Botero in Hungary | Martin Munkácsi: Think While You Shoot | Mercedes-Benz Design – The Art of Creation | AVIVA Arts Prize 2010 | A Photo Installation by Tamás Bujnovszky
Sándor Juhász: A Simple Bull-Fighter – Botero in Hungary
Standing in the cross-fire of cameras in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts is a graying, jovial gentleman, Fernando Botero who is one of the best-known characters of contemporary art. His pictures might well seem familiar at first glance since reproduced versions of his chubby, or rather fattish figures are scattered in many gift-shops of the world on picture postcards, posters, or other commercial articles.
Most of the 58 Boteros shown at the Budapest exhibition are large-sized oil paintings complemented by some equally large-sized bronze sculptures. The material selected from his works made over the last twenty years is shown in the Museum’s Old Masters Gallery, and not without reason. This particular venue has been picked on account of Botero’s predilection for paraphrasing.
Pointing at his pictures painted after Van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Couple or Velazquez’ Infanterida Marguarita the Colombian painter explains that painters of all times have been reaching back to the same kind of roots. Copies are in fact re-phrasings setting up bridges that connect the old with the new. This is what curator Zoltán Dragon might have been thinking as he purposefully left Hans Baldung Grien’s Adam and Eve (1525) in the very room where Botero’s version on the same theme was hung. It is indeed thought-provoking to view the two works side-by-side.
The artist, now 78, is indefatigable when it comes to telling stories about the world as he sees it. Pointing at his self-portrait he tells the audience it is by no means an accident that he appears in a bull-fighter’s garb, but with a brush and a pallett. In the Colombian town where he grew up bull-fights were the most remarkable events. Like many of his peers, he, too, wanted to become a bull-fighter. He had practised bull-fighting for two full years but when he was faced with a living bull, he turned his back on the profession.
And so, instead of a skilled bull-fighter, the world was given a successful artist whose popularity lies in his simplicity.
His characteristic, easy-to-interpret world stems from European culture, but with some Latin-American spicing. „I am the embodiment of a protest against modern painting”, he writes. „Yet, I make use of everything that lies behind modern painting, e.g. ironic play, and things that are all-too-well-known to everybody. My paintings are figurative and realist, but not in the sense of a simple-minded copying of Nature… let me put it this way: I visualise a non-real world in a realist manner.”
Visitors who must go without the artist’s personal remarks still have something to comfort them: the essence of Botero’s creed can be read from the paintings hanging on the walls.
Museum of Fine Arts
30 September – 23 January, 2011
Martin Munkácsi: Think While You Shoot
6 October – 9 January, 2011
Ludwig Museum Budapest – Museum of Contemporary Arts
Born in Kolozsvár, Márton, i.e. Martin Munkácsi (1896−1963) was one of the greatest pioneers of modern photo-journalism. He was one of the best-paid star-photographers of his day working for such magazines in Budapest, Berlin, and New York as Pesti Napló, Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, Harper`s Bazaar, Life, or Ladies` Home Journal. He photographed sportsmen, dancers, he led out fashion photography from the studio, and his peculiar vision did much to stir a hitherto static medium.
For much more in English: http://www.ludwigmuseum.hu/site.php?inc=kiallitas&kiallitasId=732&menuId=43
Mercedes-Benz Design – The Art of Creation (Design-Week Budapest 2010)
7 October – 14 November
Museum of Applied Art
Visitors can steal a look into the new design philosophy of the international car manufacturing corporation. Revealing the working style of the firm’s designers, the history of the brand, and the latest developments, the exhibition marks not only the upcoming installation of a new Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét, but it also introduces visitors into a joint design project of the firm with the Moholy-Nagy Art University now in its 130th year. The growth of the firm’s identity and style is revealed through such experimental models as its Bionic Car, its F800 Style, and its BlueZERO. The sensuous CLS model can easily become one of the design icons of the future.
AVIVA Arts Prize 2010
9 October – 7 November
Founded to support artists under 40, the AVIVA Insurance Co. has now organised the second of its prize-giving exhibitions intended to promote the prestige of contemporary painting and sculpture. In the spirit of the British Turner Prize, an unusually high first prize of HUF 5 million is given to the artist placed highest and recommended by a jury of art historians, critics, and private collectors. This year’s nominees: Róbert Batykó, Marcell Esterházy, Hajnal Németh, Katarina Sevic, Société Réaliste, Technica Schweiz.
A Photo Installation by Tamás Bujnovszky (Design-Week Budapest 2010)
9 October – 31 October
House of Hungarian Photographers (Manó Mai House)
A show of gestures, silhouettes with a spatial experience – Tamás Bujnovszky is one of the most sought-after photographers of our day. His sensitive shots make for a veritable poetry of light. He likes to take snapshots of theatrical performances. His series of a dance company’s shadow-production dedicated to Moholy-Nagy represents a new direction in his photographic oeuvre.