around 2012, he switched from “object portraits” to decorative assemblages of street waste – floating close to abstraction – and then transposed the characteristic elements of the tailgates of truck bodies into his geometric compositions. In another series, launched in the mid-2010s, he painted large-scale images of smoothed and scanned packaging materials, scraping the surfaces to give them a worn effect. The mass of paint was wiped back, “planed down”, by the studio mechanics he had built, the sharp steel-bladed “painting machine”. Dávid Fehér, art historian, pointed out the importance of machine surface treatment: “The pseudo-print effect is crucial as Batykó thereby thematises the subtle differences between printed (reproduced) and painted (individual) images and explores the possibilities of post-technological painting.” In Batykó's paintings made after 2016, computers appear not only in the preliminary design of the compositions, but also as a prominent pictorial motif, from pixels to graphic software symbols to digital image errors. In his latest era, starting around 2018, in addition to computerisation, he is increasingly giving way to chance. The “painting machine”, in the manner of the Surrealists' automatic writing, introduces spontaneity into the creative process, as he spreads the mass of pigment applied to one part of the canvas with a sharp blade, like a ghostly memory stain on the other. The hybrid visual reality, duplicated with ghostly impressions of “error fields”, features motifs familiar from previous eras, such as packaging of consumer products, digital editorial windows or metaphorical lettering similar to company logos. Batykó, who regularly exhibits in Hungary and Western Europe and has won many prestigious awards now lives in Budapest, although he has also spent considerable time in the Netherlands and Germany during the 2010s. Gábor Rieder

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Barnabás BENKŐ
Stripes on blue basis

Barnabás BENKŐ

Stripes on blue basis

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acril, spray, canvas
Size
140x110 cm
Artist's introduction

Barnabás Benkő graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2021, majoring in painting, his teacher was Maria Chilf. A year later, his debut exhibition at the Barabás Villa attracted great interest, and since then he has been a featured artist at Resident Art. The compositional principle of his paintings is based on a multi-layered buffer zone: he divides the picture surfaces with parallel lines applied horizontally or vertically, and covers the stripes with competing layers. In his paintings, he mixes the seemingly impersonal covering-up, the partial "erasure" of previous elements of the picture, with a partisan appropriation of the self, an expressive gesture of overwriting – all of which can appear as a wild brushstroke applied with a new colour code, a sprayed graffiti tag, or a collage of masking tape peeled from previous paintings. The result is a dynamic complex of images where, despite the gaps, the perception and illusion of the depths of several works of art flashes simultaneously. It is as if Benkő is performing an imaginative re- and deconstruction of urban space by organizing – within a given image – into an archaeological archive the view of the cavalcade of colours of the outside world reflected in camera obscura by the aluminium blinds on the room's ceilings, the traces of writing on the metal shutters of shop windows, and the erroneous information of the virtual flood of images. Lines, burgundy no.1 (2022) and Lines in blue no.1. are the best expressions of the kind of double-directional dynamism that explodes in tense harmony, giving the impression of a hologram and compelling the viewer to move vertically up and down. It is as if this was a glimpse underneath another layer of images in the paintings, or an advertising billboard that shows 3 different images alternating in a short period of time, and the work has just caught the point of transition. The striking gestures “[...] open the range of interpretation to the dimension of time along with space”, wrote art historian János Schneller. However, both in the collection and in the practice of Barnabás Benkő, the Lines on blue base (2021) bring an exciting exception, a new pole, which, by mastering the essence of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and colour field painting, allows us into the deep layers of lyrical tone. Annamária Szabó

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Dániel BERNÁTH
Mountain Mama no63

Dániel BERNÁTH

Mountain Mama no63

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
140x121 cm
Artist's introduction

What is the minimum requirement to create a good painting in the 21st century? Dániel Bernáth's artistic program seems to be built around this question, and he keeps the guiding thread of this simplicity, when he does not burden the picture with narrative, but stops at the tools of minimalism and abstraction, choosing an unusual painting basis with a highly reduced visual language. The artist clearly opted for painting and its issues after graduating from the University of Fine Arts in 2014 with a degree in painting. This is when he won the Gruber Béla Prize and in 2015 the prestigious Essl Art Prize too. In 2020, he was awarded the Gyula Derkovits Fine Arts Scholarship, and in 2022 as winner of the Strabag Prize he had a solo exhibition at the Strabag Kunstforum (Austria). Although he spends most of his creative time in retreat in a studio house in the Mátra, he has participated in several international residencies in Spain, Germany and Krems, Austria. He was also participant of several solo and group exhibitions. ​Dániel Bernáth brings the power of nature's simplicity into the studio, and sees change and development in terms of the functioning of Hegelian dialectics. It also poses the second question: how can all this power and order be represented in an object we call a painting? The question is as simple and complex as – using a biblical parable – seeing the possibility of the universe in a mustard seed. ​The artist's "response" is to choose an unconventional form for the basis of the painting. Either the picture frames are curved and organic, giving a semi-natural experience to the minimalist composition structured with neon colors; or the panel itself becomes natural based, and the wood material that he makes visible allows this minimal symbolism to manifest itself. On the other hand, by transforming it into an object, the painting loses the quality in a modernist l'art pour l'art sense that minimalism and abstraction would indicate, namely that it does not refer to anything apart from itself. Perhaps it is the tension and dialectic of this contradiction that makes these object-paintings true icons, contemporary icons, and, like true icons, they do not represent but embody, and actually become what they are. The opposites offset each other and the possibility of the universe appears in the mustard seed. ​Délia Vékony

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Diána BÓBICS
Fragmanted painting / Red

Diána BÓBICS

Fragmanted painting / Red

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic, oil on canvas
Size
120x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Diána Bóbics is an experimental representative of the post-conceptual generation that entered the scene around the turn of the millennium. Her diverse oeuvre explores case studies of human experience and the construction of visual form, using a toolkit that spans disciplines and techniques. Born in Zalaegerszeg, Bóbics studied at the Faculty of Music and Art of the University of Pécs in the 2000s, then at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. The central motif of her conceptually driven, experimental works is the fragile body and the metaphor of the line. Digitally composed music, sound installations, drawings of human injuries, black tape intervention that transforms the space in a room, a ball of wax under a magnifying glass, a retro ceramic vase and origami felt relief made of textile cut-outs can coexist within her diverse, intermediate oeuvre. The main thread of her oeuvre is, in her own words, "the organic reflection of human vulnerability through 'plane images' and objects in space, which I embed in the context of various pre-existing physical structures, often as spatial drawings." In the 2010s, the role of abstraction in her art intensified, influenced by, among others, her former master Sean Scully. In her 2022 series of paintings, Divided Images, she entered the energetic, youthful vitality of expressive non-figurativity, analysing the structure-creating power of the line. In the image space, which is divided into several fields, abstract gestures appear in bright colours, and repeatedly overpainted fields of colour with graffiti-like spray marks. Bóbics lives and works in Pécs. She works as a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts of PTE where she completed her doctoral studies. She regularly exhibits in solo and group exhibitions in Pécs and in various cities of Europe. Gábor Rieder

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József BULLÁS
200107

József BULLÁS

200107

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
50x50 cm
Artist's introduction

The painterly practice of József Bullás started in the early 1980s with representative, figurative images in the spirit of the Transavantgard and New Sensibility. Later, during his travels to the East, Bullás discovered the potential of ornamentation and gradually moved away from depictive narrative painting. "I want to create abstract paintings that combine »traditional« Western Constructivism with Eastern ornamentation, avoiding the associations of nature, literature and symbolism. Instead of the postmodern remixing of themes, my goal is to interpret phenomena with »my eyes«, to see again." – the artist claimed. The paintings of Bullás oscillate between illusionistic and expressive qualities. His later pieces, regarding this dynamic alternation, reveal a more controlled approach, but at the same time a search for new aesthetic paths as well. Contemporary art's tendency of turning towards design, furthermore the Minimalist and Modernist values of current design direct the medium of painting from a content-centred approach towards a clean, transparent, form-oriented conception. The colour scheme of Bullás's paintings has also expanded in recent years. The organic colours characteristic of the artist are increasingly complemented with new, unusual shades. Synthetic colours appear on his canvases, which denotes the emergence of a new image type and a shift in aesthetic sensitivity. In Bullás' recent works, we witness this aspect becoming self-conscious, as the artist reinterprets his previous ideas and techniques in light of the millennial turn. Zsolt Petrányi

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Attila CSÁJI
Sign Grids - In White Drift III.

Attila CSÁJI

Sign Grids - In White Drift III.

Year(s)
1969
Technique
mixed media on fibreboard
Size
100,5x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Attila Csáji was a prominent figure in the Neo-Avant-Garde art scene of the mid-1960s, one of the most important organisers of his generation, and a pioneer of Hungarian gesture painting and light art. Attila Csáji's inner essence, the symbolism of light, which permeates his "self-principled", multifaceted art, was summed up by Lóránd Hegyi: "For Attila Csáji, light is the phenomena that illuminates the "hidden face of nature". Light reveals the invisible, hidden, essential characteristics, uniting the intellectual and the organic world. In other words, light becomes a mystical force in his artistic world, capable of fusing the infinite cosmos and the infinite realm of the human spirit. " Born in Szepsi in Upper Hungary, Csáji, who moved to Budapest with his family as a child, graduated from the Teacher Training College in Eger in 1964. His works, referred to as "szürenon", created at the beginning of his painting career, combined surrealism and non-figurativity. In his mature oil paintings, calligraphic 'writing marks' and Informel figures, which bulged out plastically, were lined up on the surface as fictitious messages of archaic cultures. According to the artist's interpretation, "The Message Grids are plastic gestural structures, a pantomime or dance of the hand, transformed by light, messages that carry the spell of ancient cultures in the present, at the border between chaos and order." For a while, the ever-growing series of greyish-brown, metallically shimmering 'sign grids' was enriched with applied objects wrapped in black before returning to the sculptural paint mass. In the late sixties and early seventies, Csáji participated as a conceptual artist and active organiser in important events of the Neo-Avant-Garde scene (Szürenon Group, the Kápolna exhibitions in Balatonboglár, etc.). From the mid-seventies onwards, he began to work with various light technologies in the field of fine art, moving beyond the surrealistic relief effect, creating holographic works and laser installations. Driven by the thirst for scientific knowledge, in the 1980s, he studied laser technology at the Central Institute of Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, then reflection holography at the BME, and then transmission holography at the legendary MIT in the USA. Since the 1980s, his photographic work has been featured in important international exhibitions. His works are in several museums abroad, from Seoul to Cambridge. He has received numerous awards, including the Munkácsy Prize, and is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts and has patented a range of ideas. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Róbert CSÁKI
Memento II.

Róbert CSÁKI

Memento II.

Year(s)
2007
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
150x180 cm
Artist's introduction

Róbert Csáki has been present in the Hungarian painting scene since the 1990s with his sinister, dreamlike visions. His world, which continues the tradition of panel painting, is defined by the bizarre dichotomy of surrealism and rococo. "His figures" – as the art writer Tihamér Novotny explained – "are weightless, floating, almost levitating in the vapour of memory: the real dissolves in the fog of imagination, in the atmosphere of vision." Born in Budapest, Csáki graduated as a painter from the Hungarian College of Arts during the regime change. His earliest works already bore the influence of 18th-century art. During a study trip to the Netherlands in 1996, he discovered the bizarre, grotesque, frightening bestiary that had influenced his later artistic performance to a greater extent. From the very beginning of his career, Csáki has been known for creating a painterly world that is difficult to categorise but easily recognisable, with an intense atmosphere. His style is characterised by a classical sensibility, pastose brushwork and virtuoso blurring. The inhabitants of his surreal, dreamlike, decaying artistic universe are not only grotesque puppets but also various animal-headed monsters, rococo figures lost in the mist, but also coastal landscapes or even still lifes, evoked through his virtuoso painterly style. And in his Hommage series, he has reinterpreted classics from art history, from Monet's water lilies to Velázquez's portrait of the Pope. He has held solo exhibitions in numerous venues in the provinces and the capital throughout a consistent career spanning several decades. He lives and works in Budapest.

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József CSATÓ
Man with plans

József CSATÓ

Man with plans

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil and acrylic on canvas
Size
130x140 cm
Artist's introduction

József Csató is a representative of the young generation of painters who showcase a hybrid understanding of painting, creating their works by deploying a wide range of pictorial and multimedia tools of the current age while remaining within the conventions of painting without relying on its representational function. The imitation of abstraction and figurativity is reversed: the figurative emerges as abstract, the abstract as figurative. An "as if" effect in a medium that does not cater to obsolete notions of beauty. Radical assertations in friendly narrative mode. József Csató's paintings speak a unique visual language. His figures and shapes merge to become a psychedelic personal symbolism. Amorphous forms appear as real, existing entities: plant-like beings or single-celled animals magnified to the extreme. These quasi-figural and abstract works, or image organisations, fuse several art-historical references into current fantasy worlds. The repetitive forms are re-expressed in the pictorial – compositional – order of the images as if the dynamics of this painted, animate world were put into motion by exactly these speculative botanical experiments. Besides his visual art, Csató is an inspired musician, working sometimes with cosmic sound effects that transport the listener into spherical dimensions. Julia Fabényi

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Szilárd CSEKE
The Ideal Forest II.

Szilárd CSEKE

The Ideal Forest II.

Year(s)
2009
Technique
oil and lacquer on canvas
Size
130x190 cm
Artist's introduction

Szilárd Cseke is one of the well-known artists of the generation who entered the scene in the 1990s, becoming known at home and internationally for his decorative, bright forest paintings and kinetic installations. Emese Révész analysed his painterly vision as a typical attitude of the 2000s: 'Cseke's painterly attitude is also a generational creed, the basic idea of which is the rehabilitation of painterly beauty, the defiant embrace of "pleasure painting". Returning to the old role of the painter, he is an illusionist who creates experiences, and his painting is both an object of relaxation and meditation." Szilárd Cseke, born in Pápa, studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Pécs and then at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts during the regime change. He first constructed mobile works of art from plastic, car tyres and fans, then painted monochrome still-lifes and storyboard-like scenes with soft, ephemeral brushwork. He found his distinctive stylistic world in the early 2000s as a prominent representative of the new mainstream of digital image-based painting emerging at the turn of the millennium. His decorative period, which began in 2002, with its serene mood, analysed the romantic, symbolic duality of forest trees and sky in a post-digital optical experience. He broke down the photo-based landscape into layers and then built up the image space step by step, creating a varied facture. In places, he scraped back or sanded back the smeared, painted, dripped-dotted oil, acrylic, enamel and lacquer paint. The rich surfaces of different properties and craft pushed the conceptual boundaries of digital image-making and traditional fine art. As art historian Sándor Hornyik said: "From a distance, the painting as a whole gives the impression of a digialtised photograph, but up close, the complexity of the 'ground' is revealed; the green patches do not break down into pixels but are organised into subtle brushstrokes (...) What is exciting about the end result is that it is both painterly and hyper-modern. The generic subject becomes secondary, but the technical complexity works brilliantly." After the emblematic forest paintings, Cseke returned to compositions following life and then built kinetic, conceptual installations with motors – analysing social relations. His largest installation ensemble, Sustainable Identities, was presented at the Hungarian pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2015. Constantly experimenting with new techniques, around 2020, Cseke revisited forest paintings, reverting to nature, in bright visionary colours, in response to the urban lifestyle changed by the pandemic. Cseke lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Ádám DÓRA
Villa Arson II.

Ádám DÓRA

Villa Arson II.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil, acrylic on paper
Size
120x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Ádám Dóra is a representative of the young generation of painters who started their careers at the end of the 2010s. His tableau paintings, which border on abstraction and figurative art, are defined by colourful stain painting, a light, spontaneous gestural language, and references from fashion and pop culture. Ádám Dóra, born in Vác, graduated from the University of Fine Arts in 2017, majoring in painting. His painting initially explored the intersections of the built environment and reductive abstraction, geometry and organic expression. He took abstract architectural motifs as his starting point, assigning angular blocks of architecture to the broad brushstrokes of the "colour field” stains. As he put it in his short Ars Poetica: "My works are somewhere on the border of abstraction and imagery. Their starting point is the constant confrontation between the technocratic world of the 21st century and the human desire for nature." Ádám Dóra arrived at the abstract representation of contemporary pop-cultural objects, like sports shoes, through the increasingly airy images of rock landscapes. The transformation came at the time of the pandemic, when sneakers – which further developed the UV colours of the eighties with hi-tech styling – appeared as garish “apparitions” on the deserted streets. In his most recent works, which can be described as "easy pop", the exaggerated, grotesque forms of oversized sneakers appear on a celestial stage of bleached, cartoonishly drawn clouds: giant, lumpy rubber soles and textile surfaces in whimsical patterns, formulated with a loose brush. During the years after graduating from university, Ádám Dóra has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, mainly in Budapest. He was the youngest nominee to participate in the 2021 Esterházy Art Awards exhibition at the Ludwig Museum. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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0122-Ernszt-Andras-Kek-narancs.jpg
András ERNSZT
Blue-Orange

András ERNSZT

Blue-Orange

Year(s)
2017
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

András Ernszt currently lives and works in Pécs. He studied at the University of Pécs, where his masters were László Valkó and Ilona Keserü Ilona. He received a DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) degree at this university in 2009, and since 2010, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of Painting, Faculty of Arts. In 1997, he spent a period in Munich as the winner of the DAAD Scholarship. In 2001, he was awarded the Eötvös Scholarship from the Hungarian State and in 2003 the Strabag Painting Prize from the Ludwig Museum. Since 1997, he has had regular solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Hungarian and international galleries: in Pécs, Budapest, Brussels and Stuttgart, among various other locations. András Ernszt's paintings are constantly moving, dynamic colour compositions. The slight deviation of the paint layers from the picture plane creates a characteristic, three-dimensional effect, apart from the various spatial and kinetic illusions. The structuring and layering of material plays a significant role in his work, and a reductive utilisation of colour accompanies this. The almost monochrome tones guide the viewer's attention to the material, to the painterly elaboration of the various surfaces and the deployed technical apparatus. The complexity of the images is increased by the light-shadow effects caused by the layering and the intricate interplay between the different hues of various colours. The viewer cannot find fixed points on the canvases: various formations are positioned on top of each other, while the resulting layering adds depth to them. Their disharmonious arrangement lends them a powerful set of dynamics. The paintings of Ernszt reveal a cavalcade of restless forms, constantly searching for their final destination, shaped by random movement.

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1137-Fabian-Erika-Quiet-Rituals.jpg
Erika FÁBIÁN
Quiet Rituals

Erika FÁBIÁN

Quiet Rituals

Year(s)
2019-2021
Technique
400 pieces of painted wooden cubes
Size
variable size
Artist's introduction

Erika Fábián was born in 1988 in Budapest. She graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2014, majoring in graphic design. Her art is based on a slow, in-depth creative process. Her abstract works are characterized by the all-over compositions of thousands of dots, most of which are backed with emotional-sensual processes: the dots and dots are a record of memories, feelings and traumas. The self-interpreting, mental processes are thus manifested in minimal gestures and raise questions about the ambiguity and interpretation of abstract art. The surface of the image, covered with tiny dots, is the unique signature of her series, sometimes a composition of chromatic processes (Pink diptych I-II, Viola, 2018-19), where sometimes it means the dynamic densification and regression of forms (Untitled I-VII, 2015), sometimes they are held in monochromaticity. For her black-and-white works, she prefers to use lithographic chalk with a greasy composition, whose fine grain produces a delicate surface effect on the paper composed of tonal differences. The colorful dots of Quiet Rituals (2019-21) are placed on wooden cubes or divided by a grid of squares. In some of the series, she turns to the work of artists who have influenced her: As Slow As Possible (2015-16) refers to John Cage's music piece of the same title, while Praise Hommage to Agnes Martin (2020) refers to the American artist's painting, which is associated to both minimalism and abstract expressionism. In her latest series, Erika Fábián has started to use a new technique. She cuts the digital prints of her own childhood drawings into strips, which she uses to create insect-shaped paper weavings: the lyricism of the color-drawing surfaces and the geometry of the weaving create the inherent complexity of the insect forms. In 2011 she was awarded the Jenő Barcsay Foundation Prize, in 2013 she won the Hungarian Graphic Artists Association Scholarship. She has been participating in group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad since 2011. In 2019, she exhibited her work at Art Up in Lille and in 2022 at ARCOmadrid contemporary art fairs. Since 2021, she is featured on secondaryarchive.org, the online platform for women artists from the Central and Eastern European region. She has been a lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts at Eszterházy Károly Catholic University since 2019. In Hungary she is represented by Molnár Ani Gallery. Lili Boros

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János FAJÓ
Circle Enfold

János FAJÓ

Circle Enfold

Year(s)
2000
Technique
oil on wood
Size
183x113 cm
Artist's introduction

János Fajó is one of the leading figures of Hungarian Constructive Geometric art. During his decades-long career, he researched empirical and geometric phenomena with a unique rigour. In his work, he investigated repetitive structures and their complex variations. His experiments in form spanned different media, including graphic work, screenprints, paintings, wall objects and sculptures. The easily recognisable, orderly visual universe of his works points to the inexhaustible nature of colour and form, relying on the purest pictorial attitude. He created symmetry, asymmetry, infinite variation of movement, rhythm, and dynamic relations by organising simple planar shapes. János Fajó graduated from the Hungarian College of Applied Arts in 1961. In 1971, he founded the renowned Neo-Avant-Garde group, the Pest Workshop, which printed multipliable graphics to democratise art. In addition to his publishing activities, he ran a free school for decades and organised exhibitions as the director of the Józsefváros Gallery. He received the Munkácsy Prize in 1985 and the Kossuth Prize in 2008. He has been teaching at the Hungarian University of Applied Arts since 1989. In 2016, he was elected as a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His works can be seen in significant local and international museum collections such as the Ludwig Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Albertina in Vienna, the Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum in Graz, Haus Konstruktiv (The Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art) in Zurich and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, as well as important national and international private collections. Zita Sárvári

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1407 Felsmann Istv†n - 51-es villamos
István FELSMANN
Tram 51

István FELSMANN

Tram 51

Year(s)
2013
Technique
LEGO, acrylic spray
Size
48x25,5 cm
Artist's introduction

István Felsmann graduated in 2013 from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Faculty of Graphic Design, where he has been a DLA student since 2022. He has been awarded the Gyula Derkovits Prize three times – in 2014, 2015 and in 2019 – and was nominated for the Esterházy Art Prize in 2019. Since 2009, his interdisciplinary art practice has included his trademark Lego building block works, a hybrid synthesis of relief and tableau painting. With a network approach, he deconstructs and reconstructs the abstract and realistic layers of information of reality in his image objects (Tram 51, 2013), but most of his works dissolve art historical traditions with a playfully balancing use of combinatorics. He also breaks down constructivism (Big Red Icon, 2020, White Constructivist, 2014) into its elements within the prequels, to then transform it into deconstructivism in a liberated act of childlike discovery and melting-pot-like creation. In this way, he simultaneously shows the shapes of geometric abstraction and the revolutionary achievements of the computing technology that defined Generation Y. His image objects are thus bitmaps represented by analogue raster and digital pixel graphics, each pixel of which is uniquely defined so that the image file can carry its corrupted data’s fragments and as much information or as possible. In fact, his Tennis and Court series, created in 2020, shows the new direction in which István Felsmann has turned towards the theory of supersymmetry with extended dimensions, i.e. experimenting with the possibility of representing extra dimensions and transforming symmetry. In February 2023, at the Deák Erika Gallery, in collaboration with Andrea Tivadar, at their joint exhibition titled PLAYFUL, a further reflection of these two visual and theoretical antecedents was presented. Annamária Szabó

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Ferenc FICZEK
Untitled

Ferenc FICZEK

Untitled

Year(s)
circa 1979
Technique
silver plastic film on fibreboard
Size
100x100x15 cm
Artist's introduction

Ficzek was one of the founding members of the Pécs Workshop (Pécsi Műhely), a group of progressive artists led by Ferenc Lantos from 1968. The spirit of this group was related to analytical abstraction, where the artist made experiments with different media from enamel paint to photography. Ficzek was interested in the meanings of overlapping effects of light, shadow and movements, which he elaborated in his various photographic, spray-painted and graphic series. His analytical sensitivity can be seen in his works created between 1968–70, where he played with the details of different geometrical forms, which he repeated on canvas or paper surfaces relying on different methodical processes. His interest in forms, and their changing shape by alternating light directions was also presented in his photographic works which showed performative situations with female or male characters. The shaped canvases presented in this exhibition are part of a special series that the artist produced at the beginning of the 1970s. These works were related to his interest in forms, shadows and the effect of light. The basis of these works are abstract wood constructions, which result in an unrecognizable relief form covered with canvas or plastic foil. The result is ambiguous, as the stretched surface merely hints at the original structure. We feel a softness on the surface of the object, but this is an illusion of the character of the wooden forms hidden under the cover. We can also notice the humour and inspiration of pop-culture in the works when sometimes, forms of hands or female legs become the main motives of the composition. Ficzek’s short but active carrier continued with further analysis of movements and layered photo-based works – this interest lead him to animated and experimental films by the end of the 1970s. His work was recognised and explored in depth in the last years and can be found in different national and international collections. Zsolt Petrányi

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Andreas FOGARASI
Roof Study 38

Andreas FOGARASI

Roof Study 38

Year(s)
2018
Technique
copper, book binding cloth
Size
50x70x2 cm
Artist's introduction

In 2007, the Hungarian pavilion won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale. The National Pavilion, which was declared the best, presented a single video installation curated by Katalin Tímár, a work by a then young artist, Andreas Fogarasi, about the remaining physical and intellectual legacy of the Budapest cultural centres from socialism. The slow, documentary, socialist-minimalist aesthetic of this work has attracted attention despite the fact that it is not by its nature suited to be shown on a biennale, as the main point in these large international exhibitions is a quick impact. Fogarasi has a background in architecture, he studied architecture at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, and later his interests steered him to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Alongside his studies in fine arts, he has maintained his interest in architecture, which remains the basis of his art. Since the success of the Biennale, he has had several prestigious international appearances in Mexico City (Proyectos Monclova 2016), Los Angeles (MAK Center 2014, with Oscar Tuazon), São Paulo (Galeria Vermelho 2014), and has exhibited in Leipzig, Madrid, Paris and New York at prestigious institutions such as the Palais de Tokyo, Frankfurter Kunstverein, MUMOK Vienna and Ludwig Museums. His most recent major presentment in Hungary was Skin City - The Skin of the City, a solo exhibition at the Budapest Gallery in 2022. Fogarasi's work is cumulatively complex. It incorporates the ideals of conceptual art, the aesthetics of minimalism, and the exploratory intentions of research-based art. Moving within the conservative framework of drawing, graphic arts and painting, he uses the clean design forms of architecture mixed with a deeply personal, human and familiar sense of the historical past. It presents the built environment, often socialist sites, not only as archaeological artefacts, but also sheds light on complex issues of identity, memory and legacy. In his works, he creates an elegant dialogue between the traditional materials of fine art, such as canvas, graphite and paint, and the remains of buildings from demolition sites. Thus, the universal aesthetics of abstraction, its timelessness and impersonality, are juxtaposed with the substance and historicity of the materials used in the buildings, providing the work with a wide range of associations. Délia Vékony

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Krisztián FREY
Black-White Calligraphy

Krisztián FREY

Black-White Calligraphy

Year(s)
circa 1990
Technique
oil and mixed media on paper
Size
70x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Krisztián Frey, as one of the most original figures of the Hungarian non-figurative painting –reborn in the 1960s – formed his own specific way of expression on the domestic scene protected from international influence and suffering from intellectual drowning. As one of the Hungarian representatives of the European post-war abstraction, Frey created his own individual way of expression, combining the lyrical approach of the art informel and the gestural technique of handwriting, similarly to Cy Twombly or Georges Mathieu. Frey started to build his career in the mid-1950s. As a dentist’s son from the countryside, he had to face being stigmatised as a “class enemy”, due to which he was not allowed to attend the College of Fine Arts. As a consequence, neither the ideology of Socialist Realism, nor the conservative tools of scenery painting could prevent him to deploy his aesthetic inner world. He got into close contact with the Zugló Circle, a group of young progressive artists, where his contemporaries were discovering the ways of French abstraction. He staged his first individual exhibition in Hungary in 1967 (in a secluded culture house of Rákosliget), where he presented Rákosliget Pictures, his series consisting of repainted, “whitened” gestures, leaning towards monochrome painting. In the mid-1960s – independently from the Rákosliget series – his individual style became mature: unique abstract expressionism, inspired by Eastern calligraphy and letter-like script writing. He used to refer to his own artistic approach as “gesture painting with varying pace”, which can be described as grey surfaces consisting of multi-layer colours, wide, energetic, expressive brush strokes, handwritten-like, multilingual captures, stenciled letters, vandal wall scripts, zodiac signs, and applicated photographs. Its characteristics were not featured by the elegance of the Western calligraphic abstraction, but much more by the “toilet-door-aesthetics” of art brut and arte povera, utilizing cheap laths, rough scratches and raw gestures. They have been inseparably accompanied by raw erotic desire and invincible writing force. After participating in the Iparterv exhibitions, Frey emigrated to Switzerland in 1970 and lived in Zürich until the end of the Hungarian communism. From the late 1970s, for almost two decades, he was engaged with mathematics, music and informatics. His experiments of experimental computer-drawing ensured a spot for him among the pioneers of international computer art. After the Regime Change in Hungary, he visited his home country again, and parallelly he began to re-develop his earlier scriptural painting. His home crowd then started to admire his unrivalled oeuvre, which is pervaded by the permanent writing force, free expression and the calling of experimentation. Gábor Rieder

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1422 Fridvalszki M†rk - Ufo Revelation I.
Márk FRIDVALSZKI
UFO REVELATION I.

