Conversation with Ilona Keserü Ilona

It was in 1995 that I read for the first time the interview Ernst H. Gombrich and Neil MacGregor made with Bridget Riley, discussing the collections of the National Gallery in London. At that time, I was already working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest and I was curious to find out how some of the most significant Hungarian artists who began their carrier in the 1950s and 1960s would remember the – often determining – experiences they gathered in the collections of the museum.

In the beginning of the 1980s, for a period of two years, I spent hours in the museum on Friday afternoons with artist Miklós Erdély and the members of the Indigo Group. Erdély himself incited me to accomplish this task. I have known the participants to this new series of interviews for decades, and I have already heard a few of their recollections. Lacking any possibility to travel abroad and visit international exhibitions, deprived of new art books and albums, they went to the Museum of Fine Arts to study.

On February 17, 2013, the day the Cézanne and the Past exhibition closed its doors, I decided to start this series of interviews. The personal recollections of these artists constitute an important part of the historiography of the Museum of Fine Arts. I first started with the painters who participated to the series of cabinet exhibitions organised by the Department of Art after 1800 in the past few years (Keserü, Jovánovics, Lakner). Many other discussions will follow.


Going Around, Coming Around, Gone

Little Warsaw: the name refers to the activity of a freely organised, open group, as well as an artistic experiment that has been undertaken since 1994, mainly by two artists (it is an open set, though), who, as it is made perfectly clear by the choice of their name, have taken it upon themselves to consciously tackle the fact that their artistic activity is embarked upon in East Central Europe.1


A brief lunch with the Amorphic Robot Works in Munich

Chico MacMurtrie - while exploring and investigating the endless artistic possibilities in robotic sculptures, new media installations and performances - founded the interdisciplinary artistic collective, the Amorphic Robot Works/ARW in 1991 inspired by a year-long residency in San Francisco.



The starting point is the last intersection, which is, at the same time, also the most recent grafting, or, if you like, a mutant montage that places side by side the work of Tamás St.Auby, Marcel Duchamp, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Christ.


The Designer Is Like a…

In the very same room where he was told his thesis received the grade 2, years later he accepted an honorary professor. The internationally renowned design expert with numerous awards lives in Stockholm; he considers the design and the prototype of an applied, reproduced work pieces of art, just like a painting. Being someone who creates objects, he prefers the constructed environment to nature, and he surely has seen the movie Gladiator.


“I’ve always tried to think in terms of community, in terms of the whole of my profession”

 The entire Artmagazin editorial board travelled to the city of Paks when its Gallery showcased a retrospective of Imre Bak’s works, curated by Dávid Fehér. The artist himself took us on a tour of the exhibition. This interview is an edited version of our conversation there, touching upon the topics of predecessors, experiences abroad, Béla Hamvas, the art of a lifetime, divisions between art historical eras, the illusion of space, and the relation of art and profession. (See the video version of the interview on Artmagazin Online!)


“I don’t mean to impress”

Beatrix Szörényi graduated from the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2006. The notion of straightforward pragmatism that brought her to Hungary—after living in Germany until she turned 20—is typical of her art as much of her attitude. Her art reaches back to a less complicated, less technological level, an approach that gives way to a more diverse set of feelings and meanings.


We're having a party

"We're having a party
dancing to the music
played by the DJ
on the radio
the cokes are in the icebox...
… and having such a good time..."

So this is what real party felt like as teached by old master Sam Cooke.

One may ask, can a (cocktail) party-like atmosphere mediate art better? Of course, one may conclude, it can mediate everything over time.
While surrounded by serious painting, sculpture, and photography exhibitions, the representatives of Ljubljana based artist-run Galerija Gallery are mixing colorful drinks, playing loud disco shit and trying to represent the idea of art as embodied in the process of preparing, selling and consuming cocktails.

Sip art just like a cocktail and have a good time at 17.00 at the booth of Galerija Gallery.


Getting a bigger picture from a quite small booth

Wandering around in Art Market's endless maze the visitor happily recognizes a Polish gallery's - called PROPAGANDA - booth. The installation's simplicity and the "not-too-crowded with artworks" mentality shines through even from far away. Mariusz Tarkavian's, Tomasz Kulka's and the Polish group - who even have an exhibition in Budapest right now - Łódź Kaliska's work create a balanced triptych. The Jan van Eyck-like paintings, the photograph based conteptual works and the bunch of small drawings representing three different techniques and three different artistic attitude. We get a bigger picture from a quite small booth.


