Peeping Boxes by Ádám Albert | Idols and Demons – István Csók’s (1865-1961) oeuvre exhibition | According to Taste – A Show by Hajnalka Tarr | Famous and Infamous Johnnies – A Show by Gergő Kovách | Kinds of Meat Series – A show by Judit Rita Rabóczky
Erika Fekete-Horváth: Peeping Boxes by Ádám Albert
At his show named „Never take a trip alone” young Ádám Albert offers two special objects, so-called peeping boxes set in the exhibition space. As complements, we can also see two digital videos, some technically exquisite pictures of room interiors, and also some drawings. The show pays homage to Goethe and Humboldt as well as little-known Baroque painter of illusion Samuel van Hoogstraten. Albert brings to life the personalities of Goethe and Humboldt through evoking what their respective studies must have looked like with a procedure preferred once by the Dutch artist.
The two Germans were contemporaries and both conducted research leading them to evolve highly organic views of the world. Their studies had offered stability and certainty to both of them, yet, Albert refers to their making trips in his exhibition title. As a matter of fact, both Humboldt and Goethe had been great travellers of their age. While the former had indeed circumnavigated the Earth, the latter had moved within a much narrower geographical domain but was constantly on the move trying to discover the relationship of human consciousness and human emotions.
Rather like his earlier works, Albert’s present offering put the process of creation in the centre of attention. Clearly, the etchings, drawings, and videos complementing the two objects give us an insight into the emergence of those two particular objects. On the other hand, the topic of the show, i.e. the actual studies of the two German greats also refers to the process of creation as quiet venues thereof.
The brief videos present the studies with camera-movements now quicker, now slower, creating the impression of genuine space in spite of their being mere computer graphics. The peeping boxes have been made after a box called „perspective cabinet” made once by Samuel van Hoogstraten of a Dutch room interior. The special technique of those cabinets called anamorphosis implied that only from a single vantage point can a deformed picture become a meaningful one.
With Albert’s peeping boxes the reference to peeping is an exaggeration since the frontal side of each box is transparent anyway. Another divergence from the „perspective cabinets” of old is, simply, shape. In contrast to the cubic shape of those cabinets, Albert’s „boxes” are prisms with triangular bases. However, for the deformities to recede and disappear, visitors must find close-range vantage points rather than just look at the studies through the transparent front sides from a distance. This is how visitors are made to behave like „voyeurs” at the show.
Another unusual circumstance is colourlessness. With his usual clinical and puritanical aesthetics, Albert takes the same stance in presenting the studies. However much the details resemble the original studies, the white colours tend to obliterate every trace of the occupants’ personalities. No matter how much we lodge ourselves into their private spaces, no matter how feverishly we peep around, we are not an inch closer to their respective intimate spheres.
1 April – 14 May
Idols and Demons – István Csók’s (1865-1961) oeuvre exhibition
17 April – 2 October
István Csók Gallery (King Saint Stephen Museum)
István Csók was one of the greatest figures of early 20th century Modernist Hungarian painting with a French orientation. It was almost half a century ago that an exhibition of comparable stature was devoted to his achievement. Two Székesfehérvár galleries have joined forces to come up with this exhibition. King Saint Stephen Museum offers some of his best nudes and female portraits, while the Municipal Gallery offers a copious selection of his landscapes and male portraits.
According to Taste – A Show by Hajnalka Tarr
14 April – 13 May
acb Contemporary Arts Gallery
Recent works by the young contemporary artist Hajnalka Tarr start out from iconic masterpieces of classical painting by cutting up the reproductions and re-arranging the pieces „according to taste” to add up to new works of art that are in fact jig-saw puzzles of the originals. The pictures that come about resemble the originals merely by virtue of their sizes and overall colour effects. This is what she says about this procedure: „What attracted my attention was the physically untraceable quality that turns these paintings into works of art. I have produced objects whose every particle comes from works that smell of immortality.”
Famous and Infamous Johnnies – A Show by Gergő Kovách
18 March – 11 May
This is a show by sculptor Gergő Kovách devoted to various personages of history who are connected only by their first names. The playfulness of Kovách springing from his inner personality takes us through a wealth of portraits including one of the ancient God Janus who is noted for his double-faced looks and character. Opposing poles come into play elsewhere, too, but unlike maths, the procedure 1 plus 1 does not always lead to unequivocal results. But the irony, the humour, and the sculptor’s feel for personal motifs all work for a highly enjoyable show.
Kinds of Meat Series – A show by Judit Rita Rabóczky
15 April – 12 June
Holdudvar Gallery – Casino, Margaret Island
The young sculptress has made her new series called „Kinds of Meat” out of wire. This simple material is filled with life and movement due to the highly individual worldview of the artist. The female figures are filled with a lot of lush, almost lurid passion as they dance along boisterously.