Márk FRIDVALSZKI

UFO REVELATION I.

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic transfer on canvas
Size
40x30 cm
Artist's introduction

Márk Fridvalszki, who has been living and working in Berlin for more than ten years, started his studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2004, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 2011 and later attended the Intermedia Department in Leipzig as a postgraduate student. His works from the mid-2010s, which the artist called "stark geometry", expressed a dark paranoia of the "techno-end" dominated by his interest in monochromatism, entropy and technology. He is a co-founder of the art collective and publishing project called Technologie und das Unheimliche (T+U) operating since 2014. His works can be found in the collections of the Ferenczy Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. In 2018, a decisive shift occurred in his art: Márk Fridvalszki attempted to break away with a "forward and upward" momentum from the framework of a neoliberal system without a future or criticism. His inspirational creative method builds up from the pastel and/or neon, cultural turning points and subcultural products of late popular modernism characterising Fischer, that pulsates in psychedelic colours and is collage-like in its inspiration – in his work titled Still Hight, he evokes Ilona Keserü's iconic, cosmic world of forms and the skin colour that became the trademark of his predecessor, emphasising the counterpoint of the image. According to Barnabás Zemlényi-Kovács, it is “»archeo-futurology«, a consistent exploration of the sonic and visual remnants of lost futures, modernist visions in a post-future, timeless age.” The works included in the collection are already all artifacts of a utopian “vision of the future”, seen in a universal and ontological perspective, excavations of nostalgia for the future, which, according to the artist, are intended to act as a catalyst to awaken avant-garde energies from their slumber. Annamária Szabó

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0924-Gaspar-Gyorgy-Kerulet-I.jpg
György GÁSPÁR
District I.

György GÁSPÁR

District I.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
hand painted optical glass, acrylic paint
Size
84x84x11 cm
Artist's introduction

György Gáspár is the most characteristic representative of the new generation of glass artists who entered the scene in the 2000s, giving artistic depth and a new impetus to the modernist tradition of glass art in Hungary. According to art historian Flóra Mészáros, his pioneering, experimental spirit "occupies a unique position in Hungarian contemporary art". Born in Pécs, Gáspár graduated from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts in 2003 with a degree from the Silicate Department and later absolved his doctoral degree (DLA) in sculpture at the University of Pécs. His early works explored the novel effects of furnace-cast glass sculpture (casting), relying on the use of astronomical metaphors. His polished sculptural objects, constructed by glueing together cast and optical glass elements, played with pop-cultural, cinematic references, from extraterrestrial entities to action-movie rockets. His work was characterised by precise technical execution, striking motifs reminiscent of Op-art and vivid contrasts that deployed UV colours. As a continuation of the early "geopop" era, he also investigated the possibilities of encapsulating uranium and the speed of light. His works from the second half of the 2010s harked back to the geometrical Avant-Garde tradition, Neoplasticism and the Bauhaus, analysing the structure and use of colour in the construction of images. His works are sculptural-artistic works that go beyond the traditional glass medium and are fuelled by the philosophy of deconstructionism. He has created fictitious pictorial spaces out of strict lines layered on laminated glass sheets. Besides Mondrianesque primary colours, he utilised various shades of orange, purple and turquoise. By scrapping coloured glass plates or drawing the line systems with isograph pens, he created panels and sculptures whose layers can be viewed from several directions thanks to the material's transparency. The geometric works are sometimes based on grids or the abstract patterns of industrial or architectural elements. Numerous prizes have attested to Gáspár's pioneering role, and in 2009, he was given the most prestigious national award in the field, the Noémi Ferenczy Award. He teaches the new generations of glass artists at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and the University of Pécs. Due to his exhibitions, his work has become part of significant national and international collections, including the world's most important glass museum, the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Tibor GÁYOR
Folding 6. GT472

Tibor GÁYOR

Folding 6. GT472

Year(s)
1972
Technique
acryl on paper
Size
60x49,8 cm
Artist's introduction

Tibor Gáyor finished his architectural studies in 1951 and worked in the field until the beginning of the 1960s. This background defines his way of thinking concerning artistic expression: mathematical rules, concepts about space and seriality characterize his two-dimensional works. From 1963, he dedicated his life to fine arts, elaborating his specific methodology at the beginning of the 1970s. He began experiments by folding paper and canvas in a precalculated way thus visualising tectonic models, a special term for describing architectural structures. His oeuvre refers to Minimalism as well: his ambition to rely on minimal devices brought purity and a conceptual approach to his works. The folding of the canvas, revealing the white grounded surface and its raw backside on a black base, or the prints of folded papers with limited colour shows a controlled approach to artistic expression. The simultaneous use of the front and back sides of the same surface brings with it the question of space and the third dimension in the case of Gáyor’s work. The viewer when trying to reverse engineer this method realizes that the result is not a montage, but a fully-developed process, showcasing different solutions on how to present the complexity of space itself by displaying the different aspects of a surface and its backside. Gáyor has followed consequently his programme during his carrier, approaching the same visual problems from various angles. Acknowledged for his consistency, his works are part of important public and private collections, like the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Kunstmuseum, Bochum and the Museum Moderne Kunst, Vienna. Zsolt Petrányi

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0595-Geller-B.-Istvan-Cim-nelkul.jpg
István GELLÉR B.
Untitled

István GELLÉR B.

Untitled

Year(s)
1974
Technique
tempera on paper
Size
52x44 cm
Artist's introduction

The geometric painting practice of B. István Gellér is unique among the aspirations of the Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde. The emblematic structures of his 1970s artworks, which were constructed with softer lines, but edited with symmetrical rigour, are typical domestic examples of Pop art-influenced Signal Painting. One of the most critical issues of progressive Hungarian painting in the 1960s was the reconciliation of global trends and local traditions, which notion defined the artistic practice of Gellér as well. His passion for drawing led him as a child to Ferenc Martyn, followed by the free school of Ferenc Lantos. His trip to Western Europe deeply inspired him in the late 1960s. During his visit to London, he got acquainted with the work of Bridget Riley, Frank Stella and Victor Vasarely. Combining his recent international experiences with the local artistic traditions of Pécs, he developed an organic and symbolic geometric language. He sought to create an internationally relevant, locally inspired, but at the same time personally motivated artistic voice. His recurring motifs include the almost anthropomorphic, three-lobed, softened triangle, the "embracing" shapes, and the box-like space enhanced with a sense of depth utilising perspective. He endowed his geometric shapes – which filled the entire surface – with personal meaning far removed from the essence of Geometric Abstraction. He was less interested in theoretical problems than in the lyrical transformation of symbols. He worked on creating a "geometry of personal credibility" based on individual truths. Fanni Magyar

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1198-Goth-Martin-Two-Spring-And-The-Duck.jpg
Martin GÓTH
Two Spring And The Duck

Martin GÓTH

Two Spring And The Duck

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
70x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Martin Góth is one of the representatives of the young generation of Hungarian artists entering the art scene around 2020, who are developing a strong language of forms. On his acrylic tableaus, digital retro mixes with the theory of signs and subcultural icons. Martin Góth, born in Kaposvár, – following a detour to Berlin and Glasgow – graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2021, majoring in painting. His language of painting, which was then maturing, is constructed of schematized signs and pop-cultural motifs embedded in a geometric grid system. The basic organising theme of his images is the square mesh of old computer games and board games such as Tetris, minesweeper, tic tac toe or chess. The grid pattern is filled with the three-dimensional buttons, axonometric elements, pictograms and schematized icons familiar from early Windows. As curator Eszter Dalma Kollár explained, "the system of 8×8 cm squares and the 1 cm wide lines separating them is the base for each painting. Martin has filled these with a bunch of personal little stories, visual gags and fictional characters." The precise, pixelated aesthetic character of the digital retro-inspired form set is balanced by raw painting gestures, hand scribbles and graffiti marks. Góth's conceptual approach to art sometimes leaves the plane of the tableau and extends the playing field to the entire exhibition area. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Hungary. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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0029-Hajdu-Kinga-Bujocska.jpg
Kinga HAJDÚ
Hide-and-Seek

Kinga HAJDÚ

Hide-and-Seek

Year(s)
2019
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
50x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Kinga Hajdú studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts between 1985–89 and then participated in the same institution's Postgraduate Artist Training Program between 1989 and 1992. She has been an art teacher at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts' Secondary School of Visual Arts in Budapest since 1991. Kinga Hajdú emerged as a representative of the new generation in the second half of the 1990s, developing her painterly practice through conceptual and figurative means. The universe of these small-scale works relies on precision and a high degree of technical skill. Hajdú's first, invertedly executed paintings were quasi-naturalistic depictions of meat. The inspiration was provided by the meats' swirling structure, which she later developed as an independent motif. She went on to discover the abstract compositional possibilities inherent to the details of her paintings. In these images, she foreshadowed an artistic intention, which we witness in her later work: the importance of details seen through the lens of abstraction. The notions of figurativity and abstraction simultaneously define her artistic practice. Her compositions arranged according to a grid-like structure provide the polar opposite of her earlier circular compositions. While the circle represents the symbol of universal existence, the grid carries associations of finality, delineated areas and an earth-bound sense of gravity. The pictorial structures of Hajdú provide a platform for colour analysis as well. It is no coincidence that the artist is experimenting with earth tones in search of an overall sense of harmony. Júlia Fabényi

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1306 Hajgato Terezia Mimikri XV
Terézia HAJGATÓ
Mimicry XV.

Terézia HAJGATÓ

Mimicry XV.

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
90x69,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Terézia Hajgató is a figurative representative of the generation of painters who entered the scene at the end of the 2010s. Her realistically shaped, psychologising oil paintings scan trauma and emotional situations through everyday objects. Born in Tapolca, Hajgató finished her studies at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts at the end of the 2010s. She chose the empty chair, endowed with psychologising symbolism, as the basic therapeutic motif of her early art. In her realistic oil paintings, which are designed as drawings, the chairs, conceived as self-portraits, appear facing each other in a carpet-like grid of ornamental mesh. The different styles of seats either connect with the pattern of the background, or blend in and hide in it. Their passive self-defence strategy is reminiscent of the visual tactics of the mimicry known from the animal world. Hajgató has explored the theme of the anthropomorphised chair in group compositions and in image fields divided into two, as well as in sculptural, photographic forms and installations. In her 2023 series of paintings, balloon animals and toy figures – exploring the themes of childhood vulnerability and daydreaming – replaced the chair motif. Hajgató lives and works in Budapest, she also exhibits her work in the capital city. Gábor Reider

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1181-Halmi-Horvath-Istvan-Hommage-a-Albers-no.-20.jpg
István HALMI-HORVÁTH
Hommage á Albers no. 20

István HALMI-HORVÁTH

Hommage á Albers no. 20

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acryl, canvas on wood
Size
60x60x5 cm
Artist's introduction

"The number of stories and worlds I imagine depends only on how much time I have to contemplate." The depths we experience of the phenomena we look at depends only on the attention we pay to them. Several generations of abstract-geometric artists have been fascinated by this theme, and – according to art historian Viola Farkas – István Halmi-Horváth takes this multi-generational idea further. The artist, who followed in the footsteps of Lajos Kassák, László Moholy-Nagy, Imre Bak and Tamás Hencze, graduated as a painter from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2002. His solo exhibitions have been shown in several venues in Budapest and in other cities of the country, such as the László Vass Collection in Veszprém, the Esterházy Palace in Győr, the Karithy Salon or the Viltin Gallery in Budapest. in 2012 he was a special prize winner of the Biennale of Tableau Painting, in 2013 also a special prize winner of the Balaton Biennale, in 2000 he was a recipient of the Bertalan Székely Scholarship, and the Carmen Würth Prize. Viola Farkas explains the art of István Halmi-Horváth in platonic terms: "Painters usually turn to geometric forms because this is how they can create the most perfect image of the structure of the world. These images presuppose the absolute behind phenomena, the eternity of the idea, that there are eternal values which exist in themselves because concepts remain identical with themselves, and that our imperfect material world is only a reflection of the world of eternal and unchanging ideas." The abstract, geometric repetitive forms, even spanning across series, seem to tease with stubborn curiosity the layers of reality they have lifted. The seemingly never-ending variation to find the perfect composition and use of color, which gives the images a sometimes dynamically playful, sometimes serious and static feel, is the result of a simple but highly complex creative process. István Halmi-Horváth often spends a long time searching for the defining form of a series, and on this he builds a palette of colors, some of which we have never even heard of. In the compositions, the immateriality, timelessness, and seriousness of the absolute are replaced by lively, animated figures in constant motion, which sometimes even slip out of the frame in their unbridledness. The bathing in the bringing forth of the thousand faces of infinity is a display of the world's most serious subject with exuberant lightness. Délia Vékony

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Simon HANTAÏ
Aquarelle

Simon HANTAÏ

Aquarelle

Year(s)
1971
Technique
watercolour on paper
Size
65,5x56,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Simon Hantaï studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts under the supervision of Vilmos Aba-Novák and Béla Kontuly. In 1948, he won a one-year scholarship to study in Paris, which was later withdrawn due to changes in the political climate. After finally immigrating to Paris, he got acquainted with André Breton and his circle. He covered his vivid canvases with fantastic creatures, organic forms, and biomorphic shapes and conducted experiments with the genre and technical apparatus of painting. Parallel to his surrealist paintings, his work became more and more gestural due to his continuous experimentation. When the work of the New York School was exhibited in Paris, he came under the influence of Abstract Expressionism, motivated above all by Pollock's paintings. From the 1960s, he developed a unique technique called pliage: by folding, creasing and painting the canvas, he created abstract patterns on vast, expansive surfaces. In 1982, Hantaï represented France at the Venice Biennale; he then decided to retire from the public for a period. However, his absence from the art scene did not mean a break with painting: Hantaï never stopped creating and continued to re-examine his oeuvre. In addition to the leading Hungarian art institutions, his work can be found in international, world-famous collections such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Vatican Museum in Rome, the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Nice, Christie's in London and several significant private collections. Viktória Popovics

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Tamás HENCZE
Blue Space with Red Light

Tamás HENCZE

Blue Space with Red Light

Year(s)
2007
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Hencze considered Dezső Korniss to be his master and the Zugló Circle – which examined abstract art and the theoretical work of Béla Hamvas – as his school. He was a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His painting practice, which initially focused on the directness of the gesture and the Pop art collage, became individually motivated in the second half of the 1960s. He used stencils and a rubber roller when spreading the evenly applied (black) paint, creating precise transitions and eliciting pulsating spatial effects on the picture plane. The dynamic, repetitive, saturated, fading and empty surfaces appeared as the universal rhythm of life. The structures of his paintings – which "emerged from the point" – coincided with the era's scientific worldview and the minimalist attitude in the arts. His works could also be connected to the Op-art movement, which sought to examine vision. However, Hencze relied on a more complex understanding of perception, introducing the picturesque experience of appearance and disappearance. These works were featured in the unofficial exhibitions at the end of the decade (e.g. Iparterv, 1968) and subsequently in European exhibitions displaying contemporary Hungarian art. In the 1980s, he reinterpreted his images from the beginning of his career: he "froze" huge gestures on large canvases, which were seen as part of the era's postmodern turn. These works were not straightforward gestural paintings but exact reproductions of gestures constructed with templates, rubber cylinders, a few intensely saturated colours, and light, which lent the moment's spatial-material (iconic) reality frozen onto the picture plane. In his work on paper, Hencze occasionally lined up the technical tools connected to the creative process of these more recent gestural images, such as the scissor, the ruler and the various geometric shapes. Katalin Keserü

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Endre HORTOBÁGYI
Gesture

Endre HORTOBÁGYI

Gesture

Year(s)
1995
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
160x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Endre Hortobágyi was a predominant artist of the Hungarian Gestural Painting movement in the 1960s. His œuvre was – in parallel with his tragic fate – only genuinely appreciated by the public following his death. His art, rooted in French Lyrical Abstraction and Informel, is an exceptional achievement of 20th-century non-figurative art in Hungary. The distinctiveness of his painting stems from his individuality. Hortobágyi, as one of his rediscoverers, the renowned international museum director Lóránd Hegyi wrote, believed in the possibility of harmony, in a vision of organic totality: "And this is exactly what makes his artistic attitude romantic, almost anachronistically elevated, and the artist, himself a solitary figure." Born in Budapest during the Second World War, Hortobágyi was "against the grain of the era". He was not admitted to the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, so he could only train as a self-taught artist. Around 1962, he joined the Zugló Circle, established by Sándor Molnár, where young artists – in opposition to the official cultural politics of the time – became acquainted with the contemporary tendencies and theoretical texts of French abstraction as part of a self-propelled initiative. Their painting, which was mainly inspired by Jean Bazaine's teachings, was characterised by the transformation of the material world into an expressive system of brushstrokes, letting the depicted object "transcend itself, becoming a passionate ideogram of the truth". Many supportive intellectuals frequented the "second public sphere" of the apartment in Zugló. However, the group's artistic endeavours were labelled "prohibited" and did not find an official outlet. Their first exhibition (New Aspirations, 1966) was closed down by the authorities. Hortobágyi's paintings of the 1960s were dominated by abstracted transcriptions of landscapes filled with spiritual content, followed by a more spontaneous, pure non-figurativity – inspired by the liberating influence of automatic writing – recalling the work of the French painter Alfred Manessier. While the other artists from his generation who got admitted to the Hungarian College of Fine Arts organised and participated in group exhibitions, Hortobágyi became increasingly isolated from the late 1960s onwards, excluding himself from the art world and society in general. During his solitary years, his art transformed: in addition to the surfaces evoking plants and spreading organically in a jungle-like manner, angular, homogeneous colour fields also emerged. During the last period of his career, referred to as the artist's calligraphic period, he painted broad, thin gestures sometimes arranged in atmospheric, fuming structures, utilising a reduced colour palette. Although the professional public embraced his work at the end of his life, he died a wounded and isolated man after the regime change. His pioneering œuvre remains a particularly powerful strain of Informel Painting in Hungary. Gábor Rieder

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Judit HORVÁTH LÓCZI
It's closing

Judit HORVÁTH LÓCZI

It's closing

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Judit Horváth Lóczi graduated as a landscape architect and obtained a second degree in colour engineering at the Budapest University of Technology. Between 2011 and 2014, she graduated from the Budapest Metropolitan University with a degree in Visual Representation. In 2019, she was awarded the Fellowship of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in the United States of America. In 2022, she was the finalist of the Kassák Contemporary Art Prize. Judit Horváth Lóczi's work is connected to the constructivist-geometric tradition, and her individual vision represents a new (female) sensibility in the Hungarian art scene. Her oeuvre to date consists of a series of paintings and objects that are thematically interconnected, searching for new paths concerning the question of form and exploring possible points of intersection between the medium of painting and sculpture. Her works blend pictorial flatness and spatiality to create a distinctive visual language based on abstraction, geometry, dynamics and rhythm. The supports of Horváth's spatially expansive paintings are pre-designed shaped canvas constructions whose geometric rigidity is counterbalanced by a vivid palette and intuitive compositional style. In addition to traditional materials, one of the hallmarks of her artistic practice is the deployment of unusual, extreme objects as supports. Her work is usually inspired by everyday situations or personal stories, which she presents through constructing geometric compositions built on fundamental forms. She gives voice to intimate yet universal experiences such as becoming a mother or the everyday difficulties of raising a child. As she puts it, "each work is an entry in my diary." Viktória Popovics

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György JOVÁNOVICS
Frottage 3.

György JOVÁNOVICS

Frottage 3.

Year(s)
1993
Technique
soft colour pastel on paper
Size
70x100 cm
Artist's introduction

György Jovánovics studied sculpture at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, followed by further studies in Vienna and Paris. He is a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His work speaks about art itself through the objective nature of sculpture and the presentation of elusive artistic qualities. The – archaic and simultaneously contemporary – material often utilised in his work is plaster, which is also connected to his first themes: the figure and drapery (Iparterv exhibitions in 1968 and 1969). His life-sized figures (including those isolated from the realm of painting) are assembled from parts, casts, as well as his space-defining drapery installations (Adolf Fényes-Hall, 1970). In these works, Jovánovics presents an object-oriented creative process and a fragile existential interpretation of art. (The artwork titled Precurtain for the Ecstatic Marionette (1979) has become a part of the Tate Modern collection.) From the 1980s, Jovánovics started exploring the classic art genre of the sculptural relief. Based on minimal spatial differences, his white plaster reliefs are brought to life by frictional light from an external source. With time, coloured versions also appeared, using different paints that were mixed into the material. In his frottage work, he unfolds the possibilities of the relief format and questions of light and colour. The monument commemorating the martyrs of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – which included the layout plan of the surrounding space of the New Public Cemetery as well – revealed the meaningful connections between architecture and sculpture, deep and high, closed and open spaces, space and surfaces in general, furthermore the connection between architectural and sculptural archetypes. His video installation titled An excerpt from the Great Storm explored the unity of the three arts based on a painting by Giorgione and revealed the liveliness a work of contemporary art can possess (BTM - Kiscelli Museum, 1996). Katalin Keserü

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Tamás JOVANOVICS
To Fischli & Weiss

Tamás JOVANOVICS

To Fischli & Weiss

Year(s)
2011
Technique
acrylic lacquer, acrylic, colour pencil, 8 mm MDF board, L-shape aluminium profile
Size
90x170 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Jovanovics completed his studies in painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the Université de Provence (1999), then absolved his doctoral studies in Aix-en-Provence and Budapest (2004). He attended postdoctoral courses in Provence and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. During the Hungarian Universitas Program, he created monumental, architectural – steel and aluminium – sculptures for three dormitory buildings in Nyíregyháza. In the prevalent internationality of the generation of artists after the change of regime, his works can be distinguished from his contemporaries by his strikingly sensitive utilisation of tools and the fine-tuned juxtaposition of lines and colours combining rationality and chance. According to Jovanovics, his work procedure can be described with an “almost robotic minimalism at the level of form and a certain poetry in the field of colours,” in the words of Péter Nádas: “extreme asceticism and hedonism simultaneously”. The image starts with a minimal set of elements: a square canvas and coloured pencils. The dense lines drawn with a ruler are somewhat accidental and have flaws – they are unique despite their engineering and precision. Kinetic surfaces are born, sometimes from the orientation and intersection of straight lines. In other cases, it is the fragmented images, which make several formats possible simultaneously. His “Linear” paintings were first created on a white ground, then from the 2010s on a black backdrop. Coloured lines emerge running vertically and at right angles next to the tight horizontal lines. Line and colour transform into geometry: sometimes, because of the colour changes, illusionist (virtual) forms are elaborated, resulting in an optically moving web of interlocking ornamental surfaces. Katalin Keserü

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Zsigmond KÁROLYI
Four Halved Squares II.

Zsigmond KÁROLYI

Four Halved Squares II.

Year(s)
2013
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
90x90 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsigmond Károlyi, after his figurative experiments of the 2000s – which manifested in archaizing, quasi-symbolic genre images, still lifes arranged from children's toys, sour pastiche pieces – once again started painting geometric images, returning to his concept from around 1977-78, which was based on the relationship of elementary forms and motion relations. His works recorded the triangle's and the rectangle's phases of rotation; his series of paintings is thus a synthesis of decades of artistic practice. The platform and the arguments of this pictorial summary are based on a kind of orthodoxy, on the fundamentalism of painting theory. At the same time, this becomes a stylistic framework, a characteristic form in itself. The visual structures created by rotation, the virtual shifting of planes, the division of the image surface and the transformation of this rhythm by adding new sections - sometimes planar fractals – provide a complex set of terms. Károlyi uses pure primary colours of additive and subtractive colour mixing in these procedures, complemented with the broken "mutants" of these colours. The almost exclusively square-format, balanced quality of the boards is juxtaposed with peculiar, immanent seriality, a gesture that generates form, folding out and across, folding in and down, mirroring. These processes vary and permute the planes intended and assumed to be regular, which are ultimately strikingly personal. The square is halved, the triangle is reflected. A circle or a sector appears only rarely. The forms are aligned in the austere tension of cold and warm, converging and receding hues and the delicate balance of complementary colours, while the images reveal something seemingly stricter, at the same time self-ironic, from a distance, but perhaps not involuntarily, indeed: a reference to Bauhaus, a quasi-pedagogical "dogmatism". István Hajdu

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1391 Kis RĘka Csaba - Bad And Naughty
Róka Csaba KIS
Bad And Naughty

Róka Csaba KIS

Bad And Naughty

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil, enamel, canvas
Size
100×99,5 cm
Artist's introduction

As a leading painter of Hungarian posthuman hybridity, he has been a regular participant in solo and group exhibitions for two decades, both on the local and the international scene. These include the Liverpool Biennial in 2010, a group exhibition at the Factory-Art Gallery in Berlin in 2011, then due to its impact, being added to the collection of the private MACT/CACT Museum and Center of Contemporary Art in Switzerland, and after 2011, one more Esterházy Art Award nomination in 2023. For the fourth time in his career, the central problem of his painting, the representation of the human figure, is ricocheted. While the few years following his graduation in 2007 were essentially characterised by the dynamic, dramatic contrasts of classical painting traditions such as Baroque and Romanticism, with a satirical overtone, in a naturalistic, horroristic narrative composition of colour and form, from the mid-2010s – having completely stripped of the realist approach – the influence of surrealism unfolded in the contrasting laboratory of “quite absurd, almost caricaturistically pathological subject matter”, as Gábor Rieder wrote on the artist’s exhibition titled Federation Of Decomposed Organs And Stripes. However, the distorted fragmentation of the human figure in his paintings reached its peak after 2020, as the human body parts became completely separated from their self-referentiality. The works from the same series, shown in the collection, are now abstract, deconstructed painting elements floating in the space of the picture, like the filtered presence of a cartoon character on another reality. The associative black and white stripe stamp, which is at once zebra carpet, hard-edge veneer constructions and the discount barcode of capitalist society, is applied to a predominantly colour-transitioned base layer, reminiscent of the typical colour palette of American car tuning. As a final layer of paintings, Kis Róka painted the deformed creatures, often distorted pop-cultural references, with the "melted gummy bear" effect of water-based enamel paint (Bad And Naughty, 2021). In the spring of 2023, however, the artist completely erased his hardware and dissolved the image space of his works in the pixel art bitmap matrix of trash aesthetics, making the distorted fragmentary creatures take full shape as stick figures again. Annamária Szabó

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1380 Knyih†r Bence - Napellenzč
Bence KNYIHÁR
Sunshade

Bence KNYIHÁR

Sunshade

Year(s)
2013
Technique
oil, canvas
Size
137x208,5cm
Artist's introduction

Bence Knyihár graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs in 2011. From 2016, he has been a member and a regular exhibitor of the Artus Contemporary Art Studio. In his art, two creative phases can be distinguished, and although they are based on the same painting process, the brushwork with a distinctly colouristic vision found in 2018 is organised along a completely new compositional principle. Szél (Wind) (2014) and Pinty no. 2 (Finch no. 2) (2015), in their colour treatment and technique, may even evoke a sense of a certain experimental paraphrase in the viewer. While the former is a flurry of gestural painting sequences that allow for a quick, brief contact, the latter may recall the colour abstraction of Gerhard Richter's Karmin and the Vermalung technique. Here, the practice of overpainting and blurring played a more pronounced role, the blending of abstract fields of colour causing them to randomly mix, and the removal of the previous layer of paint with a scraper providing an archaeological exploration of the canvas, resulting in a myriad of haptic layers and surfaces. At the exhibition titled Átfedések (Overlaps), in the summer of 2023, Bence Knyihár presented his latest works created under the aegis of Pittura Analitica, one of the most influential Italian painting movements of the 1960s, which was brought back into the discourse of the present by Alberto Fiz. This analytical approach seeks to explore the constituent elements of painting (canvas, frame, material, colour and sign) and their interrelationship, as well as the metabolic contact (as in the flow of information) between the work as a physical object and its creator, providing an experience of pure, absolute existence. The series titled Orchids 1-4. (2022) brings to the stage an equal juxtaposition of complementary scenes and the positive-negative forms of the eponymous orchid flower, while the artist also gives it a sense of movement by sliding the canvas up to a stretcher slightly shifted. At the same time, Knyihár also plays the nomenclature of the flower into the imagery: it is an aphrodisiac according to ancient beliefs. It symbolizes noble beauty and preciousness in general, while coupled with the colour blue, it denotes absolute rarity, the coveted essence of Pittura-Pittura (painting-picture). Annamária Szabó

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Attila KONDOR
Asclepion

Attila KONDOR

Asclepion

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
70x70 cm
Artist's introduction

Attila Kondor represents a figurative derivation of oil painting that emerged after the turn of the millennium, drawing on the Italian tradition and striking a metaphysical note. He also created animations based on his meditative paintings, which use elements of classical architecture and garden design. "The images of the contemplative, conceptual animations are created on canvas and prints, where the presence of stillness and silence is conveyed not only by harmonious proportions and tonal transitions of soothing colours but also by the apparition-like glow of the highlights that almost split the painting plane, suggesting a supernatural light" - wrote art historian János Schneller about the artist's meditative approach. Kondor, born in Budapest, graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2000 with a degree in Graphic Arts. At that time, his artistic perspective was characterised by the traditional oil painting method and a search for classical themes. During his time at the university, he turned against the conceptual practice that dominated the intellectual climate of the 1990s and, as a rebellious gesture, painted plein air landscapes of the Élesd countryside in Transylvania as a member of the Sensaria Group, a group of traditionalist painting students. Although the group's attitude towards classical painting resonated among the realist tendencies that were gaining ground in the early 2000s, Kondor was isolated from the group because of his essentially philosophical, contemplative character. He was strongly influenced by Italy, the home of classical architecture and traditional garden design. His early paintings depicted unpopulated, meditative Italian castle gardens with reflecting surfaces of water, silent colonnades and classical sculptures. Subsequently, his canvases depicted architectural fragments from Budapest. Smudges and tactile surfaces accompanied his pictorial character's realistic, austere perspective. By the end of the decade, he found his own distinctive, individual iconography: gateways, staircases, marble halls and libraries, lifted from classical architecture and given symbolic power. Kondor's historical and philosophical worldview suggests that the proportions of the gates, windows and spaces correspond to the "majesty of the cosmos". The pictorial voids, highlighted by graphic white stripes or negative forms, indicate the proximity of mystery in this Arcadian, introspective world. Since 2013, Kondor has also been making meditative animated films from the "raw material" of his paintings, besides the oil paintings that he is constantly creating. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Tamás KONOK
Timeline

Tamás KONOK

Timeline

Year(s)
2003
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
130x130 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Konok studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts between 1948 and 1953 as a student of Aurél Bernáth. He emigrated to Paris in 1959. He turned away from naturalistic painting and developed his lyrical geometric style from the 1970s, in which sensitive linear drawing plays a critical role. Galerie Lambert organised his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1960. From the 1970s, Konok and his wife, the sculptor Katalin Hetey lived in Paris and Zurich. Konok worked in close contact with Schlégl Gallery in Zurich and regularly exhibited in French, Swiss, Dutch and Swedish galleries and museums. He returned to Hungary with a solo exhibition in 1980. Since the 1990s, he has been staying and working in Budapest on a regular basis. His work attempted to capture transcendental, timeless realms of meaning: he sought to depict the forces, energies, and relations that drive the universe with his concrete, geometric shapes and linear systems. His musical studies had a profound influence on his art; thus, in his work, he paid attention to the perfect articulation of sound, rhythm, and line navigation. In addition to his "Apollonian" notion of art, which shaped his precise compositions and architectonic pictorial structures, he was also committed to renewing his painting practice during his seven-decade career. The central element of his painterly experiments – based on small-scale collages – could be grasped in the forever evolving pictorial structures, motifs and the dynamic changes in the artist's palette. Krisztina Szipőcs

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Zsuzsanna KÓRÓDI
Subfolder IV.

