From now on if you walk along the Grand Boulevard of Budapest, you will know about the passions of some householders. How did the owner spend the rents of the apartments of 23 and 19 Teréz Boulevard?
Like most Americans, even my fellow specialists in contemporary art, I have lived a long time with only the most rudimentary notion of what happened to art behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era. An ambitious and expansive new exhibition that fills two floors at Elizabeth Dee gallery in New York, With the Eyes of Others: Hungarian Artists of the Sixties and Seventies, changes that situation substantially. The show is the first in the United States to survey Hungarian art of those decades and introduces most of its artists in this country for the first time. The few who have previously debuted here—including Miklós Erdély, Tibor Hajas, Dóra Maurer, Gyula Pauer, Tamás Szentjóby, and Endre Tót—have been seen in the context of either global Conceptualism or Eastern European art as a rather monolithic whole, and not necessarily in the company of their compatriots. So the exhibition also marks a milestone in American understanding of a specifically Hungarian character in their work, and that of others.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!)
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
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.
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.
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
Interview with Natalija Vujošević, founder of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Montenegro and Jelena Stanovik, director of Trema publishing house.