Pixel-utioner | Art on the Lake | Young Contemporary Stands – 2011 | Presence – A Show by Attila Kondor | Pictures Found (works from the 60s and 70s) – A Show by Tamás Hencze | Parturiunt montes (Mountains in Labour) – A Show by Csaba Kis Róka
Alexa Csizmadia: Pixel-utioner
Should Zsolt Gyarmati’s new picture-objects be musical pieces, they would certainly sound cacophonic. Yet, they do not outshout each other at this show. Gyarmati’s pixel-monsters fall into line rather tidily, true, one of them, called Hypnotic Regression, incorporates a personal map of Budapest left there by the previous show’s curators.
His pictures have many layers often incorporating smaller objects; colours are moderate signalling Gyarmati’s inclination to monochrome painting. He is interested in texture rather than colour; his thick layers of paint often pulp or drip like on pictures of Alexis Harding; gravity is a collaborator here to be reckoned with. True, paint with Gyarmati doesn’t live a separate life from the picture but it certainly preserves – in Jackson Pollock’s manner – the intense energies of the picture’s making.
Fragments of texts and pieces of rope attached to the pictures could well be parts of so many ritual ceremonies. All those energies are discharged on the picture’s plane. No wonder curator Endre Lehel Paksi used the expression “depicting out” when describing the making of Gyarmati’s pictures.
Gyarmati’s pixel-monsters remind us first of the early computer games of the eighties now returning into fashion. But they may equally well recall the robots of the twenties appearing in films and at Dadaist parties. Those geometric beings were so many metaphors of the mechanised and standardised workmen of Henry Ford’s production lines. But at the end of our game of recognition we are bound to arrive at medieval homunculi, small individuals in intimate bond with their Creator, thus concepts of material productivity and medieval magic are shrewdly united.
He has published an anachronistic manifesto claiming that Man’s place in the Universe is in the zone of Noise, a zone falling between Nothingness and Information. Submerging into this zone, Man is constantly faced with the twin chances of creativity and destruction. This fits in with the ambivalence of an ancient concept of art which claims that art arouses both respect and fear in the spectator, the only danger in this state of affairs arising from overdoing things, i.e. infatuation which, by cancelling self-control, makes it harder to return to reality.
Gyarmati’s video entitled “The Great Child Mechanic Is Singing In Flames”, recently shown at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, is also on view at this show taking place in an apartment gallery.
Budapest Fiction Gallery
6 May – 28 May
Art on the Lake
22 May – 4 September
Some ten years back, the boat-riding lake of Budapest’s Városliget Park had hosted constructions by Hungarian sculptors for six weeks. Co-ordinated by the Museum of Fine Arts nearby, this year’s venture is both larger in scale and international in its scope hosting as it does work executed by Belgian, Czech, Finnish, French, Dutch, Polish, German, Italian, Austrian, Romanian, Spanish, Slovak, and Hungarian artists. To mention but a few, there is the “Exclamation Mark” of Róza El-Hassan (made jointly with Roma basket-makers), a snowman cast into concrete by Daniel Knorr, or Jíři David’s huge “Blind man’s Stick”.
Young Contemporary Stands – 2011
21 May – 19 June
Former Bóbita Puppet Theatre, Pécs
Supported by the municipality of Pécs, the group exhibition aims to present one segment of Hungary’s dynamic art scene. Common to all the forty-odd artists is a critical stand taken towards the hot issues facing Hungarian society, with special regard to destructive human relationships, the over-mediatisation of life, or the abundance of restrictive and/or exclusive norms.
Presence – A Show by Attila Kondor
20 May – 15 June
Újbuda Gallery of the Municipality of Újbuda
The title of the show refers to Heidegger’s philosophical problem, i.e. whether one can understand being through other people’s experiences. One has to ponder issues of being and time by creating a personal link to being itself, a link producing its peculiar painterly approach.
Pictures Found (works from the 60s and 70s) – A Show by Tamás Hencze
19 May – 14 June
Tamás Hencze’s first remarkable period (1966-1982) had made an exemplary impact upon Hungarian painting. Spurred by French Tachisme and American Abstract Expressionism, Hencze had produced an impersonal, yet extremely explosive kind of painting that had gestures, both spontaneous and pre-meditated, in their centre. Surveying his early works lying in folders, Hencze has recently come upon some 20-odd paperworks never before seen by the public.
Parturiunt montes (Mountains in Labour) – A Show by Csaba Kis Róka
19 May – 17 June
acb Contemporary Arts Gallery
One of the most original of young Hungarian painters, Csaba Kis Róka has achieved international fame since his show at Liverpool’s bi-annual festival in 2010. He merges harking back to Baroque painting with horror and pornography, often depicting perpetrators and victims of sexual and physical violence.