Zsuzsanna KÓRÓDI

Subfolder IV.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
glued, hand polished glass, UV paint 
Size
37x61,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsuzsanna Kóródi's pictorial surfaces are closely related to the traditions of Op-art, Kinetic art, and in a broader sense, to Constructive-Concrete painting. Her works can be interpreted as images, objects and reliefs. They confuse the recipient not only because of this uncertainty in classification but also due to the alternation of contradictory (spatial) illusions. Maximum focus is needed to accommodate the real and virtual image spaces established by the rhythmic repetition of the fundamental geometric shapes, the dynamic tempo changes in the dramatic congestion and thinning of stripes and frequency-like lines. More and more constellations are elicited by the viewer's movements, making the spectacle continuously transform. Kóródi's works are also related to Op-art due to the image objects' industrial character: the works lack any form of individual gesture. The abstract character of the visual spectacle is reinterpreted through the use of highly associative titles. However, despite these associations, the images do not take on a narrative function but remain platforms where optical events occur. Instead of cognitive layers, Kóródi researches phenomena: her work thematises the interplay between visual impulses and the "responsive gaze". Kóródi often rethinks the design principles of her iridescent surfaces. Her works pose questions concerning the long-established dilemmas of art and illusion. In the wake of the legacy of significant predecessors, Kóródi provokes vision, combining the industrial character inherent in sterile forms with the singularity of flaring illusions and classical craftsmanship. Mónika Zsikla

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Rita KOSZORÚS
Yellow schMERZbild

Rita KOSZORÚS

Yellow schMERZbild

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acryl, oil, ink on canvas
Size
170x155 cm
Artist's introduction

A multitude of opposites and contradictions meet with intelligent elegance in the Bratislava-born artist's work. Rita Koszorús's art is at once unpredictable but meticulously planned, action-based but painterly in a tradition-following way, conservatively modern but rebelliously contemporary. The artist, who graduated in Bratislava, also studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts with the guidance of Imre Bukta and Péter Kiss. She has also participated in residencies in Prague, Porto, Paris and Berlin, this internationality contributes to the versatility of her art. Her painting stability is reflected in the fact that she won the Mal'ba - VÚB banka painting prize for young artists in 2021 and the NOVUM art prize and scholarship in 2022. The art of Rita Koszorús is based on the concept of schMERZ. The Merz concept is the invention of Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), considered by many to be unique in his many facets. Schwitters, according to many of the followers of the Dadaist attitude, truly embodied the Dada artistic ethos, as his art was in complete fusion with everyday life, juxtaposing seemingly contradictory statements with the utmost serenity. Rita Koszorús follows this approach when she places her abstract paintings on a collage basis. The contingency of the surfaces and the tremor of the contours in the works may be the result of completely random gestures, but on closer inspection it is clear that what we see are precisely planned forms, based on movement, but perfectly deliberate. Spontaneity is also present in the installations, the presence of the works in the space may be tossed and random, but the pastel play of the sprayed surfaces clearly reflects a planned, precise work. The word schmerz means pain, and you can feel it in most of the works - it would be hard to perceive shooting a rifle at a painting as anything else. This overt pain turns into nostalgic sadness with an abstract formal language whose sensitivity is perfect for depicting a perceived and desired inner world. While for Rita Koszorús, adherence to painterly abstraction is an important aspect of her art, she leaves it behind with a playful ease, taking her studio out into nature, and in a park or on the beach, she breaks down the conservative reference points of her work, reinterpreting her works built on modern legacy with a contemporary twist. Délia Vékony

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Márta KUCSORA
Untitled, 2017/30

Márta KUCSORA

Untitled, 2017/30

Year(s)
2017
Technique
mixed media on canvas
Size
120x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Márta Kucsora studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and later at Montclair State University in the United States of America. Besides pursuing her creative practice, she co-founded Budapest Art Factory, a non-profit art centre, and is the organizer of an international residency program for contemporary artists. Kucsora's paintings are created with water-based paints of varying density, additives, copper dust, varnishes, automotive paint guns and the force of gravity. Although her work is stylistically related to Abstract Expressionism, the way she creates pushes the boundaries of the technically known, navigating through uncharted domains. The painting additives of varying consistency react to each other, and these interactions influence the surface of the paintings. Although the paintings, made without the brush touching the surface avoid direct representation, they evoke natural formations: tectonic plates, aerial shots, sea currents and various plant motifs. The dynamic, abstract surface formations reflect on organic processes,  micro- and macrocosmic phenomena and their representations. The drying of the paintings is an integral part of Kucsora's working method. As the surfaces are formed by gravity, the work processes include conscious and unconscious painterly elements. The method, which the artist calls process painting, is based on the material being malleable throughout the act of painting: the aim is to keep it in motion and then let it halt and freeze at the perfect 'moment'. Although chance plays a significant role in the unfolding of Kucsora's works, alongside chemical and physical processes, the paintings are always the end result of a pre-planned and elaborate performative workflow. Viktória Popovics – Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts

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Bea KUSOVSZKY
Layered Reality IV.

Bea KUSOVSZKY

Layered Reality IV.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic and oil on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

The painter Bea Kusovszky lives and works in Budapest. She holds a diploma in painting from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and studied painting and animation at the Universitat de València. She has participated in many solo and group shows and is currently represented by VILTIN Gallery in Hungary. In her artistic practice, Bea Kusovszky has been invested in analysing the pictorial qualities and optical parameters of various epochs of art history. This interest has led her from a strong figural focus towards the deconstruction and reorganising of multiple histories of abstraction, all the while upholding a technical perfectionism and dedication towards questioning the ontology of the image. Kusovszky, through paintings organised into concise series, has been investigating various visual phenomena on the border of art, science and popular imagery: in some cases, she references the Newtonian colour spectrum and the aesthetic of colourful greys. In other instances, she recontextualises the iconic Ben-Day dot in an Op-art setting, deploying elaborate framing structures that reimagine the surface as a digital screen or a switchboard. This results in nostalgic, technoutopian visions that direct the viewers' attention to the core of the painting's identity. Her work is also influenced by the findings of important predecessors such as Roy Lichtenstein, Bridget Riley, or from the Hungarian art scene painters such as Tamás Hencze, István Nádler or József Bullás. Her referential, relationist thinking opens up various interpretations ranging from Walter Benjamin's notion of the image's "aura" to the intertextual meta-structures of postmodernism. As a member of the young generation, she is also influenced by contemporary experiences of digital visuality. However, through her work, Kusovszky distils these impressions into complex, mechanical and handcrafted visual systems that reveal the fundamental units of painting: the material, the support and the image as object. Patrick Tayler

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László LAKNER
Untitled (Lined)

László LAKNER

Untitled (Lined)

Year(s)
1999
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x150 cm
Artist's introduction

László Lakner’s early career was dominated by his early abstract attempts along with his fundamentally realistic approach. Evoking also classical artistic traditions, he formed his own painting language that ironically twisted the Socialist Realist understanding of pictures. He was a follower of Aurél Bernáth, and besides Tibor Csernus he was also one of the most important representatives of Surnaturalist painting in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Through his artistic works, he gradually got closer and closer to the “new realist” tendency, the pictorial world of pop art. From 1963-64, his works were based on montage-like structures, utilising the motives of everyday visual culture, reflecting on the actual political events as well as on the great art historical traditions – mainly Rembrandt’s art. In 1974, after winning the DAAD scholarship, Lakner moved to West-Berlin. The focus of his new era was on the sensitive pictorial presentation of the semantic questions of human writing and trace-leaving. From the early 1980s, he created more liberated, more expressive scriptural paintings. His artistic period of the 1990s and 2000s was dominated by his abstract picture creation and by his return to the conceptual way of thinking. In recent years, Lakner’s art has turned to the historical past as well as the analysis of his own artistic past and earlier artistic periods. However, this means no turning back – the freshness of his new works seems to deny the passing of time. Dávid Fehér

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Ferenc LANTOS
Untitled

Ferenc LANTOS

Untitled

Year(s)
1990's
Technique
tempera and watercolour on cold pressed paper
Size
35x35 cm
Artist's introduction

Ferenc Lantos studied under Ferenc Martyn's supervision in Pécs and at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest. He considered art to be a form of cognition. His path from abstraction through geometric forms lead to a systematic pictorial thinking. As an educator, he ventured to influence attitudes: he built a new foundation for the relationship between the fine arts and the other art forms. Lantos developed his activities in relation to architecture, literature, music and the modern sciences. The interactions between the two foundational elements of his pictorial universe – the square and the circle – were based on mathematical operations. He relied on the enlargement and reduction of these, their intersection possibilities, their potential interferences to establish a system of variations based on emerging forms. He also founded his public art program on this principle. He hypothesised that since variation always expresses order and is infinite, due to the inherent colouristic possibilities, it can be considered as a model of intellectual cognition and a visual game – and is thus capable of mobilising society (exhibition titled Nature-Vision-Creation, 1972–75). His systems of elements – which was utilised within interior design, building decoration and outdoor projects – could be connected to the era's dynamically developing visual culture. The successful mural enamel project at the Bonyhád Enamel Factory ran for years, during which his colleagues and students also participated. Especially in Pécs and the Transdanubia region, the exterior and interior walls of many public buildings and factories were enlivened during the 1970s by this series of variations. Lantos was a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. A permanent exhibition of his selected works is on display in Pécs. Katalin Keserü

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Kamill MAJOR
Palimpsest

Kamill MAJOR

Palimpsest

Year(s)
2013
Technique
mixed media
Size
122x85 cm
Artist's introduction

Kamill Major's artistic practice, which was influenced by the Lantos Circle in Pécs in the 1960s, became unique in the artist's period of living in France. Although he resisted Lantos' principle of structure and variation, the possibility of implementing the mural enamel program in Bonyhád was made possible with his help. Even though he began his Parisian career with minimalist and systematic images, geometry was hidden in them, in a painterly and personal way. He acquired a degree in image reproduction procedures from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. As a result screen-printed variations of motifs and images replaced the previous pictorial structures. Outstanding among his folders (which included contemporary music and literary works) and graphic series is his process work titled Appel (1980), in which he reaches the spirituality of the critical works of modern art (such as Malevich's Black Square or White on White) based on the principle of seriality. Seriality is also one of the foundations of Major's technically complex pictures, which, working alongside Simon Hantai, unfolded in grid-patterned musters applied to huge canvases with screen-printing that could be adjusted strategically. By the 1980s, the central theme of ​​his work had become "writing". The different variations of his textual paintings and reliefs are still established with signs resembling Akkadian and Sumerian cuneiform script, but with particular forms, in some cases condensed, in others made sparse, relying on particular technical solutions (such as the utilisation of saws). Everything apart from this linear, text-like progression is random in these artworks. In 1975, he had a solo exhibition in Paris. His works can be found in significant French and Hungarian public collections. Katalin Keserü

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Dóra MAURER
As You Like 54

Dóra MAURER

As You Like 54

Year(s)
2009
Technique
acrylic on wood
Size
100x61x5 cm
Artist's introduction

Although Dóra Maurer's work is seemingly related to Constructive-Concrete artistic tendencies, her artistic position can be understood much more along an internally evolving creative process founded on a coherent logic. The medially diverse oeuvre spans more than five decades and is organised around the central notion of the observation of movement and dislocation. Since her graphic artworks created in the 1960s, the intention to observe and make these processes visible emerges as a unifying notion that connects her photographic work in the 1970s and her paintings from more recent years. From the 1980s, Maurer's artistic practice moved increasingly towards easel painting. In this period, she painted several linear grids utilising different colours. Later she shifted the pictorial planes of the respective grids. She then depicted this raster grid deploying a shaped format in the Quod Libet series. She projected this linear network into space in the Buchberg project, which she finished in 1983. While working on this project, she noticed that the perception of colour constantly changed due to the room's variable lighting conditions. By utilising various cold and warm tones, Maurer focused on this phenomenon while working on her paintings from the 1980s to the 1990s. Maurer's work as a painter, as her entire practice, deals with human perception and attempts to make the inherent cognitive processes visible. Zsófia Rátkai

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Tamás MELKOVICS
RAW Series

Tamás MELKOVICS

RAW Series

Year(s)
2022
Technique
modular structure of 31 elements, carved and lacquered MDF board.
Size
300x120x105 cm
Artist's introduction

While watching the sculptures of Tamás Melkovics, they address me as acquaintances. Sculptures that we think are about to move, to crawl off the plinth, or perhaps even signal to us with some kind of sound. They are familiar because within the organic abstract world, the artist has found a language that speaks to our collective unconscious and evokes associations with the living world, living things, birth and movement. The art of Tamás Melkovics constantly expands the sculptural framework, but does not cross a certain boundary, it remains within the limits of the discipline. The artist graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2012 as a sculptor, his master was Ádám Farkas. In 2018 and 2021, he was awarded the Gyula Derkovits Fine Arts Scholarship. He exhibited at the Parthenon-Frieze Room in 2017 and at the Várfok Gallery Project Room in 2019. He has participated in several group exhibitions in Budapest, Szentendre, Székesfehérvár, Dunaújváros, Pécs and Edinburgh. In addition to private collections, his art is also included in the collections of the Ferenczy Museum Centre, the Csók István Gallery in Székesfehérvár, the Kiscelli Museum - Budapest Gallery, and the ICA-D Institute of Contemporary Art in Dunaújváros. In his creations, he seeks systems, basic rules, regularities, as if to reach back to the roots and structure of life and the perceptual world. The recurring basic modules are perhaps designed to explore these basic regularities. Movement is fundamental in his work. Even those works that are separate creatures begin a dialogue with each other. In the language of science, the sculptures can refer to fractals, to the principles of growth and evolution, the dynamics of nature, where nothing ever stops for a moment, where everything is in constant change, transformation, movement and interaction, because this is the basis of biological life. While the artworks often resemble natural forms such as trees or fruits, the anthropomorphic sculptures, which resemble Tony Cragg, question the foundations of human existence, and the complex structures that eventually settle into one final shape point to human relationships and connections. Délia Vékony

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Vera MOLNÁR
Squaring the Circle

Vera MOLNÁR

Squaring the Circle

Year(s)
1962-1964
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
110x110 cm
Artist's introduction

Living in France since 1947, Vera Molnar is one of the pioneers of Computer art. In 1959, she began to make combinatory images and model mathematical regularities using a method she called “machine imaginaire”. In 1968, she got the opportunity to work with a real computer. Molnar then began to use computer technologies as a generative tool to create paintings and graphic art, which broadened the frontiers of science and art. In her computer graphics, each image primarily refers to the unlimited possibilities of variation inherent to the underlying program. In creating these computer-generated drawings and graphics, the program creates specific geometric shapes and formations that can combine in a precalculated or unexpected way. The serial aspect of this method is also essential, as it allows the artist to transform the shapes systematically, as Molnar did with the line. Molnar is interested in the systematically produced random quality and the study of the infinite transformations of geometric shapes such as the square or the trapezoid. The computer’s algorithmic randomness plays a crucial role in her work. Order and disorder, structure and freedom provide important notions to understand her artistic practice further. Molnar said the following about her work, “I was not interested in anything but the simplest form, the square; what happens with it if there is order and what if there is none”. Zsófia Rátkai

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István NÁDLER
Fb. No 3.

István NÁDLER

Fb. No 3.

Year(s)
2009
Technique
casein tempera on canvas
Size
130x100 cm
Artist's introduction

István Nádler was born in 1938 in Visegrád. Between 1958 and 1963 he studied at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, where his master was Gyula Hincz. He became a member of the Zugló Circle, where he was exploring the newest international tendencies with his progressive contemporaries, in Sándor Molnár’s flat. In 1968 and 1969 he participated in the Iparterv exhibitions. At the end of the 1960s, Nádler’s attention shifted to hard-edge and minimal art. However, in contrast to Imre Bak, his structural, geometric painting was based only for a short time on the schematic systems of various archaic cultures and folk motifs. His works of a solid foundation of homogeneous colour-fields, dynamic visual structures and “impersonal” structures created in the 1970s can be characterised by strident colour-connections. His pictures presented systems where each element had its specific movement abilities, movement characteristics. In the 1980s, he unexpectedly returned to his gestural painting of the 1960s. Spontaneous visual improvisation, randomness and momentariness describe his paintings as their main characteristic features. For him, the artwork became a radiant energy centre, which does not document a pre-planned theoretical-logical process but rather conveys a state of being. Gábor Kaszás

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Márton NEMES
New Tomorrow 24

Márton NEMES

New Tomorrow 24

Year(s)
2019
Technique
car paint, acrylic, reflective vinyl, canvas, wood, steel
Size
120x81,5x6 cm
Artist's introduction

Márton Nemes is an artist living and working in Budapest and London. He studied at the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Technical University Budapest and the Hungarian University of Fine Arts' Department of Painting and absolved a master's degree at the Chelsea College of Arts, University of Arts London. He won the Ludwig Prize in 2012, followed by the Esterházy Art Prize in 2019. He is an outstanding, innovative member of the young generation of artists. In his works, Nemes interpreted painting initially as a starting point but soon transcended the medium's traditional boundaries. He became interested in the image as such, in the visual effects of today's vibrant visual environment, furthermore the issues of figuration and abstraction. By examining the boundaries of different genres, he creates a bridge between various subcultures and high culture. In his first series – which was created in the artist's figurative period – Nemes observed how changing economic and ideological interests influence architecture. However, the geometric depiction of the abandoned shops already indicated an inner need to drift towards a holistic understanding of pictorial abstraction. The painting practice of Nemes is characterised by continuous experimentation and the contemplation of painting through painting. He uses a variety of materials within his compositions, relying on an extended interpretation of colour. The paint, the abundance of multi-coloured plastics and the sintered metal element reveal a dynamic attitude to constructing imagery. Beyond the utilisation of traditional painting instruments, he also incorporates rarely used materials and tools into his creative processes, such as steel frames, foils, wooden debris, and some additional appliances seldom used in painting. These complex constellations are then fused with installative elements, expanding into space. Nemes's work – his impressive range of dynamics and power – has a tremendous emotional impact on the viewer. Julia Fabényi

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Katja PÁL
KULMZ-556

Katja PÁL

KULMZ-556

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acryl, canvas on wood
Size
58x59x2 cm
Artist's introduction

The Slovenian-born artist studied painting in Ljubjana and Dublin. In Katja Pál's case, painting has great emphasis because her tableau paintings, which can be classified as hard-edge abstraction, may suggest a degree in graphic design or architecture, but Katja Pál constantly pushes the boundaries of painting through these two disciplines, yet she remains a classical and faithful painter. The artist has participated in several residency programs in Singapore, Slovenia and Italy, and currently lives and works in Hungary. Katja Pál's paintings are centered around the creation of a "significant form", as defined by the English art critic Clive Bell. The artist searches for pure forms that may be found beyond personal taste and feelings, in the dimension of aesthetics. The works speak the language of total geometric abstraction, are created with graphic design software and tilt out into three-dimensional space by the use of minimalist means such as monochrome color or white lines. The artist abandons the classic square or rectangular pictures and works on wooden panels of different shapes. The geometry of the form of the paintings is in dialogue with the directions of the painted surface. It is this unbalance that resembles the work of similar minimalist predecessors such as Donald Judd, Carl André, or Sol Lewitt, for whom the illusory effect of geometric abstraction was the carrier for a total universal experience of space. With the omission of figures, angles and directions had already shown their clear-cut strength in early 20th century Cubism, Futurism, but most of all in Russian Constructivism, while the Minimalism of the 1960s left no more questions about the aesthetic relevance and strength of abstract geometry. Katja Pál carries this mission forward in her works, with subdued forms, spaces and stripes that transcend emotions, thoughts and identifications. They open the door to a dimension of pure aesthetic experience, to a place that Immanuel Kant already admired as a world beyond the realm of the subject created by the human mind. Délia Vékony

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Éva PARAGI
Red network

Éva PARAGI

Red network

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic, oil, canvas
Size
200x200 cm
Artist's introduction

Éva Paragi is a representative of the Pécs-based geometric painter tradition, who entered the scene at the turn of the millennium. The geometric motifs of her abstract paintings in delicate colours question the minimalist limits of the narrative potential of the image. Born in Budapest, Éva Paragi graduated from the Faculty of Art at the University of Pécs in the second half of the nineties, under the wings of the legendary master of abstraction in Pécs, Ferenc Lantos. Her painting is defined by a dual continuation of the great 20th century modernist tradition of geometric abstraction and the legacy of the colourist painting movement in Pécs. After her early tableau paintings of applied slats and geometric structures, it was in the mid-2010s that she found her main motif, the wooden wedges. She explained the dual nature of this important but invisible studio tool as follows: "The element found, the wooden wedges that frame the canvas, is a rectangle in one direction and a tiny object ending in a point in the other. It has a dual nature. It stretches the frame to help the canvas stay flat. It stretches, it distances to bring things closer and hold them tighter. It is made of wood, a natural object with irregular veins, intersected by straight lines to form a geometric shape. Irregular and regular at the same time." Paragi uses the wedge shapes to create playfully geometric constructions, such as a woven wire fence or a barbed wire star motif. At other times, she has them float freely in a rippling abstract field of gestures, or even collects them in a porcelain bowl in their real, three-dimensional form. Through combinatorial operations that play with the motif, she explores the hidden mechanisms of the transformation of visual element into an image. Paragi lives and works in Szeged. Although she has participated in several exhibitions abroad, her exhibitions are mostly related to Szeged and Pécs. Gábor Rieder

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Tomasz PIARS
The New Alchemy No. 17.

Tomasz PIARS

The New Alchemy No. 17.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
110x90 cm
Artist's introduction

Polygonal crystals, effluent, amoeba-like shapes, vivid, contrasting colors, imbued surfaces – these are the characteristics of the unique painting of Tomasz Piars. The unique world of his abstract works is at the same time reminiscent of microscopic images of biology and mineralogy and of the sight of fragmented rocks of the interstellar space – making his art a borderline between fantasy and rigorous composition. Tomasz Piars was born in Poland, but graduated from the Secondary School of Fine Arts in Budapest – he has been living in Hungary since 1992. After graduating from the University of Fine Arts, it became certain to him that he would settle down in Budapest and pursue his artistic career there. In addition to his artistic activities, as a cultural manager he also exhibits the work of other artists, has worked as a curator at the Polish Institute and currently organizes exhibitions of Hungarian and foreign artists in his own studio apartment (Art Salon Contemporary). Piars thinks in terms of series. In his opinion, a pictorial idea, which in his case usually starts from the development of structural contrasts, can never be realized in one given work, he always further thinks about the initial idea, better analyses the possibilities and creates more and more new versions. "Chrystals of Memory" captures the feeling of how memories of the past come together in our minds. There are certain, stable points, but there are also vague layers, which together form a fabric that represents the relationship of the remembering person to the past, and thus their identity. In his paintings, Piars deliberately creates systems that can be perceptibly continued in the plane beyond the frame of the image, so that they continue to take shape in our imagination. "Liquid Spaces" and "Soft Impact" are series of other compositions on paper in which a single "angular" element or geometric pattern is in dialogue with a more freely treated group of forms floating in space in front of it. In these series Piars was intrigued by the contradiction between spatiality and planarity. The pieces in the "Pointing the Spatial" series are made up of a multitude of circular elements and lines connecting them, evoking the complexity of molecular structures and their depiction possibilities. The possibility of connections is infinite, their spatial arrangement represents new and new variations, which here, like the metaphors of network diagrams, diagrams of conceptual maps, represent only a multiplicity of abstract, contentless connections. Finally, the title of the series "The New Alchemy" refers to art as well, which, based on creativity and imagination, can create imaginary and organic systems on canvas and paper that appear in his art as a creative force, a new visionary natural order. Tomasz Piars' vision of the world follows a unique path. Zsolt Petrányi

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Dia PINTÉR
The Fool Is The Blue

Dia PINTÉR

The Fool Is The Blue

Year(s)
2017-2018
Technique
serpentine streamer and felt-tip pen on canvas
Size
200x150 cm
Artist's introduction

Inerasable memory is a crucial notion in the case of Dia Pintér's work. Shards of memory, image fragments and segments of space appear in her images. These cannot be depicted or decoded directly. Painting is, of course, always a zone where depiction takes place – here, however, it is not a mathematical process but rather a multidimensional one. The evocative nature of the utilised motifs, the emotive power of colours, the unity of forms, the elaboration of complex spatial constellations, and the connections stemming from associative patterns between words and work processes play a central role in her work. The primary formal unit of representation in Pintér's case is the stripe or the paper band. These stripes fall in a rain-like fashion, delineating shapes or gathering in puddles mirroring various motifs. Pintér searches for transition zones leading to past-tense perceptions. She is not looking for one given method or a magic spell through which this transition might occur: she seems to be seeking the direction with closed eyes. As such, there is no method in how she constructs her artworks. In a world where everything seems to lend itself to verbalisation and interpretation, the painter escapes forwards, exiting this foreseeable and calculable realm. She does not surrender to emotional painting: her work cannot be interpreted as lyrical. The viewer follows the painter's pictorial steps, looking for reference points and larger structures, discarding these soon. It is almost as if she could establish a state of levitation and grasp the gaze in this inner space. A space that does not seem homely and from which all memories escape. The viewers look back into the past through this space; their nostalgia is awakened only to disintegrate. József Mélyi

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Rózsa POLGÁR
Tear

Rózsa POLGÁR

Tear

Year(s)
1992-1993
Technique
gobelin (haute-lisse) tapestry, wool, cotton, silk
Size
127x81 cm
Artist's introduction

Tapestries are created during an extremely lengthy process, spanning the conception of the idea, the realisation of the intellectual content and the making of the work. It is a genre that necessitates preparation, as the creative act follows a precisely calculated professional plan. Each work requires a complex, coloured and full-scale design. The gobelins of the Kossuth Prize-winning tapestry artist Rózsa Polgár convey the artist's message with the help of her incredible professionalism and knowledge through which she communicates her emotional and visual universe. With each step, and through the way she presents her pieces, she evokes and strengthens the spiritual context of her artworks in the observer. The tapestries are conceived with the classic method of utilising five warp threads, which requires the utmost level of precision and skill, and where the weaver has to work with five separate threads within a single centimetre. This dense work method provides many opportunities to incorporate unique intellectual and technical ideas. The deployment of different yarns, the conscious mixing of colours, the creation of complex colour effects and graphic elements, furthermore the evocation of textures demonstrate the artist's unique skills and knowledge. Throughout the design process, Polgár's tapestries adhere to the consistent rules of their own world, revealing, however, exciting possibilities and points of "freedom", openness and boldness within the genre. They also tell us stories about the inseparable connection between the communicated spiritual message and the ancient technique of weaving as a means of realisation. Márta Simonffy

