Best of Diploma | „It Speaks for Itself” – Annual Show of the Young Artists’ Studio | The Early Circle – A Show by Pedro Faria | Hundertwasser
Gábor Rieder: Best of Diploma
In keeping with its traditions, this year, too, the Hungarian Arts University has selected the most powerful pieces from among the graduation artwork submitted by its fresh graduates in order to introduce them to the general public. The hunt for new talent may now commence. If we accept that the youngest generations of artists tend to point to the most up-to-date of trends, we can unravel three trends from this year’s Best of Diploma show, namely, surreal fantasy, old-style craftsmanship, and academic formalism.
As to fantasy art, intermedia graduate Edit Tangl strikes a ground-note by presenting a long documentary film about on-line role-playing behaviour. Her work is far from opening a new chapter in media history, but it is surely amazing how an eight-year-old, playing the role of a winged and armoured media hero, goes on in the film about his eager ambition to kill. On the wall opposite we can relish the Linda Patricia Jagicza’s colourful and scented portraits of professional female wrestlers. Painted frontally, they are all heavily made-up pin-up girls wearing colourful masks against a tiled background. We can also meet a giant muse who is in fact an overweight peasant woman, and a painted plotting board replete with Surrealist motifs.
Quiet insanity has crept into works of craftsmanship, too. Gergely Szabó has concocted miraculous classical etchings with slightly off-balance mundane motifs like a Tyrannosaurus Rex galloping around a housing estate, or an astronaut peeping through the glass door of a sitting room. What with the dense etching grids left untouched, they all look as if they had been etched back in the 18th century. Designer graphic artists lean on the same kind of long-gone beauty; Anna Láng’s posters of Shakespeare employing photographs (!) of the Bard could well have been prepared in the 1970s, and Áron Dániel Nagy, for his part, touts some old-fashioned perfectionism while producing a legion of cartoon characters.
Social awareness is for all practical purposes absent from the selection. There is but one blinking light installation that raises high levels of red sludge among some cottages, but graduates of 2011 on the whole much prefer handsome formalism and studio finger exercises to grand social statements. Zsófia Nagy has covered an entire wall with her paintings of half-abstract rectangles, Katalin Biess, for her part, has prepared a very aesthetic photo-montage of a couple doing gymnastics in leotards. One media installation fills a large circle with piano keys; another allows us to shove black geometric profiles over an imaginary plane. Sculptors seem to have been lost in visions of transparent forms, that is, if the photo documentations of their large-scale works-to-be allow us to conclude anything.
It is rather strange that sheer creativity and activism are most prominent with scenery designers. Lilla Horváth’s stinking cardigans and staircases made of drawers hit us more powerfully than any old installation would. Júlia Balázs’ projections of props for a Molière performance in a ruin pub make us stand in awe even though we can only see them as mock-ups. It looks as though the magic of the theatre is still operative today. (Click here for a photo-gallery of the show, and here for all the graduation work.)
Hungarian Arts University
6 July – 26 July
„It Speaks for Itself” – Annual Show of the Young Artists’ Studio
15 July – 4 September
Hungarian National Gallery
The show tries to give a sample of the issues that today’s young artists are currently most concerned with. They had submitted their works in answer to a call for a competition asking them to address those issues. The 125 works of 40 young artists have been grouped according to the issues addressed. Techniques, too, vary widely among novel forms of painting, video, photography, and sculpture. What the Hungarian National Gallery wants to achieve by this show is to demonstrate the quality and range of artwork with which young Hungarian artists wish to address the artistic challenges posed by Europe and the world.
The Early Circle – A Show by Pedro Faria
13 July – 29 July
Hungarian Workshop Gallery
Pedro Faria was born in 1976 in Portugal. First, he studied architecture but he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2006, and is involved with performances and stage design. He also writes on art and has founded the Lisbon community studio named Atelier Concorde.
16 July – 23 September
Regional Art Centre (REÖK), Szeged
This is a show that is the latest in a long row of exhibitions of world-famous artists put on be REÖK. A definitive Austrian artist of the second half of the 20th century, a most peculiar personality known first and foremost for his revolutionary architecture, Hundertwasser is also an imaginative protagonist in painting, graphic art, and design. For now, REÖK offers a selection of his multiplied sheets of graphic art.