'I’m a late developer'

Interview with Kamilla Szíj, fine and graphic artist


What the Artist Brings to the Table: On the György Jovánovics – An Autobiography Exhibition in Balatonfüred

„I am what is around me.”
 /Wallace Stevens: Theory/

Only after viewing the György Jovánovics exhibition in Balatonfüred did I realise that every day, I pass the image of an alchemist’s workshop in my home. In the kitchen, right by the fridge, hangs a plate that I scavenged from a German junkshop about 4 years ago. The plate shows a scene from an alchemist’s workshop with a plethora of interesting objects, gurgling flasks, a busy main character, fixing up something from a recipe, and another character fanning the coals in the background. Up on the right, there is a sharp gap the size of a horse’s eye: the plate once broke, and the plate’s edge, decorated with animal skull, has been waiting for the reunification ever since, hidden in my desk drawer. “Der Alchemist – Holzschnitt nach einem Gemälde von David Teniers 1750” – states the inscription. That is, the image described above has been transferred onto the porcelain plate from a woodcut based on David Teniers’ painting The Alchemist. The plate is hand-painted, but that is beside the point. By now it’s probably evident to the reader that this piece doesn’t hang on my wall because it’s a great work of art. It earned its place because of the mystery, begging to be solved, that has permeated every depiction of the alchemist’s lab for centuries.



A video interview with Gábor Altorjay on his exhibition titled WELT OHNE HERZ at acb Gallery



A video interview with István Csákány on his exhibition titled DIORAMA at Trafó Gallery



Best of Art Market Budapest 2015 – A video guide


To the fair’s fairest

Interview with Natalija Vujošević, founder of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Montenegro and Jelena Stanovik, director of Trema publishing house.


'Even if I were to tie-dye, write poetry or folk songs, the medium of photography would keep haunting me' // „Akár tárgyat hozok létre, akár installációt, valamilyen rétegében mindig benne van a fotográfia mint inspiráció, gondolat vagy vezérelv”

Hungarian Cubism is 'a quasi virgin territory, a term that has not even deserved a subchapter in our handbooks yet.' – declared Gergely Barki on the pages of the August issue of Artmagazin. Today, the research of this specific historical period seems to keep up the interest beyond the circles of committed art historians. The project of Péter Puklus revolving around the pioneer Hungarian cubist sculpture, the ‘Head’ of József Csáky has gained attention with the aforementioned article simultaneously. The visitors of the Amsterdam-based Unseen Photo Fair & Festival are exposed to the remake of the Csáky statue on posters, citylights, entry tickets etc. Péter Puklus who was in charge of the the complete visual identity of the festival was interviewed by Szilvi Német about the rediscovery of the lost sculpture, the remake process and the campaign in general.


A magyar kubizmus „egy olyan kvázi szűz terület, amely eddig még csak alfejezetet sem érdemelt kézikönyveinkben” - olvasható Barki Gergely megállapítása az augusztusi Artmagazin oldalain. A terület kutatása azonban úgy tűnik, manapság nem csak az elhivatott művészettörténész kedvelt tevékenysége. Puklus Péter képzőművész a magyar kubista szobrászat megteremtésében pionír Csáky József Férfi portré című szobrát „körbejáró” projektje szinte egy időben kerül most a figyelem középpontjába az említett cikk megjelenésével. Az amszterdami UNSEEN Photo Fair & Festival látogatói szeptember 18. és 22. között posztereken, meghívókon, belépőkártyákon, a katalóguson, egyszóval mindenen a Csáky-szobor parafrázisát láthatják majd, és vihetik haza a világ számos pontjára. A rendezvény teljes arculatért felelős Puklust Német Szilvi kérdezte arról, hogy hogyan figyelt fel erre a műre, milyen utakon próbált rálelni az eredetire, hogyan dolgozott a témával, és végül hogyan találta meg őt az UNSEEN felkérése.


„...engem sohasem zavart, hogy gyerekként nem ihattam Coca-Colát” // ' did not really bother me that we did not have Coca-Cola'

Ciprian Mureşan nemzetközileg elismert képzőművész Kolozsvárról, aki a poszt-kommunista művészgenerációhoz tartozik, vagy ahogy ő mondta az MTV-generációhoz. Kezdetben Kelet-Európa rendszerváltás utáni társadalmának átmeneti állapotára reflektáló rövid, komikus videói szereztek neki nevet. Manapság egyre inkább elfordulva a modern technológiától új munkáiban történelmi, társadalmi, valamint kulturális referenciákat sajátít ki, amelyeket aztán új összefüggésekbe helyez. A Ludwig Múzeumbeli egyéni kiállításán az eddigi teljes életművet végigkísérhetjük.
Romanian artist Ciprian Mureşan is an internationally known post-conceptualist artist from Cluj who belongs to the generation of Post-Communist artists, or as he claims, to the MTV generation. He was initially celebrated for short, comic videos reflecting on the transition of the contemporary post-Soviet life in Eastern Europe, while his most recent works mark a shift from the new technologies to a more manual way of creation where Mureșan still appropriates historical, social and cultural references, which he re-contextualizes. In his solo exhibition at Ludwig Museum we can see the whole oeuvre up to present.

„Itt minden elem átfedésben van egymással” // 'But each element overlaps with each other'

Interjú két nyelven Ulbert Ádámmal, az Artmagazin díjas Trapéz Galéria művészével 2014-ből.


An interview in English and in Hungarian with Adam Ulbert, artist represented by the Artmagazin Award winner Trapéz Gallery in 2014.