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Gizella RÁKÓCZY
4 Colour Labyrinth

Gizella RÁKÓCZY

4 Colour Labyrinth

Year(s)
2005
Technique
watercolour on paper
Size
130x130 cm
Artist's introduction

Between 1966 and 1971, Gizella Rákóczy studied at the Painting Department at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in the class of Géza Fónyi. During her travel to Paris after graduating from college, the intact gothic glass windows of Saint-Denis Cathedral impacted her life decisively. The awe-inspiring vision of light rays, filtering through the cathedral’s stained glass windows composed by clear colours – and being projected on the floor in a kaleidoscopic way – as the manifestation of transcendence and sacrality, became a fundamental reference point in her artistic career. Although her oeuvre was always heading towards this direction, it was not only until decades later that she discovered a painting and aquarelle technique that transformed the interlacing brilliance of colours in the most adequate way. From 1976, inspired by an ancient Scottish tombstone drawing, she began to deal with four-armed spirals and their inherent numerical laws, devising a system that could be transposed into the language of combinatory painting. Her research concerning the spatial expansion of the motif and colour theory – also touching on the architectural applicability of the issue – gradually came into the focus of her fine art practice and became reflected in the increasingly complex shapes of her tempera paintings conceived from 1978 onwards. The regularities in the connection points of the spiral arms and those deduced from the resolution of the spiral nucleus began to unfold on the surface of her images, complementing and explaining each other. The initial visual systems established by the artist operated using four distinct shades of grey. Rákóczy, however, began replacing these with yellow, green and blue already at a relatively early stage. After 1998, the tempera images dealing with the numerical laws of four-armed spirals were succeeded by watercolour paintings. After brief research concerning this technique, the artist began to layer the transparent paint tones according to the mathematical formula of the Fibonacci sequence. Due to the systematic nature of her paintings and her connections to the geometric and constructivist traditions, she joined several professional organisations – including the International Symmetry Association and the Hungarian Society of Water-Colour Painters. Her analytical, structure-oriented and serial attitude, her attention to detail associate her in many ways with the painting practice of Richard Paul Lohse and Agnes Martin. Mónika Zsikla

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Judit REIGL
Course

Judit REIGL

Course

Year(s)
1975
Technique
mixed media on canvas
Size
180,5x201,5
Artist's introduction

Judit Reigl is one of the most well-known artists emigrating from Hungary at the end of the 1940s due to political reasons, similarly to Simon Hantaï and Vera Molnár. She became a successful artist in France and contributed a lot to the development of international abstraction with her experiments. Reigl graduated at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, where she had the opportunity to study realistic style from her master, István Szőnyi. After the political turn she refused to follow the obligatory requirements of Socialist Realism, and after eight attempts she could finally emigrate and settle down in Paris in 1950. In her early career she was focusing on the surrealist perspective, which is apparent in her works made at the time. She joined the surrealists – the foreword of her first catalogue was written by André Breton. Her artistic development was heading towards abstract expressionism, dominating the rest of her career. Her works in the 1950s were based on wide paint brush gestures, using dark colours on light background through cyclic and explosive systems of lines. Later, the aesthetic quality of the various paint layers created a new series titled Guano. The silhouette of the human body became a returning pattern in the second half of her career, symbolising the dichotomy of universal and human on her large-scale canvases (Homme series). She was an experimenting artist; from the 1970s she created paintings by letting different paint materials interacting in organic, chemical ways. Next to painting, during the last decade of her career, crayon and pencil drawings played an important role, presenting art historical references as well as universal symbols by delicate and virtuoso drawing lines. Reigl’s art has been recognized by art history since the 1980s with growing attention and admiration. Her art works can be found in most of the world’s most significant museums as well as in Hungary in the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Ludwig Museum. Zsolt Petrányi

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Anikó ROBITZ
Zurich, Corbusier House

Anikó ROBITZ

Zurich, Corbusier House

Year(s)
2014
Technique
acrylic print, plexiglass
Size
75x50x3 cm
Edition
5/3
Artist's introduction

She is one of the most prominent and internationally renowned representatives of the Hungarian photographic generation that started in the mid-2000s. Her works, which fall under the category of fine art photography, reduce the salient details of the architectural sight to modern abstract forms. According to art historian Rita Somosi, her visual world is defined by the parallel presence of reality and abstraction: “She builds from strict geometric forms, but the role of constructing is taken over by the mapping of real locations, through which the visual abstraction of the world around us becomes visible." Born in Nagykanizsa, Anikó Robitz studied analogue photography and laboratory work at the Camera Anima Open Academy (Szellemkép Szabadiskola) in the mid-2000s. She started on the path of analogue artistic photography with an old camera, then moved to digital techniques and found her main subject: architecture. In her travels, she seeks iconic or distinctive sights of 20th century modern and contemporary architecture. She captures particular details of the architecture, angles reduced to geometric patterns. Without any post-processing, the final composition is created by snapping the picture, where corners, plaster textures, cast shadows, wires, wall paintings and joints appear in a geometric language similar to that of Suprematism or Minimalism. The reduced, often black-and-white colours are the result of the original locations and the realistic view of the selected details. The specific buildings are unidentifiable, the titles of the photographs only indicate the city (from Strasbourg to Zurich, from Colombo to Angyalföld). In addition to modernist abstract tableau painting, the visual language of Robitz was influenced by the photographic legacy of the Bauhaus, such as László Moholy-Nagy and the 20th century master of building photography Lucien Hervé. In the late 2010s, her subject matter expanded to include reflective surfaces, family photographs and nature drawings. Robitz is the winner of several national and international photography awards and since 2007 she has regularly exhibited abroad and participated in prestigious photography fairs. She travels a lot for work, but lives in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Péter SOMODY
Cactus Still Life

Péter SOMODY

Cactus Still Life

Year(s)
2019-2020
Technique
acrylic lacquer and acrylic on canvas
Size
120x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Péter Somody is an artist living and working in Pécs. He was Ilona Keserü's student at the Drawing Department of the Janus Pannonius University of Pécs. He studied at the Master School of the University of Pécs and absolved his DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) studies in painting at the same institution. His masters were Ilona Keserü and Gyula Konkoly. Between 1997–98, he was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In 1999, he was selected to participate in the exhibition titled "Junge Kunst" at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. During this period, he showed his work in several group exhibitions in Munich and other locations in Bavaria. He is currently a professor at the Faculty of Arts' Department of Painting, University of Pécs, and the head of the institution's Doctoral School. His works are regularly shown in national and international exhibitions in Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. In 2000, he was awarded the Strabag Artaward. In 2015, he received the Munkácsy Prize for his work. Péter Somody is one of the prominent representatives of contemporary abstract painting. He started developing his distinctive style already in his early period. Transparent stain painting is at the core of his artistic practice until the 2010s. He strives to express lyrical sensuality by relying on a reduced set of tools. The translucent, loosely applied patches of colour occasionally overlap; in other cases, they become independent, cloud-like fields of colour enveloping the pictorial space. These open fields of colour become quasi-spaces, into which infinite geometric garlands and serial forms are introduced, based on the principle of the "Open Work". The collision of sharp and blurred elements gives the surfaces a unique objectivity. The viewer is invited to observe the interplay of visual elements on the surface and the meditative silence that emanates from them.

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Árpád SZABADOS
With the Birds III.

Árpád SZABADOS

With the Birds III.

Year(s)
2005
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
200x160 cm
Artist's introduction

Munkácsy Prize-winning Árpád Szabados first participated as a graphic artist in the renewal of Hungarian art in the late 1960s and early 1970s, liberating drawing from the constraints of representation, geometry and anatomy. This was followed by him enriching the scope of the Neue Wilde painting of the 1980s with his passionate, taboo-free, intense, sometimes even brutal drawing style and search for the credibility of painting and man's authentic representation. He influenced the approaches and perspectives of multiple generations, making them receptive to creative thinking with the founding of the GYIK Workshop, as the photo editor and artistic director of the Hungarian journal Mozgó Világ and as the rector of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. He was one of the "seekers" of the 20th century – an artist dealing with the fate and self-determination of human(ity) – whose goal was to search for a notion of art that had been valid for millennia. This search also meant a rediscovery of the foundations of art in the 1960s and 1980s, which was particularly rich in its findings. The archaic figures and torsos of his painting emphasize the biological functions of the body. At the same time, they are in motion: space is established through the body's active-passive emergence (sometimes the motifs are animals or plants). This space is sometimes a continuously unravelling paper scroll or a mural (a twentieth-century colouring book) – formats that he rediscovered through his artistic practice. In other cases, he rethought the tradition of the rectangular format based on even older concepts, creating complex image structures based on ornamental, open systems, such as the double images of the more recent decades. Katalin Keserü

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Menyhért SZABÓ
Pandora

Menyhért SZABÓ

Pandora

Year(s)
2020
Technique
rubber, resin, iron
Size
123x109x92 cm
Artist's introduction

Menyhért Szabó is the most characteristic representative of the generation of Hungarian sculptors who started their careers at the end of the 2010s. His art updated the toolkit of the classical sculpture of faces and nudes with the crumpled nature of rubber shells and industrial colour surfaces, reinterpreting the dramatic figures of ancient mythology in a modern spirit. Born into a family of artists in Budapest, Menyhért Szabó became involved with plastic arts at a young age. After a detour in Antwerp, he graduated in 2018 from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. Owing to his process-based working method, his works, using recurring motifs and self-quotations, are arranged in series and thematic units. His first works enlarged the human head to enormous proportions, combining the black raw material of industrial rubber with the classicising facial edges that radiate heroism. As a next step, Szabó made shell prints of the monumental sculptures. The rubber heads, created from the different coloured "imprints", were hung up as blank-faced masks in drapery during the installation. The chosen technique highlighted the most important form-building issue that Szabo was dealing with, the contradictory state of sculptural solidity and wrinkling elasticity. He sometimes "freezes" the unsupported shells in a particular position: he hardens them with resin or casts them in bronze, then places them on a traditional pedestal or encloses them in a frame. In his newer works, naked male bodies reminiscent of antique torsos are added to the crumpled silicone masks, which can be worn as clothes – maybe even as part of a fashion show. At the same time, these evoke the art-historical tradition of depictions of the flayed skin of the satyr Marsyas, who competed with Apollo. To counterpoint the mythologizing and antique style character, Szabó uses neon plastic colours or industrial metallic car polish paint on his rubber or metallic sculptures. The crumpling heroes become the protagonists of the tragic epics of the hi-tech age, while they can also be seen as enigmatic contemporary self-portraits. Szabó lives and works in Budapest, in the studio at the art colony on Százados út, where he was born. His characteristic sculptures are regularly included in group or solo exhibitions in Hungary. Gábor Rieder

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Dávid SZENTGRÓTI
Gold Blue

Dávid SZENTGRÓTI

Gold Blue

Year(s)
2018
Technique
acrylic and pigment on canvas
Size
191x160 cm
Artist's introduction

Dávid Szentgróti is one of the most outstanding abstract gestural painters of the generation that emerged following the turn of the millennium, who cherishes the decades-old tradition of colourism and non-figurativity typical of Pécs. According to art historian György Várkonyi, "Dávid Szentgróti's paintings meet the timeless criteria of the 'easel painting' in every respect. These paintings are about painting itself: about the first movement and decision (...), about the poetic possibilities of the "application" of paint, the mixing/blending of colours relying on a variety of technical solutions, and the unfolding poetic possibilities." Szentgróti, born in Zalaegerszeg, graduated in painting from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs in 2006 and obtained his doctoral degree (DLA) in 2013. Since the 2000s, his œuvre has been enriched by the non-figurative painting tradition of Pécs, from the surrealist forms of Ferenc Martyn to the colourism of Ilona Keserü, to the compositional logic of Ernő Tolvaly. Vivid colours, expressive brushwork and figurative motifs between these gestures defined Szentgróti's works from the 2000s. In the 2010s, as he simplified his motifs, the abstract gesture applied with a broad brush became increasingly dominant. Towards the end of the decade, Szentgróti's non-figurative imagery – with its varied surface treatment – became increasingly dense. In contrast, the alternation of broad brushstrokes and expressive surfaces was replaced by fields of acrylic paint mixed with pigments, transforming the canvases into an increasingly bright and translucent direction. The paintings, built up from thin coats of paint, evoke the aesthetics and layering of digital image editing software. Although the seemingly spontaneous gestures evoke the instinctive image-making of Informel Painting, Szentgróti follows a carefully pre-determined artistic program. In the words of art historian János Schneller: "The superimposition of the paint layers on the surface of the canvas, i.e. the consciously evoked structures, is perhaps the most important aspect of the concept." This artistic process, which questions the ontology of painting, cultivates and rewrites tradition simultaneously. Present on the local and national scene, Szentgróti is a teacher at the Secondary School of Art in Pécs. He lives and works in Pécs.

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Ádám SZENTPÉTERY
Neon I.

Ádám SZENTPÉTERY

Neon I.

Year(s)
2012
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
190 cm diameter
Artist's introduction

Ádám Szentpétery is a leading figure of the contemporary art scene in Slovakia and a known artist in Hungary as well. He has been making his panel paintings with a consistent geometric programme since the 1980s, but his large-scale public works are also well known. According to Vladimír Beskid, Szentpétery "is an important representative of geometric painting in Slovakia, and has had a decisive influence on its development over the last two decades, also within the wider Central European context. His works result from an "intellectual creation" (František Foltýn's phrase) that provides the essence of mental activity, rational processes and Protestant economy that juxtaposes forms in the pictorial field." Born in Rožňava, Slovakia, Ádám Szentpétery completed his studies in Bratislava in 1982. His career began in the Slovakian scene in the 1980s, where he made a name for himself with his individual interpretation of Neo-Geo. His geometric, playful painting, which utilises vibrant colours, was influenced by cheerful postmodern patterns and the zig-zags of the New Wave. His art drew not on the local Slovakian but on the international and Avant-Garde Eastern European sources of Geometric Abstraction, but he overwrote tradition with ironic metaphors. In his oil paintings of the late 1980s and 1990s, playful elements became dominant, as did collage-like solutions and sometimes fading stripes resembling adhesive tape. Line, symmetry, the compression of space and the emptying of the pictorial field played an essential role in his series that unfolded parallel with each other, taking up the tradition of modernist architecture and Neo-constructivist and Minimalist painting. Repeated bands and geometric shapes indicating three-dimensionality fill the surface of the square-format paintings set on their corners, creating an illusionistic spatiality. His pictorial spaces, built up from homogeneous fields of colour or painterly brushstrokes, are defined by the primary colours of the Mondrian tradition (yellow, red, blue), complemented by tones of white, black and grey. In 2007, his work took on the characteristic circular format, and from then on, he created large-scale tondos interspersed with threads of geometric structures that form a Vasarely-like quasi-space. Szentpétery has taught generations at the Technical University of Košice in the Department of Design and then Fine Arts. Besides his presence in Slovakia, he is also known in Hungary, where he has been awarded the Munkácsy Prize. He lives and works in Rožňava and Košice. Gábor Rieder

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Margit SZILVITZKY
Black Qualities

Margit SZILVITZKY

Black Qualities

Year(s)
1979
Technique
painted canvas and silk
Size
120x124 cm
Artist's introduction

Margit Szilvitzky is a pioneer among the Hungarian artists who renewed the medium of textile as a form of Neo-Avant-Garde art. After finishing her studies at the College of Design, Textile Department in Budapest in 1954 she became a well-known textile designer. From the second part of the 1960s, however, her interest in creating autonomous artworks led her more and more in the direction of fine arts. Her debut as an artist goes back to the late 1960s when she presented works inspired by folk art motives and embroidery. The beginning of the 1970s was an active period for the artists working in her field. Herself, with Gábor Attalai, Zsuzsa Szenes, Aranka Hübner and others generated a new approach to textile-based installations and works. In Szilvitzky's case, the redefining of folding the material gave new geometry-based possibilities to refer to space, and to extend the mode of presentation to the third dimension, expanding from smaller to a larger scale. She came upon the square form as a starting point referencing the history of the avant-garde, which she could variate with the overlapping folding technique. She experimented with the combination of different kinds of fabrics with disparate surface effects, resulting in montage-like works with differing shades and impacts. Her work extended the possibilities of abstraction toward textile-based object-like artworks. She participated in the workshop of Velem, Hungary from its onset, where the experimenting textile artists worked between 1975-1983, and she also took part in its presentation event, the so-called Wall and Space Textile Biennials at Szombathely, Hungary. These important years changed the context of the medium locally, presented textile as a territory for discussions to unfold and relevant questions to be asked expanding the possibilities of the contemporary arts, and putting the participating artists’ practices among the experimental initiatives. Szilvitzky's orientation turned toward painting and collage at the beginning of the 1980s, after experimenting with adding colour by painting on used canvases. Her later work stayed consistent in its approach becoming more and more presented in two-dimensional, framed pieces. Her body of work has been fully explored in recent years, her textiles are in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery and other national and international collections. Zsolt Petrányi

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Gergő SZINYOVA
Untitled (Dry Stem)

Gergő SZINYOVA

Untitled (Dry Stem)

Year(s)
2019
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
150x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Gergő Szinyova's artistic practice is connected in many ways to new tendencies in contemporary abstraction. His paintings usually form independent series that attempt to examine and reinterpret the historical and current paradigms of the medium. Furthermore, as an artist of the Tumblr generation, the 21st-century digital image culture's visual impulses feed into his paintings. By remixing various visual codes, Szinyova draws attention to the endless flow of imagery. The extremely thin, print-like surfaces of the paintings echo the aesthetic qualities of the risograph technique, which is similar to screen-printing and is currently experiencing a renaissance. To evoke and render risograph prints, the artist has developed a technique that allows each of the painted – yet print-like – image surfaces to function as a unique, unrepeatable and non-reproducible entity, even though the repetition of the digitally pre-drafted, vector-based motifs points towards the opportunities inherent to industry-level mechanical reproduction. Apart from the aesthetics of risograph prints, the Hungarian and European examples of Poster art originating from the 1970s and the 1980s are an essential reference for Szinyova. In addition to evoking the aesthetic qualities of reproduction, the artist seeks to avoid the presence of narrative and direct meaning. Mónika Zsikla

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János SZIRTES
Green

János SZIRTES

Green

Year(s)
2004
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

János Szirtes is an iconic figure of the contemporary art scene in Hungary. He is a painter, a graphic artist, a performer, a video- and media artist and a high-impact teacher, reforming the tuition of art. He is the head of the Media Design Department at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest. The defining aspect of János Szirtes's four decades-long, interdisciplinary work is that in addition to his academic studies at the Bratislava College of Fine Arts and the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, he was also a member of the outstanding underground artistic workshops of the 1970s and 1980s. The innovative research conducted through experiments at the legendary Indigo Group led by Miklós Erdély, the general interdisciplinary attitude, the liberating, dadaist atmosphere of the Lajos Vajda Studio in Szentendre and the performances of Tibor Hajas, which opened up new avenues in art, all had a profound influence on the artistic position of János Szirtes. His paintings range from the tribal, organic-surrealist processing of motifs through a language of forms that breaks down living organisms into crystal-like shapes to multi-layered, formalist compositions, where the experience of space is established through the superimposition of layers and various ornamental elements. His images, which operate with expressive colours, dynamic forms, archaic symbols and motifs borrowed from other cultures, bring canonised and alternative (sub)cultures into a shared space. The creative process can be seen as an action, a performance or a rite – letting the image preserve the imprints of these gestures and movements that epitomise creative activity. Krisztina Kovács

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Andrea TIVADAR
Cosmos painting 1.

Andrea TIVADAR

Cosmos painting 1.

Year(s)
2022
Technique
oil, glue on canvas
Size
120,5 x 140,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Andrea Tivadar is a representative of the young, abstract generation of the internationally renowned Cluj-Napoca scene of the 2010s. In her colourful, “tubist” canvases, she rearranges the forms of modernism with energetic combinations of broad gestures and cylindrical tubular shapes. Andrea Tivadar, born in Satu Mare, Romania, graduated from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca in the mid-2010s. Her early maturing painting is a sensual, colouristic surface treatment, rather than an ironic reabstraction. Her paintings show brightly coloured tube shapes, plastically modelled against a neutral background, smeared with broad gestures. These motifs first coiled like wires in an industrial atmosphere, then fell apart into smaller segments floating in cosmic space. The three-dimensional spatial elements evoke the playful motifs of postmodernism and Fernand Léger's stovepipe cubism (tubism), while the pigment mass – enriched with glue – smeared with a wide scraper evokes the emblematic gestures of Gerhard Richter. As Fábián Takáts put it at her 2023 exhibition: “Even the “background” behind the tube-like, cartridge-box-like formations of her latest canvases is layered. A “base” similar to a corrugated steel plate hides additional depths, increasing the sense of spaciousness and spatiality. The dancing, vibrating bodies, reminiscent of neon signs, are scattered and floating in this seemingly endless grey space”. Andrea Tivadar has had several solo exhibitions in Romanian and Hungarian galleries, from Bucharest, through Cluj-Napoca, to Budapest. She lives and works in Cluj Napoca. Gábor Rieder

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Péter UJHÁZI
Fatal Evening Lights on Kerepesi

Péter UJHÁZI

Fatal Evening Lights on Kerepesi

Year(s)
2012
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x100 cm
Artist's introduction

The Munkácsy Prize-winning artist Péter Ujházi graduated in 1966 from the Hungarian College of Fine Arts' Painting Department. There seems to be virtually no trace of his masters, János Kmetty and Aurél Bernáth, in his work, which was the case for many of his contemporaries, who wanted to create "New Art". Ujházi developed his pictorial universe during the 1970s: his artistic position could be characterised with an anti-aesthetic attitude and a new aesthetic, which opposed high art. Ujházi has retained a fundamentally narrative approach to this day (reinforced by textual segments appearing in the works) and has developed this through various technical means: paintings, box pieces, collages, graphic work, assemblages, artist books and a series of wooden, ceramic and iron sculptures. One of his innovations is the unique "carousel perspective", which is established by the simultaneous utilisation of several perspectives. His other characteristic innovation is the figurative attitude reminiscent of children's drawings and graffiti. He has painted three major historical compositions in this style (The Siege of Fehérvár and the Deportation of Wathay, 1972; The Last Pagan Rebellion, 1972–73 and Jellasics's Run, 1973). From the four edges of a painting, a straight path led to scenes staged in a cosmic dimension and the conservation of everyday life's distinct locations and figures in the form of panoramas composed on the surface of the canvas. Expressive colours and a vibrant, gestural brushwork characterises his series depicting landscapes and foliage, which forms a significant chapter in the artist’s oeuvre since the late 1960s. Krisztina Kocsis – Katalin Keserü

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Ádám Miklós VARGA
CMYK - M

Ádám Miklós VARGA

CMYK - M

Year(s)
2019
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
120x80 cm
Artist's introduction

Ádám Varga is one of the key figures of the young generation of painters entering the scene around 2020. As an experimental artist who thinks in terms of series of projects, he seeks new paths of post-conceptualism and reduced abstraction in a present defined by manufacturing and digitality. Ádám Varga, born in Budapest – after a detour with a scholarship in Riga and an internship in Leipzig – graduated from the University of Fine Arts in 2019, majoring in painting. Evoking the aesthetics of mechanical precision, yet executed in his own studio, his panel paintings refresh the 20th century tradition of monochrome painting and minimalism. As a digital native, he takes nostalgic motifs from decades of computer graphics, and as a deft craftsman, he hacks production lines. In his various series, he has explored topics such as the perfect hand-painted copy, the multiplied program image, the visualisation of pixelated game coins or the transformation of the mimeograph into a graphic cutting machine. His large-scale CMYK cycle, executed in 2019, is a witty, painterly reinterpretation of colour coding – used in image editing software and the printing industry. The series consists of fifteen canvases, each composed of eight homogeneously painted bars of colour. Varga used the four-colour printing (CMYK) code system as a painterly "tool”, which – by ensuring precisely calibrated colour accuracy – is responsible for communication between graphic software and digital printing. He mixed the machine tones of blue, magenta, yellow and black layers in his studio, individually in images and in combination with each other in all their possible variations. Through the mechanical gesture of painting, the artist himself became an "automaton", but the end result was a unique series of abstract works of art, which also allow brushstrokes to be seen. Through a minimalist yet heroic painterly gesture, the CMYK series seeks a place for art in the great machinery of capitalist society. Despite his young age, Varga has already won several prestigious awards (such as the Derkovits Prize), participated in numerous exhibitions, and is also active as an organizer, including the artist-run, independent exhibition space in Budapest called PINCE. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Anthony VASQUEZ
The Skin Wear

Anthony VASQUEZ

The Skin Wear

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic, wood
Size
65x45x7 cm
Artist's introduction

The art of Mexican-American Anthony Vasquez combines woodworking with the expression of new abstraction. He found his new language, which unfolds in the intersection of light art and the use of natural materials, in Budapest during the pandemic, when he wanted to create "uplifting" works during an emotionally stressful period. Anthony Vasquez ended up in Hungary after many stops. He grew up in New Mexico, studied at Adams State University in neighboring Colorado, and spent years in New Delhi, India, with the Art For Change Foundation. He worked for a long time on figurative oil paintings, and then, under the influence of the pandemic, he turned to nonfigurative painting, woodworking and the personal processing of the concept of light. He was inspired by great American predecessors such as Richard Serra, James Turrell and Frank Stella. From his childhood experiences, he painted the breathtaking light shows he saw in the sky in abstract form on the tableaus of his We Share the Same Sky series. In the meantime, the carpentry skills he had learned from his father and grandfather had also appeared in his art: he began to combine wood with acrylic painting. The unfolding series, New Objects Same Sky, resulted in three-dimensional image objects. Vasquez would sometimes join together cubes of wood cut at the edges to form geometric reliefs, or he would build ribbed veneer constructions, and other times he would lay out mosaics of planks of wood cut with a saw. The paint never appears on the front of these works, but on the outer edge, on the cut planes, inside the ribs (spraying the reflective colours on the wall) or deep in the saw marks. The works are imbued with the mystery of light and the beauty of the crafted wood, which preserves the true, natural nature of the material. Vasquez lives in Budapest with his Hungarian wife, he works here and appeared in several exhibitions in Hungary, following exhibitions in the United States and India. Gábor Rieder

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Ferenc VESZELY
Blue-yellow-red Eyes

Ferenc VESZELY

Blue-yellow-red Eyes

Year(s)
2003
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x276 cm
Artist's introduction

Ferenc Veszely graduated as a graphic artist, painter and teacher at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in 1968. Because of the recommendation of Master Jenő Barcsay, the Ferenczy Museum in Szentendre invited him to arrange an introductory exhibition that autumn. He is a winner of the Munkácsy Prize. His non-figurative paintings were related to contemporary art's dynamic trends (Action Painting, Pop art, Hard-edge painting). His mixed-media artworks (which included collaged, scribbled, paper-based elements) associated the painter with the birth of new art at the time. He soon became captivated by Pop art, its reproduction techniques, its method of engulfing and appropriating everything. Veszely reacted to this with particular political-historical sensitivity and commitment and updated and actualised the outstanding works of art history. In his practice, the aesthetic approach receded into the background. He returned to painting as an autonomous creative activity in the 1990s, and grapes started populating his paintings in a completely airtight manner. He rehabilitated the classic genre of still-life painting with an evocative yet straightforward element, the spherical grape, the harmony of colours and light, the possibilities inherent to the material of paint and the powerful, sometimes even brutal hunger for reality typical of pop art. He also transformed form: into a celestial body in the case of the 12 Months series, or a pearl, a bubble, by reworking old images or just capturing the bright colours of grapes – slightly translucent in the sunshine – with watercolour. All this happened according to the attributes of one given form or as an expansion of that motif. Katalin Keserü

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Orsolya Lia VETŐ
Liquid slices of time (13pdl)

Orsolya Lia VETŐ

Liquid slices of time (13pdl)

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acryl, oil on canvas
Size
100x80 cm
Artist's introduction

The unbridled revelry of the organic energies of life. Perhaps this is the best way to describe the art of Orsolya Lia Vető, who works in Budapest. She graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting and currently she is a DLA student at the University of Pécs. Her lush, abstract canvases, inspired by motifs from nature, are based on gestures, but her compositions are constructed with a conscious precision. Besides having a degree in painting, she is also an art historian, so she can look at her own work with the awareness of a professional outsider. The exuberant canvases of Orsolya Vető are characterized by the use of strong, often lurid colors. The works pulsate with the energy of life, seeing them brings to mind motifs of nature, flora, bouquets, fruit baskets, gardens or jungles. The artist draws inspiration from her progressive modernist Rousseauian Romantic, yet Fauvist, expressionist legacy, but her paintings are characterized by the soft, organic forms and use of colors of a female artist. Although in her more recent works the artist has moved away from the recognizable classical motif of still lifes and flowers, this traditional, painterly genre is imbued with an exciting nostalgia, and gives space to the forms and colors of our time. Neon lights and pop, which can also be linked to the aesthetics of the 1960s, as well as electro-techno-digital phenomena of the 21st century are incorporated into the paintings. The gesture-based, impulsive brushstrokes, whose position, direction and color are otherwise perfectly considered, meet the smooth, often background-like, more receding spaces of the sprayed surfaces. The dynamics of the paintings are limited only by the size of the canvas, and the circular tondo works, as well as the "noodles" laid on the pedestals or in the gallery space, give the feeling that the paintings are infinite spaces. Their energy reminds us of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze's concept of '...and and and...', which suggests that life does not really know the continuum of space and time, that life has no time and no boundaries, that the dynamic of life is the continuous movement, birth, pulsation that art embraces. Délia Vékony

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Franyo AATOTH
And we will dip into this glorious light...

