Art Market – Little Brother | Fragile – A Show by Zsolt Asztalos | Beach Party – A Show by Gábor Kerekes | A Loophole to Happiness | A Man Speaking to Man – A Show by József Szurcsik
Gábor Rieder: Art Market – Little Brother
Put together with record speed, Art Market opened last Wednesday. One thing is certain: never before has Budapest’s XIIth district seen so many contemporary artworks.
Since it’s taken only a few months for Art Market to organise itself, one could only conjecture what the idea was. First rumours maintained that it was a bunch of second-line galleries ousted from Budapest Art Fair that had gotten together to present their stock spitefully in a far-flung corner of Budapest a fortnight before Art Fair would open. This seems to be a logical scenario: the young in search of their market-share have rebelled against those already well-established. No wonder that the well-established have abstained from participating en masse. On the other hand, several emerging galleries among Art Market’s participating firms (e.g. Viltin, Nextart) can boast at least some previous presence at serious international events. To confuse things even further, several well-established old galleries have paid down the modest fee for participation: MissionArt are here with their choice collection of 60s-70s Hungarian abstract painters, and so is Godot Gallery with its remarkable sculptures of primordial masques by József Gaál or paintings by „agricultural” Imre Bukta.
For all its haphazardness, Art Market conjures up a rather pretty selection of the contemporary art scene. No international names, let alone international stars here, but the selection is fresh with a lot of hardly-known startups, and a few favourites such as Dorottya Szabó or Kriszta Nagy. Under no circumstances could such a selection move into an office block were it not for the idea of an Art Market. The basic tone of the fair is rendered by young artists who experiment, whose prices are far from exorbitant, and yet are well-mannered. Take for example Attila Stark’s graffiti monkeys on fibreboard at emerging Telep Gallery, or Zsolt Gyarmati’s monster stickers with G13, or Erzsébet Horváth’s green nudes floating in a dark chamber, the Lőrinc Borsos team’s iconic objects, all with Viltin Gallery. There is, of course, the well-done contemporary oil painting, in fact, it tends to prevail in the exhibition rooms what with László András Hatházi’s pop paintings with Nextart, Ákos Siegmund’s metropolitan scenes with Gallery Neon, or indeed the expressive canvasses of Gitta Pap with Friss Gallery.
Add a few photographs, some brief videos for good measure. There is even a „green” (i.e. environmentalist) installation of whales’ tails at the stand of Karton Gallery.
The fair has come to life. It is no gimmick performed by developers, neither is it the rebellion of the mediocre. (It is to be seen how a suspicious art market can deal with so many unknown names.) It seems to me that far from rivalling Budapest Art Fair, Art Market is much rather its little brother, playing the role of a satellite fair well-known from major international art fairs. Those outside the upper ten thousand, yet hungry for a pretty contemporary painting will probably get rid of their surplus money here rather than at Art Fair. And Art Market is also free to visit!
Fragile – A Show by Zsolt Asztalos
13 November – 27 February, 2011
Museums of Fejér County – King Saint Stephen Museum
Zsolt Asztalos is a contemplative person. In his works he reflects upon the surrounding technocratic world and portrays it in its essentials. The introductory show of this young artist deals with today’s consumer society and the position of the individual within it. He devotes a lot of attention to the issue how intact man’s mind and body can remain in this new environment. He harks back to the Renascence where man was at one with himself and his environment. He wants to explore how much of this harmony survives in the 21st century.
Beach Party – A Show by Gábor Kerekes
12 November – 27 November
Stúdió Gallery – Young Artists’ Studio
This show recalls a global beach party with all its celebrities as they are pictured in collages of newspapers and magazines. Meanwhile, one is aware of a complete break with classical pictorial structures. The many thousands of clippings provide us with a panorama of the real world with the parts freely movable to contrast with one another.
A Loophole to Happiness – A Show by Adam Chodzko Petra Feriancova, Siniša Labrović, Ciprian Muresan, Csaba Nemes, Nada Prlja, Simon Janek, Péter Szabó, Katarina Šević
10 November – 30 December
Trafó – House for Contemporary Arts
The show traces some of the routes along which people escape from their marginal existence to gain more personal freedom and pleasure. Stirring the smooth surface of neo-liberal economies, those escape routes include such forms of resistance as East-European workers’ proclivity to moonlighting and the black economy.
A Man Speaking to Man – A Show by József Szurcsik
9 November – 30 November
Judit Virág’s Gallery and Auction House
József Szurcsik’s monumental figures rise with lazy steadfastness above the hurried rhythm of the modern world. His trademark form is a face-like edge that converts his rectangular forms into human figures. His forms also resemble guards or rather watchtowers resisting the present. They transmit visions of „flying” monoliths or ruins of ancient castles, sanctuaries unearthed from the remains of some forgotten megalopolis.