Franyo AATOTH

And we will dip into this glorious light...

Year(s)
2011
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x200 cm
Artist's introduction

Aatoth Franyo is an artist who follows the tradition of New Painting's Neo-Dadaist vein of the 1980s. His œuvre, which unfolds like that of a bohemian cosmopolitan, has been informed by the culture of various countries. Márton Gerlóczy defines him as a "world-famous painter who refrains from world fame". In his own words, he is an "exhibitionist" because he always wants to "show an aspect" of himself. Born in Nyíregyháza, István Ferenc Tóth, creating under the name "aatoth franyo", was a chemical technician, but in the seventies, he chose a career in fine arts. Victor Vasarely brought him to Paris in 1978, where he graduated from the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. As a world-travelling artist, he has lived and worked in several Western countries and exotic locations in North Africa, Mongolia and Thailand. His art was inspired by the New Painting of the 1980s in France, the naïve figurativity of Figuration Libre, the spontaneous aesthetics of graffiti and the unbridled spirit of Neo-Dadaism. The sombre colours of his early paintings were replaced in the early nineties, under the influence of his stay in Mongolia, by the emblematic burgundy red, which embodies a wide range of traditional meanings such as fire, blood, love, hell, flame, revolution and hot spices. In the red spaces, elicited through the use of expressive brushwork, grotesque figures and motifs in the style of children's drawings emerge. The often absurd, humorous or philosophical content is complemented by Hungarian, French and English texts. Around 2010, Aatoth Franyo's artistic practice gradually took a new direction: the artist set up a studio deep in the jungles of Thailand, where he experienced the destructive impact of civilisation on the endless rainforest. From then on, the lush vegetation in his work appears as arabesque gestures and calligraphic marks, transforming the paint applied directly onto the canvas from the tube into an abstract system. In addition to his dominant painterly practice, his bohemian œuvre includes a guidebook for travellers, animation films, objects and installations. His work can be found in many international public collections, from the Gallery of Modern Art in Ulaanbaatar to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. He lives and works in Paris and Thailand. Gábor Rieder

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Aladár ALMÁSY
Fragonard the Spider Washer

Aladár ALMÁSY

Fragonard the Spider Washer

Year(s)
2011
Technique
oil and egg tempera on canvas
Size
120x150 cm
Artist's introduction

Aladár Almásy is one of the most distinctive figures of the generation of graphic artists of the 1970s, whose graphic universe is defined by mystical-psychological symbolism, romantic sensibility and linguistic humour. Noémi Szabó, art historian, described his distinctive character vividly: "He is invested in a romantic-surrealist eclecticism, constructing a dream world far from the current age, full of pretension, but at the same time honesty as well." Born in Debrecen, Almásy completed his graphic studies at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in 1976. In the 1970s, together with Imre Szemethy, he was the successor of the generation of graphic artists that had defined the previous decade and had established an important tendency and which was marked by the names of Béla Kondor, Arnold Gross, Csaba Rékassy and Ádám Würtz. His first works were etchings, lithographs, aquatints, mezzotints, and pen and ink drawings. His aesthetic world was characterised by jagged, fragmented draughtsmanship, dreamlike, surreal visions and playful linguistic humour. His numerous national solo exhibitions were accompanied by several international exhibitions. In his scandalous statement of 1978, he described himself as an individualistic dreamer: "My existence is a unique visual world of forms, determined by inner emotions, a pure inexhaustible world view, never committed to any fix direction." He gradually drifted towards painting in the 1980s, combining cloud-like patches of colour with his broken line work. His art, which looked to the past, evoked the poetic mood of turn-of-the-century symbolism, from the metaphorical enigma of Baudelaire to the nostalgic dreamscapes of Lajos Gulácsy. The heroes of his poetic narratives are often drawn from cultural history (István Széchenyi, Martin Luther, Zarathustra, etc.). Around the turn of the millennium, the medium of bronze sculpture also appeared in his œuvre, which embraces a wide range of techniques. His successful start to his career was accompanied by numerous state awards in the 1970s and 1980s. He has been a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts since 2015. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Imre BAK
Morandi I.

Imre BAK

Morandi I.

Year(s)
2000
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
140x210 cm
Artist's introduction

Imre Bak established the specific character of his paintings in the mid-1960s, referencing the lessons of Geometric Abstraction to this day. Along with some of his contemporaries, Bak defied the geopolitics of the era and the existential and further difficulties arising from the existing social order to connect with the global art of the time. During the Iparterv exhibitions (1968–1969), Bak had already formulated the idea of combining the American tendencies of Hard-edge painting and Minimalism with motifs inspired by Hungarian folk art and the traditions of the local avant-garde. This structuralist programme – which consciously examined the nature of signs and symbols – defined his paintings from the 1970s. In the 1980s, the geometric system of Bak's paintings became increasingly complex, leading to the postmodern turn in the artist's work. During the 1990s, Bak's motifs shifted towards "simplification" again, as expanded surfaces of colour started to define his architecture-inspired paintings. In this period, Bak used perspective and a set of geometric elements to construct his landscapes, where the predominant motifs were "structures" consisting of architectural elements. In his latest work conceived after the 2000s, Bak returns to Geometric Abstraction's fundamental question of how spatial illusion is elicited through two-dimensional means. His compositions that combine rectangular fields of colour with dichromatic, meanderlike lines are based on the utilisation of pure, intense colours, which create the illusion of depth on the canvas. Áron Fenyvesi

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Zsófi BARABÁS
Perspective

Zsófi BARABÁS

Perspective

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil, acrylic on canvas
Size
120x180 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsófi Barabás comes from a family of artists, so she started to express herself artistically at quite an early age. This natural, organic attachment to the language of visual art still describes her work. She began her studies in fine arts as a graphic artist, and later painting became her main language of expression. She studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in Budapest (2004), Cambridge and Tokyo (2009), and completed her doctoral studies in Pécs under the supervision of Ilona Keserü in 2022. Although drawing remained one of her favourite means of expression, she also made installations during her stay in Tokyo. She has exhibited in Moscow, Buffalo, USA, and in several venues in Hungary, including the Deák Erika Gallery.​ She speaks with ease in the language of drawing, painting and installations, but whatever she touches, her visual world emerges through an organic abstraction. Using different sizes and colours, she throws herself into this swirling world of forms, where the works – following the ideas of László F. Földényi – almost create themselves. At first glance, the abstract forms of the light, colourful paintings blend together with playful dynamics, as if they were deep-sea creatures, projections of a dream world, or even inspired by a fantastic film. In addition to the playful movement and dynamics, the shapes are meticulously crafted and the choice of colour – perhaps just as important as the ensemble of shapes – is also quite deliberate. We get the impression that the artist is – consciously or unconsciously – following her own theory of colour, which is perhaps not so surprising for an artist walking in the footsteps of Kandinsky. ​The art of Zsófi Barabás – despite the fact that the great predecessors the footsteps of whom she follows were mostly men – is clearly feminine. Joan Miró's playful forms, Hans Arp's biomorphic figures, but most of all Alexander Calder's emblematic leaf-like, moving and reflective motifs were the foundation of her path, but her use of form and colour is clearly that of a woman. Despite the predominance of painting, like Calder, she also creates drawings of space, where simple recurring motifs come to life and speak to our collective unconscious, so that they are all very familiar to us all. Délia Vékony

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Áron BARÁTH
Untitled

Áron BARÁTH

Untitled

Year(s)
2019
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
179,5x139,7 cm
Artist's introduction

Áron Baráth has been consistently representing abstract painting in Hungary since his career began in the 2000s. His non-figurative works, based on lyrical gestures, radiate translucent, vivid colour harmonies. Born in Novi Sad, Áron Baráth moved to Budapest with his family because of the South Slavic war. He also completed his art studies here, graduating as a graphic designer from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2006. He soon left graphics – which he chose following the family tradition – for painting. After his early attempts at figurative painting at university, he began his career as an abstract painter in the mid-2000s. The free, improvisational gestures of informalism, the broad brushstrokes applied with one or two colours were close to his stylistic world. His early paintings were characterised by dramatic splashes of colour and vivid contrasts of colour, often building on the gloom of black. The wild gestures have been tamed by the 2010s, filled with melodic harmonies, and wide, translucent blurs, stripes and washed-out fields have taken over from monochrome surfaces. His aesthetic language is an inspiring parallel to the fine dining gastronomy served with Japanese minimalism, which he has also evoked as an installation. His compositions are built up from the spontaneous, glazed main motifs and the overlapping colour harmonies of the different coloured backgrounds, which often function as picture frames. Baráth's paintings are very popular and he has had many opportunities to exhibit around the world, from Belgium to Dallas. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Róbert BATYKÓ
Shredder

Róbert BATYKÓ

Shredder

Year(s)
2022
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
69x100,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Róbert Batykó is one of the most distinctive and best-known representatives of the generation of artists starting out in the mid-2000s, who has built a consistent oeuvre of pop motifs, digital references and alienated image surfaces. The language of his works is, as Áron Fenyvesi has noted, defined by “the visual culture created by the advertising industry, mass culture and design with the help of digital image editors and drawing programs”. Batykó graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2005. The earliest source of inspiration for his painting, which schematized the realistic landscape into emblematic motifs and strikingly textured surfaces, was graffiti. He brought his affinity with him from his hometown of Miskolc. His early images of graffiti have been replaced by the distinctive silhouettes of corporate logos, musical instruments and machinery. He filled in the sharply defined forms created by masking (stenciling) with paint surfaces of various textures, often using a coarse brush to scrub the surface in order to eliminate brushstrokes. During a stay in the Netherlands around 2012, he switched from “object portraits” to decorative assemblages of street waste – floating close to abstraction – and then transposed the characteristic elements of the tailgates of truck bodies into his geometric compositions. In another series, launched in the mid-2010s, he painted large-scale images of smoothed and scanned packaging materials, scraping the surfaces to give them a worn effect. The mass of paint was wiped back, “planed down”, by the studio mechanics he had built, the sharp steel-bladed “painting machine”. Dávid Fehér, art historian, pointed out the importance of machine surface treatment: “The pseudo-print effect is crucial as Batykó thereby thematises the subtle differences between printed (reproduced) and painted (individual) images and explores the possibilities of post-technological painting.” In Batykó's paintings made after 2016, computers appear not only in the preliminary design of the compositions, but also as a prominent pictorial motif, from pixels to graphic software symbols to digital image errors. In his latest era, starting around 2018, in addition to computerisation, he is increasingly giving way to chance. The “painting machine”, in the manner of the Surrealists' automatic writing, introduces spontaneity into the creative process, as he spreads the mass of pigment applied to one part of the canvas with a sharp blade, like a ghostly memory stain on the other. The hybrid visual reality, duplicated with ghostly impressions of “error fields”, features motifs familiar from previous eras, such as packaging of consumer products, digital editorial windows or metaphorical lettering similar to company logos. Batykó, who regularly exhibits in Hungary and Western Europe and has won many prestigious awards now lives in Budapest, although he has also spent considerable time in the Netherlands and Germany during the 2010s. Gábor Rieder

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1433 Benkč Barnab†s - S†vok kāk alapon
Barnabás BENKŐ
Stripes on blue basis

Barnabás BENKŐ

Stripes on blue basis

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acril, spray, canvas
Size
140x110 cm
Artist's introduction

Barnabás Benkő graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2021, majoring in painting, his teacher was Maria Chilf. A year later, his debut exhibition at the Barabás Villa attracted great interest, and since then he has been a featured artist at Resident Art. The compositional principle of his paintings is based on a multi-layered buffer zone: he divides the picture surfaces with parallel lines applied horizontally or vertically, and covers the stripes with competing layers. In his paintings, he mixes the seemingly impersonal covering-up, the partial "erasure" of previous elements of the picture, with a partisan appropriation of the self, an expressive gesture of overwriting – all of which can appear as a wild brushstroke applied with a new colour code, a sprayed graffiti tag, or a collage of masking tape peeled from previous paintings. The result is a dynamic complex of images where, despite the gaps, the perception and illusion of the depths of several works of art flashes simultaneously. It is as if Benkő is performing an imaginative re- and deconstruction of urban space by organizing – within a given image – into an archaeological archive the view of the cavalcade of colours of the outside world reflected in camera obscura by the aluminium blinds on the room's ceilings, the traces of writing on the metal shutters of shop windows, and the erroneous information of the virtual flood of images. Lines, burgundy no.1 (2022) and Lines in blue no.1. are the best expressions of the kind of double-directional dynamism that explodes in tense harmony, giving the impression of a hologram and compelling the viewer to move vertically up and down. It is as if this was a glimpse underneath another layer of images in the paintings, or an advertising billboard that shows 3 different images alternating in a short period of time, and the work has just caught the point of transition. The striking gestures “[...] open the range of interpretation to the dimension of time along with space”, wrote art historian János Schneller. However, both in the collection and in the practice of Barnabás Benkő, the Lines on blue base (2021) bring an exciting exception, a new pole, which, by mastering the essence of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and colour field painting, allows us into the deep layers of lyrical tone. Annamária Szabó

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Dániel BERNÁTH
Mountain Mama no63

Dániel BERNÁTH

Mountain Mama no63

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
140x121 cm
Artist's introduction

What is the minimum requirement to create a good painting in the 21st century? Dániel Bernáth's artistic program seems to be built around this question, and he keeps the guiding thread of this simplicity, when he does not burden the picture with narrative, but stops at the tools of minimalism and abstraction, choosing an unusual painting basis with a highly reduced visual language. The artist clearly opted for painting and its issues after graduating from the University of Fine Arts in 2014 with a degree in painting. This is when he won the Gruber Béla Prize and in 2015 the prestigious Essl Art Prize too. In 2020, he was awarded the Gyula Derkovits Fine Arts Scholarship, and in 2022 as winner of the Strabag Prize he had a solo exhibition at the Strabag Kunstforum (Austria). Although he spends most of his creative time in retreat in a studio house in the Mátra, he has participated in several international residencies in Spain, Germany and Krems, Austria. He was also participant of several solo and group exhibitions. ​Dániel Bernáth brings the power of nature's simplicity into the studio, and sees change and development in terms of the functioning of Hegelian dialectics. It also poses the second question: how can all this power and order be represented in an object we call a painting? The question is as simple and complex as – using a biblical parable – seeing the possibility of the universe in a mustard seed. ​The artist's "response" is to choose an unconventional form for the basis of the painting. Either the picture frames are curved and organic, giving a semi-natural experience to the minimalist composition structured with neon colors; or the panel itself becomes natural based, and the wood material that he makes visible allows this minimal symbolism to manifest itself. On the other hand, by transforming it into an object, the painting loses the quality in a modernist l'art pour l'art sense that minimalism and abstraction would indicate, namely that it does not refer to anything apart from itself. Perhaps it is the tension and dialectic of this contradiction that makes these object-paintings true icons, contemporary icons, and, like true icons, they do not represent but embody, and actually become what they are. The opposites offset each other and the possibility of the universe appears in the mustard seed. ​Délia Vékony

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Diána BÓBICS
Fragmanted painting / Red

Diána BÓBICS

Fragmanted painting / Red

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic, oil on canvas
Size
120x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Diána Bóbics is an experimental representative of the post-conceptual generation that entered the scene around the turn of the millennium. Her diverse oeuvre explores case studies of human experience and the construction of visual form, using a toolkit that spans disciplines and techniques. Born in Zalaegerszeg, Bóbics studied at the Faculty of Music and Art of the University of Pécs in the 2000s, then at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. The central motif of her conceptually driven, experimental works is the fragile body and the metaphor of the line. Digitally composed music, sound installations, drawings of human injuries, black tape intervention that transforms the space in a room, a ball of wax under a magnifying glass, a retro ceramic vase and origami felt relief made of textile cut-outs can coexist within her diverse, intermediate oeuvre. The main thread of her oeuvre is, in her own words, "the organic reflection of human vulnerability through 'plane images' and objects in space, which I embed in the context of various pre-existing physical structures, often as spatial drawings." In the 2010s, the role of abstraction in her art intensified, influenced by, among others, her former master Sean Scully. In her 2022 series of paintings, Divided Images, she entered the energetic, youthful vitality of expressive non-figurativity, analysing the structure-creating power of the line. In the image space, which is divided into several fields, abstract gestures appear in bright colours, and repeatedly overpainted fields of colour with graffiti-like spray marks. Bóbics lives and works in Pécs. She works as a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts of PTE where she completed her doctoral studies. She regularly exhibits in solo and group exhibitions in Pécs and in various cities of Europe. Gábor Rieder

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József BULLÁS
200107

József BULLÁS

200107

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
50x50 cm
Artist's introduction

The painterly practice of József Bullás started in the early 1980s with representative, figurative images in the spirit of the Transavantgard and New Sensibility. Later, during his travels to the East, Bullás discovered the potential of ornamentation and gradually moved away from depictive narrative painting. "I want to create abstract paintings that combine »traditional« Western Constructivism with Eastern ornamentation, avoiding the associations of nature, literature and symbolism. Instead of the postmodern remixing of themes, my goal is to interpret phenomena with »my eyes«, to see again." – the artist claimed. The paintings of Bullás oscillate between illusionistic and expressive qualities. His later pieces, regarding this dynamic alternation, reveal a more controlled approach, but at the same time a search for new aesthetic paths as well. Contemporary art's tendency of turning towards design, furthermore the Minimalist and Modernist values of current design direct the medium of painting from a content-centred approach towards a clean, transparent, form-oriented conception. The colour scheme of Bullás's paintings has also expanded in recent years. The organic colours characteristic of the artist are increasingly complemented with new, unusual shades. Synthetic colours appear on his canvases, which denotes the emergence of a new image type and a shift in aesthetic sensitivity. In Bullás' recent works, we witness this aspect becoming self-conscious, as the artist reinterprets his previous ideas and techniques in light of the millennial turn. Zsolt Petrányi

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Attila CSÁJI
Sign Grids - In White Drift III.

Attila CSÁJI

Sign Grids - In White Drift III.

Year(s)
1969
Technique
mixed media on fibreboard
Size
100,5x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Attila Csáji was a prominent figure in the Neo-Avant-Garde art scene of the mid-1960s, one of the most important organisers of his generation, and a pioneer of Hungarian gesture painting and light art. Attila Csáji's inner essence, the symbolism of light, which permeates his "self-principled", multifaceted art, was summed up by Lóránd Hegyi: "For Attila Csáji, light is the phenomena that illuminates the "hidden face of nature". Light reveals the invisible, hidden, essential characteristics, uniting the intellectual and the organic world. In other words, light becomes a mystical force in his artistic world, capable of fusing the infinite cosmos and the infinite realm of the human spirit. " Born in Szepsi in Upper Hungary, Csáji, who moved to Budapest with his family as a child, graduated from the Teacher Training College in Eger in 1964. His works, referred to as "szürenon", created at the beginning of his painting career, combined surrealism and non-figurativity. In his mature oil paintings, calligraphic 'writing marks' and Informel figures, which bulged out plastically, were lined up on the surface as fictitious messages of archaic cultures. According to the artist's interpretation, "The Message Grids are plastic gestural structures, a pantomime or dance of the hand, transformed by light, messages that carry the spell of ancient cultures in the present, at the border between chaos and order." For a while, the ever-growing series of greyish-brown, metallically shimmering 'sign grids' was enriched with applied objects wrapped in black before returning to the sculptural paint mass. In the late sixties and early seventies, Csáji participated as a conceptual artist and active organiser in important events of the Neo-Avant-Garde scene (Szürenon Group, the Kápolna exhibitions in Balatonboglár, etc.). From the mid-seventies onwards, he began to work with various light technologies in the field of fine art, moving beyond the surrealistic relief effect, creating holographic works and laser installations. Driven by the thirst for scientific knowledge, in the 1980s, he studied laser technology at the Central Institute of Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, then reflection holography at the BME, and then transmission holography at the legendary MIT in the USA. Since the 1980s, his photographic work has been featured in important international exhibitions. His works are in several museums abroad, from Seoul to Cambridge. He has received numerous awards, including the Munkácsy Prize, and is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts and has patented a range of ideas. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Róbert CSÁKI
Memento II.

Róbert CSÁKI

Memento II.

Year(s)
2007
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
150x180 cm
Artist's introduction

Róbert Csáki has been present in the Hungarian painting scene since the 1990s with his sinister, dreamlike visions. His world, which continues the tradition of panel painting, is defined by the bizarre dichotomy of surrealism and rococo. "His figures" – as the art writer Tihamér Novotny explained – "are weightless, floating, almost levitating in the vapour of memory: the real dissolves in the fog of imagination, in the atmosphere of vision." Born in Budapest, Csáki graduated as a painter from the Hungarian College of Arts during the regime change. His earliest works already bore the influence of 18th-century art. During a study trip to the Netherlands in 1996, he discovered the bizarre, grotesque, frightening bestiary that had influenced his later artistic performance to a greater extent. From the very beginning of his career, Csáki has been known for creating a painterly world that is difficult to categorise but easily recognisable, with an intense atmosphere. His style is characterised by a classical sensibility, pastose brushwork and virtuoso blurring. The inhabitants of his surreal, dreamlike, decaying artistic universe are not only grotesque puppets but also various animal-headed monsters, rococo figures lost in the mist, but also coastal landscapes or even still lifes, evoked through his virtuoso painterly style. And in his Hommage series, he has reinterpreted classics from art history, from Monet's water lilies to Velázquez's portrait of the Pope. He has held solo exhibitions in numerous venues in the provinces and the capital throughout a consistent career spanning several decades. He lives and works in Budapest.

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József CSATÓ
Man with plans

József CSATÓ

Man with plans

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil and acrylic on canvas
Size
130x140 cm
Artist's introduction

József Csató is a representative of the young generation of painters who showcase a hybrid understanding of painting, creating their works by deploying a wide range of pictorial and multimedia tools of the current age while remaining within the conventions of painting without relying on its representational function. The imitation of abstraction and figurativity is reversed: the figurative emerges as abstract, the abstract as figurative. An "as if" effect in a medium that does not cater to obsolete notions of beauty. Radical assertations in friendly narrative mode. József Csató's paintings speak a unique visual language. His figures and shapes merge to become a psychedelic personal symbolism. Amorphous forms appear as real, existing entities: plant-like beings or single-celled animals magnified to the extreme. These quasi-figural and abstract works, or image organisations, fuse several art-historical references into current fantasy worlds. The repetitive forms are re-expressed in the pictorial – compositional – order of the images as if the dynamics of this painted, animate world were put into motion by exactly these speculative botanical experiments. Besides his visual art, Csató is an inspired musician, working sometimes with cosmic sound effects that transport the listener into spherical dimensions. Julia Fabényi

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Szilárd CSEKE
The Ideal Forest II.

Szilárd CSEKE

The Ideal Forest II.

Year(s)
2009
Technique
oil and lacquer on canvas
Size
130x190 cm
Artist's introduction

Szilárd Cseke is one of the well-known artists of the generation who entered the scene in the 1990s, becoming known at home and internationally for his decorative, bright forest paintings and kinetic installations. Emese Révész analysed his painterly vision as a typical attitude of the 2000s: 'Cseke's painterly attitude is also a generational creed, the basic idea of which is the rehabilitation of painterly beauty, the defiant embrace of "pleasure painting". Returning to the old role of the painter, he is an illusionist who creates experiences, and his painting is both an object of relaxation and meditation." Szilárd Cseke, born in Pápa, studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Pécs and then at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts during the regime change. He first constructed mobile works of art from plastic, car tyres and fans, then painted monochrome still-lifes and storyboard-like scenes with soft, ephemeral brushwork. He found his distinctive stylistic world in the early 2000s as a prominent representative of the new mainstream of digital image-based painting emerging at the turn of the millennium. His decorative period, which began in 2002, with its serene mood, analysed the romantic, symbolic duality of forest trees and sky in a post-digital optical experience. He broke down the photo-based landscape into layers and then built up the image space step by step, creating a varied facture. In places, he scraped back or sanded back the smeared, painted, dripped-dotted oil, acrylic, enamel and lacquer paint. The rich surfaces of different properties and craft pushed the conceptual boundaries of digital image-making and traditional fine art. As art historian Sándor Hornyik said: "From a distance, the painting as a whole gives the impression of a digialtised photograph, but up close, the complexity of the 'ground' is revealed; the green patches do not break down into pixels but are organised into subtle brushstrokes (...) What is exciting about the end result is that it is both painterly and hyper-modern. The generic subject becomes secondary, but the technical complexity works brilliantly." After the emblematic forest paintings, Cseke returned to compositions following life and then built kinetic, conceptual installations with motors – analysing social relations. His largest installation ensemble, Sustainable Identities, was presented at the Hungarian pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2015. Constantly experimenting with new techniques, around 2020, Cseke revisited forest paintings, reverting to nature, in bright visionary colours, in response to the urban lifestyle changed by the pandemic. Cseke lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Ádám DÓRA
Villa Arson II.

Ádám DÓRA

Villa Arson II.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
oil, acrylic on paper
Size
120x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Ádám Dóra is a representative of the young generation of painters who started their careers at the end of the 2010s. His tableau paintings, which border on abstraction and figurative art, are defined by colourful stain painting, a light, spontaneous gestural language, and references from fashion and pop culture. Ádám Dóra, born in Vác, graduated from the University of Fine Arts in 2017, majoring in painting. His painting initially explored the intersections of the built environment and reductive abstraction, geometry and organic expression. He took abstract architectural motifs as his starting point, assigning angular blocks of architecture to the broad brushstrokes of the "colour field” stains. As he put it in his short Ars Poetica: "My works are somewhere on the border of abstraction and imagery. Their starting point is the constant confrontation between the technocratic world of the 21st century and the human desire for nature." Ádám Dóra arrived at the abstract representation of contemporary pop-cultural objects, like sports shoes, through the increasingly airy images of rock landscapes. The transformation came at the time of the pandemic, when sneakers – which further developed the UV colours of the eighties with hi-tech styling – appeared as garish “apparitions” on the deserted streets. In his most recent works, which can be described as "easy pop", the exaggerated, grotesque forms of oversized sneakers appear on a celestial stage of bleached, cartoonishly drawn clouds: giant, lumpy rubber soles and textile surfaces in whimsical patterns, formulated with a loose brush. During the years after graduating from university, Ádám Dóra has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, mainly in Budapest. He was the youngest nominee to participate in the 2021 Esterházy Art Awards exhibition at the Ludwig Museum. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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András ERNSZT
Blue-Orange

András ERNSZT

Blue-Orange

Year(s)
2017
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

András Ernszt currently lives and works in Pécs. He studied at the University of Pécs, where his masters were László Valkó and Ilona Keserü Ilona. He received a DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) degree at this university in 2009, and since 2010, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of Painting, Faculty of Arts. In 1997, he spent a period in Munich as the winner of the DAAD Scholarship. In 2001, he was awarded the Eötvös Scholarship from the Hungarian State and in 2003 the Strabag Painting Prize from the Ludwig Museum. Since 1997, he has had regular solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Hungarian and international galleries: in Pécs, Budapest, Brussels and Stuttgart, among various other locations. András Ernszt's paintings are constantly moving, dynamic colour compositions. The slight deviation of the paint layers from the picture plane creates a characteristic, three-dimensional effect, apart from the various spatial and kinetic illusions. The structuring and layering of material plays a significant role in his work, and a reductive utilisation of colour accompanies this. The almost monochrome tones guide the viewer's attention to the material, to the painterly elaboration of the various surfaces and the deployed technical apparatus. The complexity of the images is increased by the light-shadow effects caused by the layering and the intricate interplay between the different hues of various colours. The viewer cannot find fixed points on the canvases: various formations are positioned on top of each other, while the resulting layering adds depth to them. Their disharmonious arrangement lends them a powerful set of dynamics. The paintings of Ernszt reveal a cavalcade of restless forms, constantly searching for their final destination, shaped by random movement.

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1137-Fabian-Erika-Quiet-Rituals.jpg
Erika FÁBIÁN
Quiet Rituals

Erika FÁBIÁN

Quiet Rituals

Year(s)
2019-2021
Technique
400 pieces of painted wooden cubes
Size
variable size
Artist's introduction

Erika Fábián was born in 1988 in Budapest. She graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2014, majoring in graphic design. Her art is based on a slow, in-depth creative process. Her abstract works are characterized by the all-over compositions of thousands of dots, most of which are backed with emotional-sensual processes: the dots and dots are a record of memories, feelings and traumas. The self-interpreting, mental processes are thus manifested in minimal gestures and raise questions about the ambiguity and interpretation of abstract art. The surface of the image, covered with tiny dots, is the unique signature of her series, sometimes a composition of chromatic processes (Pink diptych I-II, Viola, 2018-19), where sometimes it means the dynamic densification and regression of forms (Untitled I-VII, 2015), sometimes they are held in monochromaticity. For her black-and-white works, she prefers to use lithographic chalk with a greasy composition, whose fine grain produces a delicate surface effect on the paper composed of tonal differences. The colorful dots of Quiet Rituals (2019-21) are placed on wooden cubes or divided by a grid of squares. In some of the series, she turns to the work of artists who have influenced her: As Slow As Possible (2015-16) refers to John Cage's music piece of the same title, while Praise Hommage to Agnes Martin (2020) refers to the American artist's painting, which is associated to both minimalism and abstract expressionism. In her latest series, Erika Fábián has started to use a new technique. She cuts the digital prints of her own childhood drawings into strips, which she uses to create insect-shaped paper weavings: the lyricism of the color-drawing surfaces and the geometry of the weaving create the inherent complexity of the insect forms. In 2011 she was awarded the Jenő Barcsay Foundation Prize, in 2013 she won the Hungarian Graphic Artists Association Scholarship. She has been participating in group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad since 2011. In 2019, she exhibited her work at Art Up in Lille and in 2022 at ARCOmadrid contemporary art fairs. Since 2021, she is featured on secondaryarchive.org, the online platform for women artists from the Central and Eastern European region. She has been a lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts at Eszterházy Károly Catholic University since 2019. In Hungary she is represented by Molnár Ani Gallery. Lili Boros

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0667-Fajo-Janos-Koroleles.jpg
János FAJÓ
Circle Enfold

János FAJÓ

Circle Enfold

Year(s)
2000
Technique
oil on wood
Size
183x113 cm
Artist's introduction

János Fajó is one of the leading figures of Hungarian Constructive Geometric art. During his decades-long career, he researched empirical and geometric phenomena with a unique rigour. In his work, he investigated repetitive structures and their complex variations. His experiments in form spanned different media, including graphic work, screenprints, paintings, wall objects and sculptures. The easily recognisable, orderly visual universe of his works points to the inexhaustible nature of colour and form, relying on the purest pictorial attitude. He created symmetry, asymmetry, infinite variation of movement, rhythm, and dynamic relations by organising simple planar shapes. János Fajó graduated from the Hungarian College of Applied Arts in 1961. In 1971, he founded the renowned Neo-Avant-Garde group, the Pest Workshop, which printed multipliable graphics to democratise art. In addition to his publishing activities, he ran a free school for decades and organised exhibitions as the director of the Józsefváros Gallery. He received the Munkácsy Prize in 1985 and the Kossuth Prize in 2008. He has been teaching at the Hungarian University of Applied Arts since 1989. In 2016, he was elected as a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His works can be seen in significant local and international museum collections such as the Ludwig Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Albertina in Vienna, the Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum in Graz, Haus Konstruktiv (The Foundation for Constructive and Concrete Art) in Zurich and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, as well as important national and international private collections. Zita Sárvári

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1407 Felsmann Istv†n - 51-es villamos
István FELSMANN
Tram 51

István FELSMANN

Tram 51

Year(s)
2013
Technique
LEGO, acrylic spray
Size
48x25,5 cm
Artist's introduction

István Felsmann graduated in 2013 from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Faculty of Graphic Design, where he has been a DLA student since 2022. He has been awarded the Gyula Derkovits Prize three times – in 2014, 2015 and in 2019 – and was nominated for the Esterházy Art Prize in 2019. Since 2009, his interdisciplinary art practice has included his trademark Lego building block works, a hybrid synthesis of relief and tableau painting. With a network approach, he deconstructs and reconstructs the abstract and realistic layers of information of reality in his image objects (Tram 51, 2013), but most of his works dissolve art historical traditions with a playfully balancing use of combinatorics. He also breaks down constructivism (Big Red Icon, 2020, White Constructivist, 2014) into its elements within the prequels, to then transform it into deconstructivism in a liberated act of childlike discovery and melting-pot-like creation. In this way, he simultaneously shows the shapes of geometric abstraction and the revolutionary achievements of the computing technology that defined Generation Y. His image objects are thus bitmaps represented by analogue raster and digital pixel graphics, each pixel of which is uniquely defined so that the image file can carry its corrupted data’s fragments and as much information or as possible. In fact, his Tennis and Court series, created in 2020, shows the new direction in which István Felsmann has turned towards the theory of supersymmetry with extended dimensions, i.e. experimenting with the possibility of representing extra dimensions and transforming symmetry. In February 2023, at the Deák Erika Gallery, in collaboration with Andrea Tivadar, at their joint exhibition titled PLAYFUL, a further reflection of these two visual and theoretical antecedents was presented. Annamária Szabó

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1051-Ficzek-Ferenc-Cim-nelkul.jpg
Ferenc FICZEK
Untitled

Ferenc FICZEK

Untitled

Year(s)
circa 1979
Technique
silver plastic film on fibreboard
Size
100x100x15 cm
Artist's introduction

Ficzek was one of the founding members of the Pécs Workshop (Pécsi Műhely), a group of progressive artists led by Ferenc Lantos from 1968. The spirit of this group was related to analytical abstraction, where the artist made experiments with different media from enamel paint to photography. Ficzek was interested in the meanings of overlapping effects of light, shadow and movements, which he elaborated in his various photographic, spray-painted and graphic series. His analytical sensitivity can be seen in his works created between 1968–70, where he played with the details of different geometrical forms, which he repeated on canvas or paper surfaces relying on different methodical processes. His interest in forms, and their changing shape by alternating light directions was also presented in his photographic works which showed performative situations with female or male characters. The shaped canvases presented in this exhibition are part of a special series that the artist produced at the beginning of the 1970s. These works were related to his interest in forms, shadows and the effect of light. The basis of these works are abstract wood constructions, which result in an unrecognizable relief form covered with canvas or plastic foil. The result is ambiguous, as the stretched surface merely hints at the original structure. We feel a softness on the surface of the object, but this is an illusion of the character of the wooden forms hidden under the cover. We can also notice the humour and inspiration of pop-culture in the works when sometimes, forms of hands or female legs become the main motives of the composition. Ficzek’s short but active carrier continued with further analysis of movements and layered photo-based works – this interest lead him to animated and experimental films by the end of the 1970s. His work was recognised and explored in depth in the last years and can be found in different national and international collections. Zsolt Petrányi

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1096-Andreas-Fogarasi-Roof-Study-38.jpg
Andreas FOGARASI
Roof Study 38

Andreas FOGARASI

Roof Study 38

Year(s)
2018
Technique
copper, book binding cloth
Size
50x70x2 cm
Artist's introduction

In 2007, the Hungarian pavilion won the prestigious Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale. The National Pavilion, which was declared the best, presented a single video installation curated by Katalin Tímár, a work by a then young artist, Andreas Fogarasi, about the remaining physical and intellectual legacy of the Budapest cultural centres from socialism. The slow, documentary, socialist-minimalist aesthetic of this work has attracted attention despite the fact that it is not by its nature suited to be shown on a biennale, as the main point in these large international exhibitions is a quick impact. Fogarasi has a background in architecture, he studied architecture at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, and later his interests steered him to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Alongside his studies in fine arts, he has maintained his interest in architecture, which remains the basis of his art. Since the success of the Biennale, he has had several prestigious international appearances in Mexico City (Proyectos Monclova 2016), Los Angeles (MAK Center 2014, with Oscar Tuazon), São Paulo (Galeria Vermelho 2014), and has exhibited in Leipzig, Madrid, Paris and New York at prestigious institutions such as the Palais de Tokyo, Frankfurter Kunstverein, MUMOK Vienna and Ludwig Museums. His most recent major presentment in Hungary was Skin City - The Skin of the City, a solo exhibition at the Budapest Gallery in 2022. Fogarasi's work is cumulatively complex. It incorporates the ideals of conceptual art, the aesthetics of minimalism, and the exploratory intentions of research-based art. Moving within the conservative framework of drawing, graphic arts and painting, he uses the clean design forms of architecture mixed with a deeply personal, human and familiar sense of the historical past. It presents the built environment, often socialist sites, not only as archaeological artefacts, but also sheds light on complex issues of identity, memory and legacy. In his works, he creates an elegant dialogue between the traditional materials of fine art, such as canvas, graphite and paint, and the remains of buildings from demolition sites. Thus, the universal aesthetics of abstraction, its timelessness and impersonality, are juxtaposed with the substance and historicity of the materials used in the buildings, providing the work with a wide range of associations. Délia Vékony

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0472-Frey-Krisztian-Fekete-feher-kalligrafia___visszaforgatva-eredetire___20220624.jpg
Krisztián FREY
Black-White Calligraphy

Krisztián FREY

Black-White Calligraphy

Year(s)
circa 1990
Technique
oil and mixed media on paper
Size
70x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Krisztián Frey, as one of the most original figures of the Hungarian non-figurative painting –reborn in the 1960s – formed his own specific way of expression on the domestic scene protected from international influence and suffering from intellectual drowning. As one of the Hungarian representatives of the European post-war abstraction, Frey created his own individual way of expression, combining the lyrical approach of the art informel and the gestural technique of handwriting, similarly to Cy Twombly or Georges Mathieu. Frey started to build his career in the mid-1950s. As a dentist’s son from the countryside, he had to face being stigmatised as a “class enemy”, due to which he was not allowed to attend the College of Fine Arts. As a consequence, neither the ideology of Socialist Realism, nor the conservative tools of scenery painting could prevent him to deploy his aesthetic inner world. He got into close contact with the Zugló Circle, a group of young progressive artists, where his contemporaries were discovering the ways of French abstraction. He staged his first individual exhibition in Hungary in 1967 (in a secluded culture house of Rákosliget), where he presented Rákosliget Pictures, his series consisting of repainted, “whitened” gestures, leaning towards monochrome painting. In the mid-1960s – independently from the Rákosliget series – his individual style became mature: unique abstract expressionism, inspired by Eastern calligraphy and letter-like script writing. He used to refer to his own artistic approach as “gesture painting with varying pace”, which can be described as grey surfaces consisting of multi-layer colours, wide, energetic, expressive brush strokes, handwritten-like, multilingual captures, stenciled letters, vandal wall scripts, zodiac signs, and applicated photographs. Its characteristics were not featured by the elegance of the Western calligraphic abstraction, but much more by the “toilet-door-aesthetics” of art brut and arte povera, utilizing cheap laths, rough scratches and raw gestures. They have been inseparably accompanied by raw erotic desire and invincible writing force. After participating in the Iparterv exhibitions, Frey emigrated to Switzerland in 1970 and lived in Zürich until the end of the Hungarian communism. From the late 1970s, for almost two decades, he was engaged with mathematics, music and informatics. His experiments of experimental computer-drawing ensured a spot for him among the pioneers of international computer art. After the Regime Change in Hungary, he visited his home country again, and parallelly he began to re-develop his earlier scriptural painting. His home crowd then started to admire his unrivalled oeuvre, which is pervaded by the permanent writing force, free expression and the calling of experimentation. Gábor Rieder

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1422 Fridvalszki M†rk - Ufo Revelation I.
Márk FRIDVALSZKI
UFO REVELATION I.

Márk FRIDVALSZKI

UFO REVELATION I.

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic transfer on canvas
Size
40x30 cm
Artist's introduction

Márk Fridvalszki, who has been living and working in Berlin for more than ten years, started his studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna in 2004, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 2011 and later attended the Intermedia Department in Leipzig as a postgraduate student. His works from the mid-2010s, which the artist called "stark geometry", expressed a dark paranoia of the "techno-end" dominated by his interest in monochromatism, entropy and technology. He is a co-founder of the art collective and publishing project called Technologie und das Unheimliche (T+U) operating since 2014. His works can be found in the collections of the Ferenczy Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. In 2018, a decisive shift occurred in his art: Márk Fridvalszki attempted to break away with a "forward and upward" momentum from the framework of a neoliberal system without a future or criticism. His inspirational creative method builds up from the pastel and/or neon, cultural turning points and subcultural products of late popular modernism characterising Fischer, that pulsates in psychedelic colours and is collage-like in its inspiration – in his work titled Still Hight, he evokes Ilona Keserü's iconic, cosmic world of forms and the skin colour that became the trademark of his predecessor, emphasising the counterpoint of the image. According to Barnabás Zemlényi-Kovács, it is “»archeo-futurology«, a consistent exploration of the sonic and visual remnants of lost futures, modernist visions in a post-future, timeless age.” The works included in the collection are already all artifacts of a utopian “vision of the future”, seen in a universal and ontological perspective, excavations of nostalgia for the future, which, according to the artist, are intended to act as a catalyst to awaken avant-garde energies from their slumber. Annamária Szabó

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0924-Gaspar-Gyorgy-Kerulet-I.jpg
György GÁSPÁR
District I.

György GÁSPÁR

District I.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
hand painted optical glass, acrylic paint
Size
84x84x11 cm
Artist's introduction

György Gáspár is the most characteristic representative of the new generation of glass artists who entered the scene in the 2000s, giving artistic depth and a new impetus to the modernist tradition of glass art in Hungary. According to art historian Flóra Mészáros, his pioneering, experimental spirit "occupies a unique position in Hungarian contemporary art". Born in Pécs, Gáspár graduated from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts in 2003 with a degree from the Silicate Department and later absolved his doctoral degree (DLA) in sculpture at the University of Pécs. His early works explored the novel effects of furnace-cast glass sculpture (casting), relying on the use of astronomical metaphors. His polished sculptural objects, constructed by glueing together cast and optical glass elements, played with pop-cultural, cinematic references, from extraterrestrial entities to action-movie rockets. His work was characterised by precise technical execution, striking motifs reminiscent of Op-art and vivid contrasts that deployed UV colours. As a continuation of the early "geopop" era, he also investigated the possibilities of encapsulating uranium and the speed of light. His works from the second half of the 2010s harked back to the geometrical Avant-Garde tradition, Neoplasticism and the Bauhaus, analysing the structure and use of colour in the construction of images. His works are sculptural-artistic works that go beyond the traditional glass medium and are fuelled by the philosophy of deconstructionism. He has created fictitious pictorial spaces out of strict lines layered on laminated glass sheets. Besides Mondrianesque primary colours, he utilised various shades of orange, purple and turquoise. By scrapping coloured glass plates or drawing the line systems with isograph pens, he created panels and sculptures whose layers can be viewed from several directions thanks to the material's transparency. The geometric works are sometimes based on grids or the abstract patterns of industrial or architectural elements. Numerous prizes have attested to Gáspár's pioneering role, and in 2009, he was given the most prestigious national award in the field, the Noémi Ferenczy Award. He teaches the new generations of glass artists at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and the University of Pécs. Due to his exhibitions, his work has become part of significant national and international collections, including the world's most important glass museum, the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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1044-Gayor-Tibor-Hajtas-6-GT472.jpg
Tibor GÁYOR
Folding 6. GT472

Tibor GÁYOR

Folding 6. GT472

Year(s)
1972
Technique
acryl on paper
Size
60x49,8 cm
Artist's introduction

Tibor Gáyor finished his architectural studies in 1951 and worked in the field until the beginning of the 1960s. This background defines his way of thinking concerning artistic expression: mathematical rules, concepts about space and seriality characterize his two-dimensional works. From 1963, he dedicated his life to fine arts, elaborating his specific methodology at the beginning of the 1970s. He began experiments by folding paper and canvas in a precalculated way thus visualising tectonic models, a special term for describing architectural structures. His oeuvre refers to Minimalism as well: his ambition to rely on minimal devices brought purity and a conceptual approach to his works. The folding of the canvas, revealing the white grounded surface and its raw backside on a black base, or the prints of folded papers with limited colour shows a controlled approach to artistic expression. The simultaneous use of the front and back sides of the same surface brings with it the question of space and the third dimension in the case of Gáyor’s work. The viewer when trying to reverse engineer this method realizes that the result is not a montage, but a fully-developed process, showcasing different solutions on how to present the complexity of space itself by displaying the different aspects of a surface and its backside. Gáyor has followed consequently his programme during his carrier, approaching the same visual problems from various angles. Acknowledged for his consistency, his works are part of important public and private collections, like the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Kunstmuseum, Bochum and the Museum Moderne Kunst, Vienna. Zsolt Petrányi

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0595-Geller-B.-Istvan-Cim-nelkul.jpg
István GELLÉR B.
Untitled

István GELLÉR B.

Untitled

Year(s)
1974
Technique
tempera on paper
Size
52x44 cm
Artist's introduction

The geometric painting practice of B. István Gellér is unique among the aspirations of the Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde. The emblematic structures of his 1970s artworks, which were constructed with softer lines, but edited with symmetrical rigour, are typical domestic examples of Pop art-influenced Signal Painting. One of the most critical issues of progressive Hungarian painting in the 1960s was the reconciliation of global trends and local traditions, which notion defined the artistic practice of Gellér as well. His passion for drawing led him as a child to Ferenc Martyn, followed by the free school of Ferenc Lantos. His trip to Western Europe deeply inspired him in the late 1960s. During his visit to London, he got acquainted with the work of Bridget Riley, Frank Stella and Victor Vasarely. Combining his recent international experiences with the local artistic traditions of Pécs, he developed an organic and symbolic geometric language. He sought to create an internationally relevant, locally inspired, but at the same time personally motivated artistic voice. His recurring motifs include the almost anthropomorphic, three-lobed, softened triangle, the "embracing" shapes, and the box-like space enhanced with a sense of depth utilising perspective. He endowed his geometric shapes – which filled the entire surface – with personal meaning far removed from the essence of Geometric Abstraction. He was less interested in theoretical problems than in the lyrical transformation of symbols. He worked on creating a "geometry of personal credibility" based on individual truths. Fanni Magyar

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1198-Goth-Martin-Two-Spring-And-The-Duck.jpg
Martin GÓTH
Two Spring And The Duck

Martin GÓTH

Two Spring And The Duck

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
70x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Martin Góth is one of the representatives of the young generation of Hungarian artists entering the art scene around 2020, who are developing a strong language of forms. On his acrylic tableaus, digital retro mixes with the theory of signs and subcultural icons. Martin Góth, born in Kaposvár, – following a detour to Berlin and Glasgow – graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2021, majoring in painting. His language of painting, which was then maturing, is constructed of schematized signs and pop-cultural motifs embedded in a geometric grid system. The basic organising theme of his images is the square mesh of old computer games and board games such as Tetris, minesweeper, tic tac toe or chess. The grid pattern is filled with the three-dimensional buttons, axonometric elements, pictograms and schematized icons familiar from early Windows. As curator Eszter Dalma Kollár explained, "the system of 8×8 cm squares and the 1 cm wide lines separating them is the base for each painting. Martin has filled these with a bunch of personal little stories, visual gags and fictional characters." The precise, pixelated aesthetic character of the digital retro-inspired form set is balanced by raw painting gestures, hand scribbles and graffiti marks. Góth's conceptual approach to art sometimes leaves the plane of the tableau and extends the playing field to the entire exhibition area. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Hungary. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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0029-Hajdu-Kinga-Bujocska.jpg
Kinga HAJDÚ
Hide-and-Seek

Kinga HAJDÚ

Hide-and-Seek

Year(s)
2019
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
50x50 cm
Artist's introduction

Kinga Hajdú studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts between 1985–89 and then participated in the same institution's Postgraduate Artist Training Program between 1989 and 1992. She has been an art teacher at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts' Secondary School of Visual Arts in Budapest since 1991. Kinga Hajdú emerged as a representative of the new generation in the second half of the 1990s, developing her painterly practice through conceptual and figurative means. The universe of these small-scale works relies on precision and a high degree of technical skill. Hajdú's first, invertedly executed paintings were quasi-naturalistic depictions of meat. The inspiration was provided by the meats' swirling structure, which she later developed as an independent motif. She went on to discover the abstract compositional possibilities inherent to the details of her paintings. In these images, she foreshadowed an artistic intention, which we witness in her later work: the importance of details seen through the lens of abstraction. The notions of figurativity and abstraction simultaneously define her artistic practice. Her compositions arranged according to a grid-like structure provide the polar opposite of her earlier circular compositions. While the circle represents the symbol of universal existence, the grid carries associations of finality, delineated areas and an earth-bound sense of gravity. The pictorial structures of Hajdú provide a platform for colour analysis as well. It is no coincidence that the artist is experimenting with earth tones in search of an overall sense of harmony. Júlia Fabényi

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1306 Hajgato Terezia Mimikri XV
Terézia HAJGATÓ
Mimicry XV.

Terézia HAJGATÓ

Mimicry XV.

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
90x69,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Terézia Hajgató is a figurative representative of the generation of painters who entered the scene at the end of the 2010s. Her realistically shaped, psychologising oil paintings scan trauma and emotional situations through everyday objects. Born in Tapolca, Hajgató finished her studies at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts at the end of the 2010s. She chose the empty chair, endowed with psychologising symbolism, as the basic therapeutic motif of her early art. In her realistic oil paintings, which are designed as drawings, the chairs, conceived as self-portraits, appear facing each other in a carpet-like grid of ornamental mesh. The different styles of seats either connect with the pattern of the background, or blend in and hide in it. Their passive self-defence strategy is reminiscent of the visual tactics of the mimicry known from the animal world. Hajgató has explored the theme of the anthropomorphised chair in group compositions and in image fields divided into two, as well as in sculptural, photographic forms and installations. In her 2023 series of paintings, balloon animals and toy figures – exploring the themes of childhood vulnerability and daydreaming – replaced the chair motif. Hajgató lives and works in Budapest, she also exhibits her work in the capital city. Gábor Reider

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1181-Halmi-Horvath-Istvan-Hommage-a-Albers-no.-20.jpg
István HALMI-HORVÁTH
Hommage á Albers no. 20

István HALMI-HORVÁTH

Hommage á Albers no. 20

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acryl, canvas on wood
Size
60x60x5 cm
Artist's introduction

"The number of stories and worlds I imagine depends only on how much time I have to contemplate." The depths we experience of the phenomena we look at depends only on the attention we pay to them. Several generations of abstract-geometric artists have been fascinated by this theme, and – according to art historian Viola Farkas – István Halmi-Horváth takes this multi-generational idea further. The artist, who followed in the footsteps of Lajos Kassák, László Moholy-Nagy, Imre Bak and Tamás Hencze, graduated as a painter from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2002. His solo exhibitions have been shown in several venues in Budapest and in other cities of the country, such as the László Vass Collection in Veszprém, the Esterházy Palace in Győr, the Karithy Salon or the Viltin Gallery in Budapest. in 2012 he was a special prize winner of the Biennale of Tableau Painting, in 2013 also a special prize winner of the Balaton Biennale, in 2000 he was a recipient of the Bertalan Székely Scholarship, and the Carmen Würth Prize. Viola Farkas explains the art of István Halmi-Horváth in platonic terms: "Painters usually turn to geometric forms because this is how they can create the most perfect image of the structure of the world. These images presuppose the absolute behind phenomena, the eternity of the idea, that there are eternal values which exist in themselves because concepts remain identical with themselves, and that our imperfect material world is only a reflection of the world of eternal and unchanging ideas." The abstract, geometric repetitive forms, even spanning across series, seem to tease with stubborn curiosity the layers of reality they have lifted. The seemingly never-ending variation to find the perfect composition and use of color, which gives the images a sometimes dynamically playful, sometimes serious and static feel, is the result of a simple but highly complex creative process. István Halmi-Horváth often spends a long time searching for the defining form of a series, and on this he builds a palette of colors, some of which we have never even heard of. In the compositions, the immateriality, timelessness, and seriousness of the absolute are replaced by lively, animated figures in constant motion, which sometimes even slip out of the frame in their unbridledness. The bathing in the bringing forth of the thousand faces of infinity is a display of the world's most serious subject with exuberant lightness. Délia Vékony

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0695-Hantai-Simon-Aquarelle.jpg
Simon HANTAÏ
Aquarelle

Simon HANTAÏ

Aquarelle

Year(s)
1971
Technique
watercolour on paper
Size
65,5x56,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Simon Hantaï studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts under the supervision of Vilmos Aba-Novák and Béla Kontuly. In 1948, he won a one-year scholarship to study in Paris, which was later withdrawn due to changes in the political climate. After finally immigrating to Paris, he got acquainted with André Breton and his circle. He covered his vivid canvases with fantastic creatures, organic forms, and biomorphic shapes and conducted experiments with the genre and technical apparatus of painting. Parallel to his surrealist paintings, his work became more and more gestural due to his continuous experimentation. When the work of the New York School was exhibited in Paris, he came under the influence of Abstract Expressionism, motivated above all by Pollock's paintings. From the 1960s, he developed a unique technique called pliage: by folding, creasing and painting the canvas, he created abstract patterns on vast, expansive surfaces. In 1982, Hantaï represented France at the Venice Biennale; he then decided to retire from the public for a period. However, his absence from the art scene did not mean a break with painting: Hantaï never stopped creating and continued to re-examine his oeuvre. In addition to the leading Hungarian art institutions, his work can be found in international, world-famous collections such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Vatican Museum in Rome, the Musée d'Art Contemporain in Nice, Christie's in London and several significant private collections. Viktória Popovics

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Tamás HENCZE
Blue Space with Red Light

Tamás HENCZE

Blue Space with Red Light

Year(s)
2007
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Hencze considered Dezső Korniss to be his master and the Zugló Circle – which examined abstract art and the theoretical work of Béla Hamvas – as his school. He was a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His painting practice, which initially focused on the directness of the gesture and the Pop art collage, became individually motivated in the second half of the 1960s. He used stencils and a rubber roller when spreading the evenly applied (black) paint, creating precise transitions and eliciting pulsating spatial effects on the picture plane. The dynamic, repetitive, saturated, fading and empty surfaces appeared as the universal rhythm of life. The structures of his paintings – which "emerged from the point" – coincided with the era's scientific worldview and the minimalist attitude in the arts. His works could also be connected to the Op-art movement, which sought to examine vision. However, Hencze relied on a more complex understanding of perception, introducing the picturesque experience of appearance and disappearance. These works were featured in the unofficial exhibitions at the end of the decade (e.g. Iparterv, 1968) and subsequently in European exhibitions displaying contemporary Hungarian art. In the 1980s, he reinterpreted his images from the beginning of his career: he "froze" huge gestures on large canvases, which were seen as part of the era's postmodern turn. These works were not straightforward gestural paintings but exact reproductions of gestures constructed with templates, rubber cylinders, a few intensely saturated colours, and light, which lent the moment's spatial-material (iconic) reality frozen onto the picture plane. In his work on paper, Hencze occasionally lined up the technical tools connected to the creative process of these more recent gestural images, such as the scissor, the ruler and the various geometric shapes. Katalin Keserü

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Endre HORTOBÁGYI
Gesture

Endre HORTOBÁGYI

Gesture

Year(s)
1995
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
160x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Endre Hortobágyi was a predominant artist of the Hungarian Gestural Painting movement in the 1960s. His œuvre was – in parallel with his tragic fate – only genuinely appreciated by the public following his death. His art, rooted in French Lyrical Abstraction and Informel, is an exceptional achievement of 20th-century non-figurative art in Hungary. The distinctiveness of his painting stems from his individuality. Hortobágyi, as one of his rediscoverers, the renowned international museum director Lóránd Hegyi wrote, believed in the possibility of harmony, in a vision of organic totality: "And this is exactly what makes his artistic attitude romantic, almost anachronistically elevated, and the artist, himself a solitary figure." Born in Budapest during the Second World War, Hortobágyi was "against the grain of the era". He was not admitted to the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, so he could only train as a self-taught artist. Around 1962, he joined the Zugló Circle, established by Sándor Molnár, where young artists – in opposition to the official cultural politics of the time – became acquainted with the contemporary tendencies and theoretical texts of French abstraction as part of a self-propelled initiative. Their painting, which was mainly inspired by Jean Bazaine's teachings, was characterised by the transformation of the material world into an expressive system of brushstrokes, letting the depicted object "transcend itself, becoming a passionate ideogram of the truth". Many supportive intellectuals frequented the "second public sphere" of the apartment in Zugló. However, the group's artistic endeavours were labelled "prohibited" and did not find an official outlet. Their first exhibition (New Aspirations, 1966) was closed down by the authorities. Hortobágyi's paintings of the 1960s were dominated by abstracted transcriptions of landscapes filled with spiritual content, followed by a more spontaneous, pure non-figurativity – inspired by the liberating influence of automatic writing – recalling the work of the French painter Alfred Manessier. While the other artists from his generation who got admitted to the Hungarian College of Fine Arts organised and participated in group exhibitions, Hortobágyi became increasingly isolated from the late 1960s onwards, excluding himself from the art world and society in general. During his solitary years, his art transformed: in addition to the surfaces evoking plants and spreading organically in a jungle-like manner, angular, homogeneous colour fields also emerged. During the last period of his career, referred to as the artist's calligraphic period, he painted broad, thin gestures sometimes arranged in atmospheric, fuming structures, utilising a reduced colour palette. Although the professional public embraced his work at the end of his life, he died a wounded and isolated man after the regime change. His pioneering œuvre remains a particularly powerful strain of Informel Painting in Hungary. Gábor Rieder

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Judit HORVÁTH LÓCZI
It's closing

Judit HORVÁTH LÓCZI

It's closing

Year(s)
2021
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Judit Horváth Lóczi graduated as a landscape architect and obtained a second degree in colour engineering at the Budapest University of Technology. Between 2011 and 2014, she graduated from the Budapest Metropolitan University with a degree in Visual Representation. In 2019, she was awarded the Fellowship of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in the United States of America. In 2022, she was the finalist of the Kassák Contemporary Art Prize. Judit Horváth Lóczi's work is connected to the constructivist-geometric tradition, and her individual vision represents a new (female) sensibility in the Hungarian art scene. Her oeuvre to date consists of a series of paintings and objects that are thematically interconnected, searching for new paths concerning the question of form and exploring possible points of intersection between the medium of painting and sculpture. Her works blend pictorial flatness and spatiality to create a distinctive visual language based on abstraction, geometry, dynamics and rhythm. The supports of Horváth's spatially expansive paintings are pre-designed shaped canvas constructions whose geometric rigidity is counterbalanced by a vivid palette and intuitive compositional style. In addition to traditional materials, one of the hallmarks of her artistic practice is the deployment of unusual, extreme objects as supports. Her work is usually inspired by everyday situations or personal stories, which she presents through constructing geometric compositions built on fundamental forms. She gives voice to intimate yet universal experiences such as becoming a mother or the everyday difficulties of raising a child. As she puts it, "each work is an entry in my diary." Viktória Popovics

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György JOVÁNOVICS
Frottage 3.

György JOVÁNOVICS

Frottage 3.

Year(s)
1993
Technique
soft colour pastel on paper
Size
70x100 cm
Artist's introduction

György Jovánovics studied sculpture at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, followed by further studies in Vienna and Paris. He is a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts. His work speaks about art itself through the objective nature of sculpture and the presentation of elusive artistic qualities. The – archaic and simultaneously contemporary – material often utilised in his work is plaster, which is also connected to his first themes: the figure and drapery (Iparterv exhibitions in 1968 and 1969). His life-sized figures (including those isolated from the realm of painting) are assembled from parts, casts, as well as his space-defining drapery installations (Adolf Fényes-Hall, 1970). In these works, Jovánovics presents an object-oriented creative process and a fragile existential interpretation of art. (The artwork titled Precurtain for the Ecstatic Marionette (1979) has become a part of the Tate Modern collection.) From the 1980s, Jovánovics started exploring the classic art genre of the sculptural relief. Based on minimal spatial differences, his white plaster reliefs are brought to life by frictional light from an external source. With time, coloured versions also appeared, using different paints that were mixed into the material. In his frottage work, he unfolds the possibilities of the relief format and questions of light and colour. The monument commemorating the martyrs of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – which included the layout plan of the surrounding space of the New Public Cemetery as well – revealed the meaningful connections between architecture and sculpture, deep and high, closed and open spaces, space and surfaces in general, furthermore the connection between architectural and sculptural archetypes. His video installation titled An excerpt from the Great Storm explored the unity of the three arts based on a painting by Giorgione and revealed the liveliness a work of contemporary art can possess (BTM - Kiscelli Museum, 1996). Katalin Keserü

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Tamás JOVANOVICS
To Fischli & Weiss

Tamás JOVANOVICS

To Fischli & Weiss

Year(s)
2011
Technique
acrylic lacquer, acrylic, colour pencil, 8 mm MDF board, L-shape aluminium profile
Size
90x170 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Jovanovics completed his studies in painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the Université de Provence (1999), then absolved his doctoral studies in Aix-en-Provence and Budapest (2004). He attended postdoctoral courses in Provence and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. During the Hungarian Universitas Program, he created monumental, architectural – steel and aluminium – sculptures for three dormitory buildings in Nyíregyháza. In the prevalent internationality of the generation of artists after the change of regime, his works can be distinguished from his contemporaries by his strikingly sensitive utilisation of tools and the fine-tuned juxtaposition of lines and colours combining rationality and chance. According to Jovanovics, his work procedure can be described with an “almost robotic minimalism at the level of form and a certain poetry in the field of colours,” in the words of Péter Nádas: “extreme asceticism and hedonism simultaneously”. The image starts with a minimal set of elements: a square canvas and coloured pencils. The dense lines drawn with a ruler are somewhat accidental and have flaws – they are unique despite their engineering and precision. Kinetic surfaces are born, sometimes from the orientation and intersection of straight lines. In other cases, it is the fragmented images, which make several formats possible simultaneously. His “Linear” paintings were first created on a white ground, then from the 2010s on a black backdrop. Coloured lines emerge running vertically and at right angles next to the tight horizontal lines. Line and colour transform into geometry: sometimes, because of the colour changes, illusionist (virtual) forms are elaborated, resulting in an optically moving web of interlocking ornamental surfaces. Katalin Keserü

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Zsigmond KÁROLYI
Four Halved Squares II.

Zsigmond KÁROLYI

Four Halved Squares II.

Year(s)
2013
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
90x90 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsigmond Károlyi, after his figurative experiments of the 2000s – which manifested in archaizing, quasi-symbolic genre images, still lifes arranged from children's toys, sour pastiche pieces – once again started painting geometric images, returning to his concept from around 1977-78, which was based on the relationship of elementary forms and motion relations. His works recorded the triangle's and the rectangle's phases of rotation; his series of paintings is thus a synthesis of decades of artistic practice. The platform and the arguments of this pictorial summary are based on a kind of orthodoxy, on the fundamentalism of painting theory. At the same time, this becomes a stylistic framework, a characteristic form in itself. The visual structures created by rotation, the virtual shifting of planes, the division of the image surface and the transformation of this rhythm by adding new sections - sometimes planar fractals – provide a complex set of terms. Károlyi uses pure primary colours of additive and subtractive colour mixing in these procedures, complemented with the broken "mutants" of these colours. The almost exclusively square-format, balanced quality of the boards is juxtaposed with peculiar, immanent seriality, a gesture that generates form, folding out and across, folding in and down, mirroring. These processes vary and permute the planes intended and assumed to be regular, which are ultimately strikingly personal. The square is halved, the triangle is reflected. A circle or a sector appears only rarely. The forms are aligned in the austere tension of cold and warm, converging and receding hues and the delicate balance of complementary colours, while the images reveal something seemingly stricter, at the same time self-ironic, from a distance, but perhaps not involuntarily, indeed: a reference to Bauhaus, a quasi-pedagogical "dogmatism". István Hajdu

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1391 Kis RĘka Csaba - Bad And Naughty
Róka Csaba KIS
Bad And Naughty

Róka Csaba KIS

Bad And Naughty

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil, enamel, canvas
Size
100×99,5 cm
Artist's introduction

As a leading painter of Hungarian posthuman hybridity, he has been a regular participant in solo and group exhibitions for two decades, both on the local and the international scene. These include the Liverpool Biennial in 2010, a group exhibition at the Factory-Art Gallery in Berlin in 2011, then due to its impact, being added to the collection of the private MACT/CACT Museum and Center of Contemporary Art in Switzerland, and after 2011, one more Esterházy Art Award nomination in 2023. For the fourth time in his career, the central problem of his painting, the representation of the human figure, is ricocheted. While the few years following his graduation in 2007 were essentially characterised by the dynamic, dramatic contrasts of classical painting traditions such as Baroque and Romanticism, with a satirical overtone, in a naturalistic, horroristic narrative composition of colour and form, from the mid-2010s – having completely stripped of the realist approach – the influence of surrealism unfolded in the contrasting laboratory of “quite absurd, almost caricaturistically pathological subject matter”, as Gábor Rieder wrote on the artist’s exhibition titled Federation Of Decomposed Organs And Stripes. However, the distorted fragmentation of the human figure in his paintings reached its peak after 2020, as the human body parts became completely separated from their self-referentiality. The works from the same series, shown in the collection, are now abstract, deconstructed painting elements floating in the space of the picture, like the filtered presence of a cartoon character on another reality. The associative black and white stripe stamp, which is at once zebra carpet, hard-edge veneer constructions and the discount barcode of capitalist society, is applied to a predominantly colour-transitioned base layer, reminiscent of the typical colour palette of American car tuning. As a final layer of paintings, Kis Róka painted the deformed creatures, often distorted pop-cultural references, with the "melted gummy bear" effect of water-based enamel paint (Bad And Naughty, 2021). In the spring of 2023, however, the artist completely erased his hardware and dissolved the image space of his works in the pixel art bitmap matrix of trash aesthetics, making the distorted fragmentary creatures take full shape as stick figures again. Annamária Szabó

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1380 Knyih†r Bence - Napellenzč
Bence KNYIHÁR
Sunshade

Bence KNYIHÁR

Sunshade

Year(s)
2013
Technique
oil, canvas
Size
137x208,5cm
Artist's introduction

Bence Knyihár graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs in 2011. From 2016, he has been a member and a regular exhibitor of the Artus Contemporary Art Studio. In his art, two creative phases can be distinguished, and although they are based on the same painting process, the brushwork with a distinctly colouristic vision found in 2018 is organised along a completely new compositional principle. Szél (Wind) (2014) and Pinty no. 2 (Finch no. 2) (2015), in their colour treatment and technique, may even evoke a sense of a certain experimental paraphrase in the viewer. While the former is a flurry of gestural painting sequences that allow for a quick, brief contact, the latter may recall the colour abstraction of Gerhard Richter's Karmin and the Vermalung technique. Here, the practice of overpainting and blurring played a more pronounced role, the blending of abstract fields of colour causing them to randomly mix, and the removal of the previous layer of paint with a scraper providing an archaeological exploration of the canvas, resulting in a myriad of haptic layers and surfaces. At the exhibition titled Átfedések (Overlaps), in the summer of 2023, Bence Knyihár presented his latest works created under the aegis of Pittura Analitica, one of the most influential Italian painting movements of the 1960s, which was brought back into the discourse of the present by Alberto Fiz. This analytical approach seeks to explore the constituent elements of painting (canvas, frame, material, colour and sign) and their interrelationship, as well as the metabolic contact (as in the flow of information) between the work as a physical object and its creator, providing an experience of pure, absolute existence. The series titled Orchids 1-4. (2022) brings to the stage an equal juxtaposition of complementary scenes and the positive-negative forms of the eponymous orchid flower, while the artist also gives it a sense of movement by sliding the canvas up to a stretcher slightly shifted. At the same time, Knyihár also plays the nomenclature of the flower into the imagery: it is an aphrodisiac according to ancient beliefs. It symbolizes noble beauty and preciousness in general, while coupled with the colour blue, it denotes absolute rarity, the coveted essence of Pittura-Pittura (painting-picture). Annamária Szabó

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Attila KONDOR
Asclepion

Attila KONDOR

Asclepion

Year(s)
2021
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
70x70 cm
Artist's introduction

Attila Kondor represents a figurative derivation of oil painting that emerged after the turn of the millennium, drawing on the Italian tradition and striking a metaphysical note. He also created animations based on his meditative paintings, which use elements of classical architecture and garden design. "The images of the contemplative, conceptual animations are created on canvas and prints, where the presence of stillness and silence is conveyed not only by harmonious proportions and tonal transitions of soothing colours but also by the apparition-like glow of the highlights that almost split the painting plane, suggesting a supernatural light" - wrote art historian János Schneller about the artist's meditative approach. Kondor, born in Budapest, graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2000 with a degree in Graphic Arts. At that time, his artistic perspective was characterised by the traditional oil painting method and a search for classical themes. During his time at the university, he turned against the conceptual practice that dominated the intellectual climate of the 1990s and, as a rebellious gesture, painted plein air landscapes of the Élesd countryside in Transylvania as a member of the Sensaria Group, a group of traditionalist painting students. Although the group's attitude towards classical painting resonated among the realist tendencies that were gaining ground in the early 2000s, Kondor was isolated from the group because of his essentially philosophical, contemplative character. He was strongly influenced by Italy, the home of classical architecture and traditional garden design. His early paintings depicted unpopulated, meditative Italian castle gardens with reflecting surfaces of water, silent colonnades and classical sculptures. Subsequently, his canvases depicted architectural fragments from Budapest. Smudges and tactile surfaces accompanied his pictorial character's realistic, austere perspective. By the end of the decade, he found his own distinctive, individual iconography: gateways, staircases, marble halls and libraries, lifted from classical architecture and given symbolic power. Kondor's historical and philosophical worldview suggests that the proportions of the gates, windows and spaces correspond to the "majesty of the cosmos". The pictorial voids, highlighted by graphic white stripes or negative forms, indicate the proximity of mystery in this Arcadian, introspective world. Since 2013, Kondor has also been making meditative animated films from the "raw material" of his paintings, besides the oil paintings that he is constantly creating. He lives and works in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Tamás KONOK
Timeline

Tamás KONOK

Timeline

Year(s)
2003
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
130x130 cm
Artist's introduction

Tamás Konok studied painting at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts between 1948 and 1953 as a student of Aurél Bernáth. He emigrated to Paris in 1959. He turned away from naturalistic painting and developed his lyrical geometric style from the 1970s, in which sensitive linear drawing plays a critical role. Galerie Lambert organised his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1960. From the 1970s, Konok and his wife, the sculptor Katalin Hetey lived in Paris and Zurich. Konok worked in close contact with Schlégl Gallery in Zurich and regularly exhibited in French, Swiss, Dutch and Swedish galleries and museums. He returned to Hungary with a solo exhibition in 1980. Since the 1990s, he has been staying and working in Budapest on a regular basis. His work attempted to capture transcendental, timeless realms of meaning: he sought to depict the forces, energies, and relations that drive the universe with his concrete, geometric shapes and linear systems. His musical studies had a profound influence on his art; thus, in his work, he paid attention to the perfect articulation of sound, rhythm, and line navigation. In addition to his "Apollonian" notion of art, which shaped his precise compositions and architectonic pictorial structures, he was also committed to renewing his painting practice during his seven-decade career. The central element of his painterly experiments – based on small-scale collages – could be grasped in the forever evolving pictorial structures, motifs and the dynamic changes in the artist's palette. Krisztina Szipőcs

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Zsuzsanna KÓRÓDI
Subfolder IV.

Zsuzsanna KÓRÓDI

Subfolder IV.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
glued, hand polished glass, UV paint 
Size
37x61,5 cm
Artist's introduction

Zsuzsanna Kóródi's pictorial surfaces are closely related to the traditions of Op-art, Kinetic art, and in a broader sense, to Constructive-Concrete painting. Her works can be interpreted as images, objects and reliefs. They confuse the recipient not only because of this uncertainty in classification but also due to the alternation of contradictory (spatial) illusions. Maximum focus is needed to accommodate the real and virtual image spaces established by the rhythmic repetition of the fundamental geometric shapes, the dynamic tempo changes in the dramatic congestion and thinning of stripes and frequency-like lines. More and more constellations are elicited by the viewer's movements, making the spectacle continuously transform. Kóródi's works are also related to Op-art due to the image objects' industrial character: the works lack any form of individual gesture. The abstract character of the visual spectacle is reinterpreted through the use of highly associative titles. However, despite these associations, the images do not take on a narrative function but remain platforms where optical events occur. Instead of cognitive layers, Kóródi researches phenomena: her work thematises the interplay between visual impulses and the "responsive gaze". Kóródi often rethinks the design principles of her iridescent surfaces. Her works pose questions concerning the long-established dilemmas of art and illusion. In the wake of the legacy of significant predecessors, Kóródi provokes vision, combining the industrial character inherent in sterile forms with the singularity of flaring illusions and classical craftsmanship. Mónika Zsikla

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Rita KOSZORÚS
Yellow schMERZbild

Rita KOSZORÚS

Yellow schMERZbild

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acryl, oil, ink on canvas
Size
170x155 cm
Artist's introduction

A multitude of opposites and contradictions meet with intelligent elegance in the Bratislava-born artist's work. Rita Koszorús's art is at once unpredictable but meticulously planned, action-based but painterly in a tradition-following way, conservatively modern but rebelliously contemporary. The artist, who graduated in Bratislava, also studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts with the guidance of Imre Bukta and Péter Kiss. She has also participated in residencies in Prague, Porto, Paris and Berlin, this internationality contributes to the versatility of her art. Her painting stability is reflected in the fact that she won the Mal'ba - VÚB banka painting prize for young artists in 2021 and the NOVUM art prize and scholarship in 2022. The art of Rita Koszorús is based on the concept of schMERZ. The Merz concept is the invention of Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), considered by many to be unique in his many facets. Schwitters, according to many of the followers of the Dadaist attitude, truly embodied the Dada artistic ethos, as his art was in complete fusion with everyday life, juxtaposing seemingly contradictory statements with the utmost serenity. Rita Koszorús follows this approach when she places her abstract paintings on a collage basis. The contingency of the surfaces and the tremor of the contours in the works may be the result of completely random gestures, but on closer inspection it is clear that what we see are precisely planned forms, based on movement, but perfectly deliberate. Spontaneity is also present in the installations, the presence of the works in the space may be tossed and random, but the pastel play of the sprayed surfaces clearly reflects a planned, precise work. The word schmerz means pain, and you can feel it in most of the works - it would be hard to perceive shooting a rifle at a painting as anything else. This overt pain turns into nostalgic sadness with an abstract formal language whose sensitivity is perfect for depicting a perceived and desired inner world. While for Rita Koszorús, adherence to painterly abstraction is an important aspect of her art, she leaves it behind with a playful ease, taking her studio out into nature, and in a park or on the beach, she breaks down the conservative reference points of her work, reinterpreting her works built on modern legacy with a contemporary twist. Délia Vékony

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Márta KUCSORA
Untitled, 2017/30

Márta KUCSORA

Untitled, 2017/30

Year(s)
2017
Technique
mixed media on canvas
Size
120x120 cm
Artist's introduction

Márta Kucsora studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and later at Montclair State University in the United States of America. Besides pursuing her creative practice, she co-founded Budapest Art Factory, a non-profit art centre, and is the organizer of an international residency program for contemporary artists. Kucsora's paintings are created with water-based paints of varying density, additives, copper dust, varnishes, automotive paint guns and the force of gravity. Although her work is stylistically related to Abstract Expressionism, the way she creates pushes the boundaries of the technically known, navigating through uncharted domains. The painting additives of varying consistency react to each other, and these interactions influence the surface of the paintings. Although the paintings, made without the brush touching the surface avoid direct representation, they evoke natural formations: tectonic plates, aerial shots, sea currents and various plant motifs. The dynamic, abstract surface formations reflect on organic processes,  micro- and macrocosmic phenomena and their representations. The drying of the paintings is an integral part of Kucsora's working method. As the surfaces are formed by gravity, the work processes include conscious and unconscious painterly elements. The method, which the artist calls process painting, is based on the material being malleable throughout the act of painting: the aim is to keep it in motion and then let it halt and freeze at the perfect 'moment'. Although chance plays a significant role in the unfolding of Kucsora's works, alongside chemical and physical processes, the paintings are always the end result of a pre-planned and elaborate performative workflow. Viktória Popovics – Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts

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Bea KUSOVSZKY
Layered Reality IV.

Bea KUSOVSZKY

Layered Reality IV.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic and oil on canvas
Size
100x120 cm
Artist's introduction

The painter Bea Kusovszky lives and works in Budapest. She holds a diploma in painting from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and studied painting and animation at the Universitat de València. She has participated in many solo and group shows and is currently represented by VILTIN Gallery in Hungary. In her artistic practice, Bea Kusovszky has been invested in analysing the pictorial qualities and optical parameters of various epochs of art history. This interest has led her from a strong figural focus towards the deconstruction and reorganising of multiple histories of abstraction, all the while upholding a technical perfectionism and dedication towards questioning the ontology of the image. Kusovszky, through paintings organised into concise series, has been investigating various visual phenomena on the border of art, science and popular imagery: in some cases, she references the Newtonian colour spectrum and the aesthetic of colourful greys. In other instances, she recontextualises the iconic Ben-Day dot in an Op-art setting, deploying elaborate framing structures that reimagine the surface as a digital screen or a switchboard. This results in nostalgic, technoutopian visions that direct the viewers' attention to the core of the painting's identity. Her work is also influenced by the findings of important predecessors such as Roy Lichtenstein, Bridget Riley, or from the Hungarian art scene painters such as Tamás Hencze, István Nádler or József Bullás. Her referential, relationist thinking opens up various interpretations ranging from Walter Benjamin's notion of the image's "aura" to the intertextual meta-structures of postmodernism. As a member of the young generation, she is also influenced by contemporary experiences of digital visuality. However, through her work, Kusovszky distils these impressions into complex, mechanical and handcrafted visual systems that reveal the fundamental units of painting: the material, the support and the image as object. Patrick Tayler

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László LAKNER
Untitled (Lined)

László LAKNER

Untitled (Lined)

Year(s)
1999
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
200x150 cm
Artist's introduction

László Lakner’s early career was dominated by his early abstract attempts along with his fundamentally realistic approach. Evoking also classical artistic traditions, he formed his own painting language that ironically twisted the Socialist Realist understanding of pictures. He was a follower of Aurél Bernáth, and besides Tibor Csernus he was also one of the most important representatives of Surnaturalist painting in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Through his artistic works, he gradually got closer and closer to the “new realist” tendency, the pictorial world of pop art. From 1963-64, his works were based on montage-like structures, utilising the motives of everyday visual culture, reflecting on the actual political events as well as on the great art historical traditions – mainly Rembrandt’s art. In 1974, after winning the DAAD scholarship, Lakner moved to West-Berlin. The focus of his new era was on the sensitive pictorial presentation of the semantic questions of human writing and trace-leaving. From the early 1980s, he created more liberated, more expressive scriptural paintings. His artistic period of the 1990s and 2000s was dominated by his abstract picture creation and by his return to the conceptual way of thinking. In recent years, Lakner’s art has turned to the historical past as well as the analysis of his own artistic past and earlier artistic periods. However, this means no turning back – the freshness of his new works seems to deny the passing of time. Dávid Fehér

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Ferenc LANTOS
Untitled

Ferenc LANTOS

Untitled

Year(s)
1990's
Technique
tempera and watercolour on cold pressed paper
Size
35x35 cm
Artist's introduction

Ferenc Lantos studied under Ferenc Martyn's supervision in Pécs and at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest. He considered art to be a form of cognition. His path from abstraction through geometric forms lead to a systematic pictorial thinking. As an educator, he ventured to influence attitudes: he built a new foundation for the relationship between the fine arts and the other art forms. Lantos developed his activities in relation to architecture, literature, music and the modern sciences. The interactions between the two foundational elements of his pictorial universe – the square and the circle – were based on mathematical operations. He relied on the enlargement and reduction of these, their intersection possibilities, their potential interferences to establish a system of variations based on emerging forms. He also founded his public art program on this principle. He hypothesised that since variation always expresses order and is infinite, due to the inherent colouristic possibilities, it can be considered as a model of intellectual cognition and a visual game – and is thus capable of mobilising society (exhibition titled Nature-Vision-Creation, 1972–75). His systems of elements – which was utilised within interior design, building decoration and outdoor projects – could be connected to the era's dynamically developing visual culture. The successful mural enamel project at the Bonyhád Enamel Factory ran for years, during which his colleagues and students also participated. Especially in Pécs and the Transdanubia region, the exterior and interior walls of many public buildings and factories were enlivened during the 1970s by this series of variations. Lantos was a winner of the Kossuth Prize and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. A permanent exhibition of his selected works is on display in Pécs. Katalin Keserü

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Kamill MAJOR
Palimpsest

Kamill MAJOR

Palimpsest

Year(s)
2013
Technique
mixed media
Size
122x85 cm
Artist's introduction

Kamill Major's artistic practice, which was influenced by the Lantos Circle in Pécs in the 1960s, became unique in the artist's period of living in France. Although he resisted Lantos' principle of structure and variation, the possibility of implementing the mural enamel program in Bonyhád was made possible with his help. Even though he began his Parisian career with minimalist and systematic images, geometry was hidden in them, in a painterly and personal way. He acquired a degree in image reproduction procedures from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. As a result screen-printed variations of motifs and images replaced the previous pictorial structures. Outstanding among his folders (which included contemporary music and literary works) and graphic series is his process work titled Appel (1980), in which he reaches the spirituality of the critical works of modern art (such as Malevich's Black Square or White on White) based on the principle of seriality. Seriality is also one of the foundations of Major's technically complex pictures, which, working alongside Simon Hantai, unfolded in grid-patterned musters applied to huge canvases with screen-printing that could be adjusted strategically. By the 1980s, the central theme of ​​his work had become "writing". The different variations of his textual paintings and reliefs are still established with signs resembling Akkadian and Sumerian cuneiform script, but with particular forms, in some cases condensed, in others made sparse, relying on particular technical solutions (such as the utilisation of saws). Everything apart from this linear, text-like progression is random in these artworks. In 1975, he had a solo exhibition in Paris. His works can be found in significant French and Hungarian public collections. Katalin Keserü

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Dóra MAURER
As You Like 54

Dóra MAURER

As You Like 54

Year(s)
2009
Technique
acrylic on wood
Size
100x61x5 cm
Artist's introduction

Although Dóra Maurer's work is seemingly related to Constructive-Concrete artistic tendencies, her artistic position can be understood much more along an internally evolving creative process founded on a coherent logic. The medially diverse oeuvre spans more than five decades and is organised around the central notion of the observation of movement and dislocation. Since her graphic artworks created in the 1960s, the intention to observe and make these processes visible emerges as a unifying notion that connects her photographic work in the 1970s and her paintings from more recent years. From the 1980s, Maurer's artistic practice moved increasingly towards easel painting. In this period, she painted several linear grids utilising different colours. Later she shifted the pictorial planes of the respective grids. She then depicted this raster grid deploying a shaped format in the Quod Libet series. She projected this linear network into space in the Buchberg project, which she finished in 1983. While working on this project, she noticed that the perception of colour constantly changed due to the room's variable lighting conditions. By utilising various cold and warm tones, Maurer focused on this phenomenon while working on her paintings from the 1980s to the 1990s. Maurer's work as a painter, as her entire practice, deals with human perception and attempts to make the inherent cognitive processes visible. Zsófia Rátkai

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Tamás MELKOVICS
RAW Series

Tamás MELKOVICS

RAW Series

Year(s)
2022
Technique
modular structure of 31 elements, carved and lacquered MDF board.
Size
300x120x105 cm
Artist's introduction

While watching the sculptures of Tamás Melkovics, they address me as acquaintances. Sculptures that we think are about to move, to crawl off the plinth, or perhaps even signal to us with some kind of sound. They are familiar because within the organic abstract world, the artist has found a language that speaks to our collective unconscious and evokes associations with the living world, living things, birth and movement. The art of Tamás Melkovics constantly expands the sculptural framework, but does not cross a certain boundary, it remains within the limits of the discipline. The artist graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2012 as a sculptor, his master was Ádám Farkas. In 2018 and 2021, he was awarded the Gyula Derkovits Fine Arts Scholarship. He exhibited at the Parthenon-Frieze Room in 2017 and at the Várfok Gallery Project Room in 2019. He has participated in several group exhibitions in Budapest, Szentendre, Székesfehérvár, Dunaújváros, Pécs and Edinburgh. In addition to private collections, his art is also included in the collections of the Ferenczy Museum Centre, the Csók István Gallery in Székesfehérvár, the Kiscelli Museum - Budapest Gallery, and the ICA-D Institute of Contemporary Art in Dunaújváros. In his creations, he seeks systems, basic rules, regularities, as if to reach back to the roots and structure of life and the perceptual world. The recurring basic modules are perhaps designed to explore these basic regularities. Movement is fundamental in his work. Even those works that are separate creatures begin a dialogue with each other. In the language of science, the sculptures can refer to fractals, to the principles of growth and evolution, the dynamics of nature, where nothing ever stops for a moment, where everything is in constant change, transformation, movement and interaction, because this is the basis of biological life. While the artworks often resemble natural forms such as trees or fruits, the anthropomorphic sculptures, which resemble Tony Cragg, question the foundations of human existence, and the complex structures that eventually settle into one final shape point to human relationships and connections. Délia Vékony

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Vera MOLNÁR
Squaring the Circle

Vera MOLNÁR

Squaring the Circle

Year(s)
1962-1964
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
110x110 cm
Artist's introduction

Living in France since 1947, Vera Molnar is one of the pioneers of Computer art. In 1959, she began to make combinatory images and model mathematical regularities using a method she called “machine imaginaire”. In 1968, she got the opportunity to work with a real computer. Molnar then began to use computer technologies as a generative tool to create paintings and graphic art, which broadened the frontiers of science and art. In her computer graphics, each image primarily refers to the unlimited possibilities of variation inherent to the underlying program. In creating these computer-generated drawings and graphics, the program creates specific geometric shapes and formations that can combine in a precalculated or unexpected way. The serial aspect of this method is also essential, as it allows the artist to transform the shapes systematically, as Molnar did with the line. Molnar is interested in the systematically produced random quality and the study of the infinite transformations of geometric shapes such as the square or the trapezoid. The computer’s algorithmic randomness plays a crucial role in her work. Order and disorder, structure and freedom provide important notions to understand her artistic practice further. Molnar said the following about her work, “I was not interested in anything but the simplest form, the square; what happens with it if there is order and what if there is none”. Zsófia Rátkai

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István NÁDLER
Fb. No 3.

István NÁDLER

Fb. No 3.

Year(s)
2009
Technique
casein tempera on canvas
Size
130x100 cm
Artist's introduction

István Nádler was born in 1938 in Visegrád. Between 1958 and 1963 he studied at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, where his master was Gyula Hincz. He became a member of the Zugló Circle, where he was exploring the newest international tendencies with his progressive contemporaries, in Sándor Molnár’s flat. In 1968 and 1969 he participated in the Iparterv exhibitions. At the end of the 1960s, Nádler’s attention shifted to hard-edge and minimal art. However, in contrast to Imre Bak, his structural, geometric painting was based only for a short time on the schematic systems of various archaic cultures and folk motifs. His works of a solid foundation of homogeneous colour-fields, dynamic visual structures and “impersonal” structures created in the 1970s can be characterised by strident colour-connections. His pictures presented systems where each element had its specific movement abilities, movement characteristics. In the 1980s, he unexpectedly returned to his gestural painting of the 1960s. Spontaneous visual improvisation, randomness and momentariness describe his paintings as their main characteristic features. For him, the artwork became a radiant energy centre, which does not document a pre-planned theoretical-logical process but rather conveys a state of being. Gábor Kaszás

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Márton NEMES
New Tomorrow 24

Márton NEMES

New Tomorrow 24

Year(s)
2019
Technique
car paint, acrylic, reflective vinyl, canvas, wood, steel
Size
120x81,5x6 cm
Artist's introduction

Márton Nemes is an artist living and working in Budapest and London. He studied at the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Technical University Budapest and the Hungarian University of Fine Arts' Department of Painting and absolved a master's degree at the Chelsea College of Arts, University of Arts London. He won the Ludwig Prize in 2012, followed by the Esterházy Art Prize in 2019. He is an outstanding, innovative member of the young generation of artists. In his works, Nemes interpreted painting initially as a starting point but soon transcended the medium's traditional boundaries. He became interested in the image as such, in the visual effects of today's vibrant visual environment, furthermore the issues of figuration and abstraction. By examining the boundaries of different genres, he creates a bridge between various subcultures and high culture. In his first series – which was created in the artist's figurative period – Nemes observed how changing economic and ideological interests influence architecture. However, the geometric depiction of the abandoned shops already indicated an inner need to drift towards a holistic understanding of pictorial abstraction. The painting practice of Nemes is characterised by continuous experimentation and the contemplation of painting through painting. He uses a variety of materials within his compositions, relying on an extended interpretation of colour. The paint, the abundance of multi-coloured plastics and the sintered metal element reveal a dynamic attitude to constructing imagery. Beyond the utilisation of traditional painting instruments, he also incorporates rarely used materials and tools into his creative processes, such as steel frames, foils, wooden debris, and some additional appliances seldom used in painting. These complex constellations are then fused with installative elements, expanding into space. Nemes's work – his impressive range of dynamics and power – has a tremendous emotional impact on the viewer. Julia Fabényi

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Katja PÁL
KULMZ-556

Katja PÁL

KULMZ-556

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acryl, canvas on wood
Size
58x59x2 cm
Artist's introduction

The Slovenian-born artist studied painting in Ljubjana and Dublin. In Katja Pál's case, painting has great emphasis because her tableau paintings, which can be classified as hard-edge abstraction, may suggest a degree in graphic design or architecture, but Katja Pál constantly pushes the boundaries of painting through these two disciplines, yet she remains a classical and faithful painter. The artist has participated in several residency programs in Singapore, Slovenia and Italy, and currently lives and works in Hungary. Katja Pál's paintings are centered around the creation of a "significant form", as defined by the English art critic Clive Bell. The artist searches for pure forms that may be found beyond personal taste and feelings, in the dimension of aesthetics. The works speak the language of total geometric abstraction, are created with graphic design software and tilt out into three-dimensional space by the use of minimalist means such as monochrome color or white lines. The artist abandons the classic square or rectangular pictures and works on wooden panels of different shapes. The geometry of the form of the paintings is in dialogue with the directions of the painted surface. It is this unbalance that resembles the work of similar minimalist predecessors such as Donald Judd, Carl André, or Sol Lewitt, for whom the illusory effect of geometric abstraction was the carrier for a total universal experience of space. With the omission of figures, angles and directions had already shown their clear-cut strength in early 20th century Cubism, Futurism, but most of all in Russian Constructivism, while the Minimalism of the 1960s left no more questions about the aesthetic relevance and strength of abstract geometry. Katja Pál carries this mission forward in her works, with subdued forms, spaces and stripes that transcend emotions, thoughts and identifications. They open the door to a dimension of pure aesthetic experience, to a place that Immanuel Kant already admired as a world beyond the realm of the subject created by the human mind. Délia Vékony

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Éva PARAGI
Red network

Éva PARAGI

Red network

Year(s)
2022
Technique
acrylic, oil, canvas
Size
200x200 cm
Artist's introduction

Éva Paragi is a representative of the Pécs-based geometric painter tradition, who entered the scene at the turn of the millennium. The geometric motifs of her abstract paintings in delicate colours question the minimalist limits of the narrative potential of the image. Born in Budapest, Éva Paragi graduated from the Faculty of Art at the University of Pécs in the second half of the nineties, under the wings of the legendary master of abstraction in Pécs, Ferenc Lantos. Her painting is defined by a dual continuation of the great 20th century modernist tradition of geometric abstraction and the legacy of the colourist painting movement in Pécs. After her early tableau paintings of applied slats and geometric structures, it was in the mid-2010s that she found her main motif, the wooden wedges. She explained the dual nature of this important but invisible studio tool as follows: "The element found, the wooden wedges that frame the canvas, is a rectangle in one direction and a tiny object ending in a point in the other. It has a dual nature. It stretches the frame to help the canvas stay flat. It stretches, it distances to bring things closer and hold them tighter. It is made of wood, a natural object with irregular veins, intersected by straight lines to form a geometric shape. Irregular and regular at the same time." Paragi uses the wedge shapes to create playfully geometric constructions, such as a woven wire fence or a barbed wire star motif. At other times, she has them float freely in a rippling abstract field of gestures, or even collects them in a porcelain bowl in their real, three-dimensional form. Through combinatorial operations that play with the motif, she explores the hidden mechanisms of the transformation of visual element into an image. Paragi lives and works in Szeged. Although she has participated in several exhibitions abroad, her exhibitions are mostly related to Szeged and Pécs. Gábor Rieder

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Tomasz PIARS
The New Alchemy No. 17.

Tomasz PIARS

The New Alchemy No. 17.

Year(s)
2020
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
110x90 cm
Artist's introduction

Polygonal crystals, effluent, amoeba-like shapes, vivid, contrasting colors, imbued surfaces – these are the characteristics of the unique painting of Tomasz Piars. The unique world of his abstract works is at the same time reminiscent of microscopic images of biology and mineralogy and of the sight of fragmented rocks of the interstellar space – making his art a borderline between fantasy and rigorous composition. Tomasz Piars was born in Poland, but graduated from the Secondary School of Fine Arts in Budapest – he has been living in Hungary since 1992. After graduating from the University of Fine Arts, it became certain to him that he would settle down in Budapest and pursue his artistic career there. In addition to his artistic activities, as a cultural manager he also exhibits the work of other artists, has worked as a curator at the Polish Institute and currently organizes exhibitions of Hungarian and foreign artists in his own studio apartment (Art Salon Contemporary). Piars thinks in terms of series. In his opinion, a pictorial idea, which in his case usually starts from the development of structural contrasts, can never be realized in one given work, he always further thinks about the initial idea, better analyses the possibilities and creates more and more new versions. "Chrystals of Memory" captures the feeling of how memories of the past come together in our minds. There are certain, stable points, but there are also vague layers, which together form a fabric that represents the relationship of the remembering person to the past, and thus their identity. In his paintings, Piars deliberately creates systems that can be perceptibly continued in the plane beyond the frame of the image, so that they continue to take shape in our imagination. "Liquid Spaces" and "Soft Impact" are series of other compositions on paper in which a single "angular" element or geometric pattern is in dialogue with a more freely treated group of forms floating in space in front of it. In these series Piars was intrigued by the contradiction between spatiality and planarity. The pieces in the "Pointing the Spatial" series are made up of a multitude of circular elements and lines connecting them, evoking the complexity of molecular structures and their depiction possibilities. The possibility of connections is infinite, their spatial arrangement represents new and new variations, which here, like the metaphors of network diagrams, diagrams of conceptual maps, represent only a multiplicity of abstract, contentless connections. Finally, the title of the series "The New Alchemy" refers to art as well, which, based on creativity and imagination, can create imaginary and organic systems on canvas and paper that appear in his art as a creative force, a new visionary natural order. Tomasz Piars' vision of the world follows a unique path. Zsolt Petrányi

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Dia PINTÉR
The Fool Is The Blue

Dia PINTÉR

The Fool Is The Blue

Year(s)
2017-2018
Technique
serpentine streamer and felt-tip pen on canvas
Size
200x150 cm
Artist's introduction

Inerasable memory is a crucial notion in the case of Dia Pintér's work. Shards of memory, image fragments and segments of space appear in her images. These cannot be depicted or decoded directly. Painting is, of course, always a zone where depiction takes place – here, however, it is not a mathematical process but rather a multidimensional one. The evocative nature of the utilised motifs, the emotive power of colours, the unity of forms, the elaboration of complex spatial constellations, and the connections stemming from associative patterns between words and work processes play a central role in her work. The primary formal unit of representation in Pintér's case is the stripe or the paper band. These stripes fall in a rain-like fashion, delineating shapes or gathering in puddles mirroring various motifs. Pintér searches for transition zones leading to past-tense perceptions. She is not looking for one given method or a magic spell through which this transition might occur: she seems to be seeking the direction with closed eyes. As such, there is no method in how she constructs her artworks. In a world where everything seems to lend itself to verbalisation and interpretation, the painter escapes forwards, exiting this foreseeable and calculable realm. She does not surrender to emotional painting: her work cannot be interpreted as lyrical. The viewer follows the painter's pictorial steps, looking for reference points and larger structures, discarding these soon. It is almost as if she could establish a state of levitation and grasp the gaze in this inner space. A space that does not seem homely and from which all memories escape. The viewers look back into the past through this space; their nostalgia is awakened only to disintegrate. József Mélyi

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Rózsa POLGÁR
Tear

Rózsa POLGÁR

Tear

Year(s)
1992-1993
Technique
gobelin (haute-lisse) tapestry, wool, cotton, silk
Size
127x81 cm
Artist's introduction

Tapestries are created during an extremely lengthy process, spanning the conception of the idea, the realisation of the intellectual content and the making of the work. It is a genre that necessitates preparation, as the creative act follows a precisely calculated professional plan. Each work requires a complex, coloured and full-scale design. The gobelins of the Kossuth Prize-winning tapestry artist Rózsa Polgár convey the artist's message with the help of her incredible professionalism and knowledge through which she communicates her emotional and visual universe. With each step, and through the way she presents her pieces, she evokes and strengthens the spiritual context of her artworks in the observer. The tapestries are conceived with the classic method of utilising five warp threads, which requires the utmost level of precision and skill, and where the weaver has to work with five separate threads within a single centimetre. This dense work method provides many opportunities to incorporate unique intellectual and technical ideas. The deployment of different yarns, the conscious mixing of colours, the creation of complex colour effects and graphic elements, furthermore the evocation of textures demonstrate the artist's unique skills and knowledge. Throughout the design process, Polgár's tapestries adhere to the consistent rules of their own world, revealing, however, exciting possibilities and points of "freedom", openness and boldness within the genre. They also tell us stories about the inseparable connection between the communicated spiritual message and the ancient technique of weaving as a means of realisation. Márta Simonffy

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Gizella RÁKÓCZY
4 Colour Labyrinth

Gizella RÁKÓCZY

4 Colour Labyrinth

Year(s)
2005
Technique
watercolour on paper
Size
130x130 cm
Artist's introduction

Between 1966 and 1971, Gizella Rákóczy studied at the Painting Department at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts in the class of Géza Fónyi. During her travel to Paris after graduating from college, the intact gothic glass windows of Saint-Denis Cathedral impacted her life decisively. The awe-inspiring vision of light rays, filtering through the cathedral’s stained glass windows composed by clear colours – and being projected on the floor in a kaleidoscopic way – as the manifestation of transcendence and sacrality, became a fundamental reference point in her artistic career. Although her oeuvre was always heading towards this direction, it was not only until decades later that she discovered a painting and aquarelle technique that transformed the interlacing brilliance of colours in the most adequate way. From 1976, inspired by an ancient Scottish tombstone drawing, she began to deal with four-armed spirals and their inherent numerical laws, devising a system that could be transposed into the language of combinatory painting. Her research concerning the spatial expansion of the motif and colour theory – also touching on the architectural applicability of the issue – gradually came into the focus of her fine art practice and became reflected in the increasingly complex shapes of her tempera paintings conceived from 1978 onwards. The regularities in the connection points of the spiral arms and those deduced from the resolution of the spiral nucleus began to unfold on the surface of her images, complementing and explaining each other. The initial visual systems established by the artist operated using four distinct shades of grey. Rákóczy, however, began replacing these with yellow, green and blue already at a relatively early stage. After 1998, the tempera images dealing with the numerical laws of four-armed spirals were succeeded by watercolour paintings. After brief research concerning this technique, the artist began to layer the transparent paint tones according to the mathematical formula of the Fibonacci sequence. Due to the systematic nature of her paintings and her connections to the geometric and constructivist traditions, she joined several professional organisations – including the International Symmetry Association and the Hungarian Society of Water-Colour Painters. Her analytical, structure-oriented and serial attitude, her attention to detail associate her in many ways with the painting practice of Richard Paul Lohse and Agnes Martin. Mónika Zsikla

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Judit REIGL
Course

Judit REIGL

Course

Year(s)
1975
Technique
mixed media on canvas
Size
180,5x201,5
Artist's introduction

Judit Reigl is one of the most well-known artists emigrating from Hungary at the end of the 1940s due to political reasons, similarly to Simon Hantaï and Vera Molnár. She became a successful artist in France and contributed a lot to the development of international abstraction with her experiments. Reigl graduated at the Hungarian College of Fine Arts, where she had the opportunity to study realistic style from her master, István Szőnyi. After the political turn she refused to follow the obligatory requirements of Socialist Realism, and after eight attempts she could finally emigrate and settle down in Paris in 1950. In her early career she was focusing on the surrealist perspective, which is apparent in her works made at the time. She joined the surrealists – the foreword of her first catalogue was written by André Breton. Her artistic development was heading towards abstract expressionism, dominating the rest of her career. Her works in the 1950s were based on wide paint brush gestures, using dark colours on light background through cyclic and explosive systems of lines. Later, the aesthetic quality of the various paint layers created a new series titled Guano. The silhouette of the human body became a returning pattern in the second half of her career, symbolising the dichotomy of universal and human on her large-scale canvases (Homme series). She was an experimenting artist; from the 1970s she created paintings by letting different paint materials interacting in organic, chemical ways. Next to painting, during the last decade of her career, crayon and pencil drawings played an important role, presenting art historical references as well as universal symbols by delicate and virtuoso drawing lines. Reigl’s art has been recognized by art history since the 1980s with growing attention and admiration. Her art works can be found in most of the world’s most significant museums as well as in Hungary in the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Ludwig Museum. Zsolt Petrányi

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Anikó ROBITZ
Zurich, Corbusier House

Anikó ROBITZ

Zurich, Corbusier House

Year(s)
2014
Technique
acrylic print, plexiglass
Size
75x50x3 cm
Edition
5/3
Artist's introduction

She is one of the most prominent and internationally renowned representatives of the Hungarian photographic generation that started in the mid-2000s. Her works, which fall under the category of fine art photography, reduce the salient details of the architectural sight to modern abstract forms. According to art historian Rita Somosi, her visual world is defined by the parallel presence of reality and abstraction: “She builds from strict geometric forms, but the role of constructing is taken over by the mapping of real locations, through which the visual abstraction of the world around us becomes visible." Born in Nagykanizsa, Anikó Robitz studied analogue photography and laboratory work at the Camera Anima Open Academy (Szellemkép Szabadiskola) in the mid-2000s. She started on the path of analogue artistic photography with an old camera, then moved to digital techniques and found her main subject: architecture. In her travels, she seeks iconic or distinctive sights of 20th century modern and contemporary architecture. She captures particular details of the architecture, angles reduced to geometric patterns. Without any post-processing, the final composition is created by snapping the picture, where corners, plaster textures, cast shadows, wires, wall paintings and joints appear in a geometric language similar to that of Suprematism or Minimalism. The reduced, often black-and-white colours are the result of the original locations and the realistic view of the selected details. The specific buildings are unidentifiable, the titles of the photographs only indicate the city (from Strasbourg to Zurich, from Colombo to Angyalföld). In addition to modernist abstract tableau painting, the visual language of Robitz was influenced by the photographic legacy of the Bauhaus, such as László Moholy-Nagy and the 20th century master of building photography Lucien Hervé. In the late 2010s, her subject matter expanded to include reflective surfaces, family photographs and nature drawings. Robitz is the winner of several national and international photography awards and since 2007 she has regularly exhibited abroad and participated in prestigious photography fairs. She travels a lot for work, but lives in Budapest. Gábor Rieder

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Péter SOMODY
Cactus Still Life

Péter SOMODY

Cactus Still Life

Year(s)
2019-2020
Technique
acrylic lacquer and acrylic on canvas
Size
120x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Péter Somody is an artist living and working in Pécs. He was Ilona Keserü's student at the Drawing Department of the Janus Pannonius University of Pécs. He studied at the Master School of the University of Pécs and absolved his DLA (Doctor of Liberal Arts) studies in painting at the same institution. His masters were Ilona Keserü and Gyula Konkoly. Between 1997–98, he was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In 1999, he was selected to participate in the exhibition titled "Junge Kunst" at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. During this period, he showed his work in several group exhibitions in Munich and other locations in Bavaria. He is currently a professor at the Faculty of Arts' Department of Painting, University of Pécs, and the head of the institution's Doctoral School. His works are regularly shown in national and international exhibitions in Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. In 2000, he was awarded the Strabag Artaward. In 2015, he received the Munkácsy Prize for his work. Péter Somody is one of the prominent representatives of contemporary abstract painting. He started developing his distinctive style already in his early period. Transparent stain painting is at the core of his artistic practice until the 2010s. He strives to express lyrical sensuality by relying on a reduced set of tools. The translucent, loosely applied patches of colour occasionally overlap; in other cases, they become independent, cloud-like fields of colour enveloping the pictorial space. These open fields of colour become quasi-spaces, into which infinite geometric garlands and serial forms are introduced, based on the principle of the "Open Work". The collision of sharp and blurred elements gives the surfaces a unique objectivity. The viewer is invited to observe the interplay of visual elements on the surface and the meditative silence that emanates from them.

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Árpád SZABADOS
With the Birds III.

Árpád SZABADOS

With the Birds III.

Year(s)
2005
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
200x160 cm
Artist's introduction

Munkácsy Prize-winning Árpád Szabados first participated as a graphic artist in the renewal of Hungarian art in the late 1960s and early 1970s, liberating drawing from the constraints of representation, geometry and anatomy. This was followed by him enriching the scope of the Neue Wilde painting of the 1980s with his passionate, taboo-free, intense, sometimes even brutal drawing style and search for the credibility of painting and man's authentic representation. He influenced the approaches and perspectives of multiple generations, making them receptive to creative thinking with the founding of the GYIK Workshop, as the photo editor and artistic director of the Hungarian journal Mozgó Világ and as the rector of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. He was one of the "seekers" of the 20th century – an artist dealing with the fate and self-determination of human(ity) – whose goal was to search for a notion of art that had been valid for millennia. This search also meant a rediscovery of the foundations of art in the 1960s and 1980s, which was particularly rich in its findings. The archaic figures and torsos of his painting emphasize the biological functions of the body. At the same time, they are in motion: space is established through the body's active-passive emergence (sometimes the motifs are animals or plants). This space is sometimes a continuously unravelling paper scroll or a mural (a twentieth-century colouring book) – formats that he rediscovered through his artistic practice. In other cases, he rethought the tradition of the rectangular format based on even older concepts, creating complex image structures based on ornamental, open systems, such as the double images of the more recent decades. Katalin Keserü

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Menyhért SZABÓ
Pandora

Menyhért SZABÓ

Pandora

Year(s)
2020
Technique
rubber, resin, iron
Size
123x109x92 cm
Artist's introduction

Menyhért Szabó is the most characteristic representative of the generation of Hungarian sculptors who started their careers at the end of the 2010s. His art updated the toolkit of the classical sculpture of faces and nudes with the crumpled nature of rubber shells and industrial colour surfaces, reinterpreting the dramatic figures of ancient mythology in a modern spirit. Born into a family of artists in Budapest, Menyhért Szabó became involved with plastic arts at a young age. After a detour in Antwerp, he graduated in 2018 from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. Owing to his process-based working method, his works, using recurring motifs and self-quotations, are arranged in series and thematic units. His first works enlarged the human head to enormous proportions, combining the black raw material of industrial rubber with the classicising facial edges that radiate heroism. As a next step, Szabó made shell prints of the monumental sculptures. The rubber heads, created from the different coloured "imprints", were hung up as blank-faced masks in drapery during the installation. The chosen technique highlighted the most important form-building issue that Szabo was dealing with, the contradictory state of sculptural solidity and wrinkling elasticity. He sometimes "freezes" the unsupported shells in a particular position: he hardens them with resin or casts them in bronze, then places them on a traditional pedestal or encloses them in a frame. In his newer works, naked male bodies reminiscent of antique torsos are added to the crumpled silicone masks, which can be worn as clothes – maybe even as part of a fashion show. At the same time, these evoke the art-historical tradition of depictions of the flayed skin of the satyr Marsyas, who competed with Apollo. To counterpoint the mythologizing and antique style character, Szabó uses neon plastic colours or industrial metallic car polish paint on his rubber or metallic sculptures. The crumpling heroes become the protagonists of the tragic epics of the hi-tech age, while they can also be seen as enigmatic contemporary self-portraits. Szabó lives and works in Budapest, in the studio at the art colony on Százados út, where he was born. His characteristic sculptures are regularly included in group or solo exhibitions in Hungary. Gábor Rieder

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Dávid SZENTGRÓTI
Gold Blue

Dávid SZENTGRÓTI

Gold Blue

Year(s)
2018
Technique
acrylic and pigment on canvas
Size
191x160 cm
Artist's introduction

Dávid Szentgróti is one of the most outstanding abstract gestural painters of the generation that emerged following the turn of the millennium, who cherishes the decades-old tradition of colourism and non-figurativity typical of Pécs. According to art historian György Várkonyi, "Dávid Szentgróti's paintings meet the timeless criteria of the 'easel painting' in every respect. These paintings are about painting itself: about the first movement and decision (...), about the poetic possibilities of the "application" of paint, the mixing/blending of colours relying on a variety of technical solutions, and the unfolding poetic possibilities." Szentgróti, born in Zalaegerszeg, graduated in painting from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Pécs in 2006 and obtained his doctoral degree (DLA) in 2013. Since the 2000s, his œuvre has been enriched by the non-figurative painting tradition of Pécs, from the surrealist forms of Ferenc Martyn to the colourism of Ilona Keserü, to the compositional logic of Ernő Tolvaly. Vivid colours, expressive brushwork and figurative motifs between these gestures defined Szentgróti's works from the 2000s. In the 2010s, as he simplified his motifs, the abstract gesture applied with a broad brush became increasingly dominant. Towards the end of the decade, Szentgróti's non-figurative imagery – with its varied surface treatment – became increasingly dense. In contrast, the alternation of broad brushstrokes and expressive surfaces was replaced by fields of acrylic paint mixed with pigments, transforming the canvases into an increasingly bright and translucent direction. The paintings, built up from thin coats of paint, evoke the aesthetics and layering of digital image editing software. Although the seemingly spontaneous gestures evoke the instinctive image-making of Informel Painting, Szentgróti follows a carefully pre-determined artistic program. In the words of art historian János Schneller: "The superimposition of the paint layers on the surface of the canvas, i.e. the consciously evoked structures, is perhaps the most important aspect of the concept." This artistic process, which questions the ontology of painting, cultivates and rewrites tradition simultaneously. Present on the local and national scene, Szentgróti is a teacher at the Secondary School of Art in Pécs. He lives and works in Pécs.

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Ádám SZENTPÉTERY
Neon I.

Ádám SZENTPÉTERY

Neon I.

Year(s)
2012
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
190 cm diameter
Artist's introduction

Ádám Szentpétery is a leading figure of the contemporary art scene in Slovakia and a known artist in Hungary as well. He has been making his panel paintings with a consistent geometric programme since the 1980s, but his large-scale public works are also well known. According to Vladimír Beskid, Szentpétery "is an important representative of geometric painting in Slovakia, and has had a decisive influence on its development over the last two decades, also within the wider Central European context. His works result from an "intellectual creation" (František Foltýn's phrase) that provides the essence of mental activity, rational processes and Protestant economy that juxtaposes forms in the pictorial field." Born in Rožňava, Slovakia, Ádám Szentpétery completed his studies in Bratislava in 1982. His career began in the Slovakian scene in the 1980s, where he made a name for himself with his individual interpretation of Neo-Geo. His geometric, playful painting, which utilises vibrant colours, was influenced by cheerful postmodern patterns and the zig-zags of the New Wave. His art drew not on the local Slovakian but on the international and Avant-Garde Eastern European sources of Geometric Abstraction, but he overwrote tradition with ironic metaphors. In his oil paintings of the late 1980s and 1990s, playful elements became dominant, as did collage-like solutions and sometimes fading stripes resembling adhesive tape. Line, symmetry, the compression of space and the emptying of the pictorial field played an essential role in his series that unfolded parallel with each other, taking up the tradition of modernist architecture and Neo-constructivist and Minimalist painting. Repeated bands and geometric shapes indicating three-dimensionality fill the surface of the square-format paintings set on their corners, creating an illusionistic spatiality. His pictorial spaces, built up from homogeneous fields of colour or painterly brushstrokes, are defined by the primary colours of the Mondrian tradition (yellow, red, blue), complemented by tones of white, black and grey. In 2007, his work took on the characteristic circular format, and from then on, he created large-scale tondos interspersed with threads of geometric structures that form a Vasarely-like quasi-space. Szentpétery has taught generations at the Technical University of Košice in the Department of Design and then Fine Arts. Besides his presence in Slovakia, he is also known in Hungary, where he has been awarded the Munkácsy Prize. He lives and works in Rožňava and Košice. Gábor Rieder

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Margit SZILVITZKY
Black Qualities

Margit SZILVITZKY

Black Qualities

Year(s)
1979
Technique
painted canvas and silk
Size
120x124 cm
Artist's introduction

Margit Szilvitzky is a pioneer among the Hungarian artists who renewed the medium of textile as a form of Neo-Avant-Garde art. After finishing her studies at the College of Design, Textile Department in Budapest in 1954 she became a well-known textile designer. From the second part of the 1960s, however, her interest in creating autonomous artworks led her more and more in the direction of fine arts. Her debut as an artist goes back to the late 1960s when she presented works inspired by folk art motives and embroidery. The beginning of the 1970s was an active period for the artists working in her field. Herself, with Gábor Attalai, Zsuzsa Szenes, Aranka Hübner and others generated a new approach to textile-based installations and works. In Szilvitzky's case, the redefining of folding the material gave new geometry-based possibilities to refer to space, and to extend the mode of presentation to the third dimension, expanding from smaller to a larger scale. She came upon the square form as a starting point referencing the history of the avant-garde, which she could variate with the overlapping folding technique. She experimented with the combination of different kinds of fabrics with disparate surface effects, resulting in montage-like works with differing shades and impacts. Her work extended the possibilities of abstraction toward textile-based object-like artworks. She participated in the workshop of Velem, Hungary from its onset, where the experimenting textile artists worked between 1975-1983, and she also took part in its presentation event, the so-called Wall and Space Textile Biennials at Szombathely, Hungary. These important years changed the context of the medium locally, presented textile as a territory for discussions to unfold and relevant questions to be asked expanding the possibilities of the contemporary arts, and putting the participating artists’ practices among the experimental initiatives. Szilvitzky's orientation turned toward painting and collage at the beginning of the 1980s, after experimenting with adding colour by painting on used canvases. Her later work stayed consistent in its approach becoming more and more presented in two-dimensional, framed pieces. Her body of work has been fully explored in recent years, her textiles are in the collection of the Hungarian National Gallery and other national and international collections. Zsolt Petrányi

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Gergő SZINYOVA
Untitled (Dry Stem)

Gergő SZINYOVA

Untitled (Dry Stem)

Year(s)
2019
Technique
acrylic on canvas
Size
150x100 cm
Artist's introduction

Gergő Szinyova's artistic practice is connected in many ways to new tendencies in contemporary abstraction. His paintings usually form independent series that attempt to examine and reinterpret the historical and current paradigms of the medium. Furthermore, as an artist of the Tumblr generation, the 21st-century digital image culture's visual impulses feed into his paintings. By remixing various visual codes, Szinyova draws attention to the endless flow of imagery. The extremely thin, print-like surfaces of the paintings echo the aesthetic qualities of the risograph technique, which is similar to screen-printing and is currently experiencing a renaissance. To evoke and render risograph prints, the artist has developed a technique that allows each of the painted – yet print-like – image surfaces to function as a unique, unrepeatable and non-reproducible entity, even though the repetition of the digitally pre-drafted, vector-based motifs points towards the opportunities inherent to industry-level mechanical reproduction. Apart from the aesthetics of risograph prints, the Hungarian and European examples of Poster art originating from the 1970s and the 1980s are an essential reference for Szinyova. In addition to evoking the aesthetic qualities of reproduction, the artist seeks to avoid the presence of narrative and direct meaning. Mónika Zsikla

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