Bartók 32 Galéria
5 kerületi művész a Bartók 32
What s this exhibition about? What s the motive? The co-ordinates: firstly, the occasion and the date. The year is 1996 (the millecentennial anniversary of the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin), and the day 20 August (Hungary s Constitution Day, plus Saint Stephen s Day). Secondly, the artists living in the neighbourhood (11th district Budapest), of varying age, yet the very best of their generations. And thirdly, the works, exhibited for the first time, or made expressly for the occasion (two artists).
Any art historian or critic will immediately begin by looking out for identical, or binding traits: what do these works share in common, what brings them together? Beyond appearances (salient black and white monochrome, and Imre Bak s reserved colorant) time, what s more, local time play the lead.
Ripped to pieces, spread out and covered with dark patches, a sequence of pages from Hungary s past is interspersed with important dates from Hungarian history—all in Károly Klimó s Pages from a History Book.
Imre Bak s painting Köveskál refers to a characteristic Hungarian landscape loaded with history; and in it flawlessly constructed surfaces are separated by the architectonic proportions of old buildings.
László Fehér takes a look back on his private history of the past decades. His Lying Figure on Jetty evokes the faded one-time world of old photographs.
The two youngest artists have come along with photos—not paintings—to portray changing/unchanged time. A topographical survey of the clockless steeples of Hungarian village churches, Timeless times by Zsolt Veress refers to the (unfinished) things that remain unchanged in the course of fleeting time; time has stopped still. Antal Lakner s Conquest presents the most tangibly the historical past-present relation. Functionally insignificant, the many replacements of the Hungarian coat of arms (as a basic source of reference to the outside world) on Chain Bridge (a metaphor of continuity and permanence) are portrayed by a characteristic modern rotating, triple-phase advertisement board: the past five decades of Hungarian history are monotonously repeated by the recurring starting points.
And looking back, setting the imagination free, one has many options to choose from. Not far from here, in the Hungarian National Gallery, an exhibition opened recently on the centenary of the founding of the renowned Nagybánya group. It is worth taking a brief look at the difference between “those” works and “these” works: what s changed since?. Even skipping from decade to decade will reveal some interesting dates. For instance, the second generation of the Nagybánya group (founded in 1896), while 1956 was more of a historical pause. Our quick overview includes three of the artists at this exhibition (with regard to dates of birth). Károly Klimó was born in 1936, and the two young artists in 1966, the year of the famous juryless Studio exhibition. We might mention the art and artists of the district (József Rippl-Rónai, for instance, used to live in the studio-villa on Kelenhegyi út). Such thoughts might lead us afar, however, they demonstrate well indeed how much the five works of the five artists at this pars pro toto style exhibition can tell about Hungary celebrating its millecentennial anniversary in 1996.
Klimó Károly: Lapok egy történelemkönyvből /Pages from a history book (Kollázs, lapok egyenként 168x204 mm)
Veress Zsolt Időtlen idők I-VI. Timeless time I-VI. / egyenként 50x60 cm (Fotók, homokfúvott üveg)
Lakner Antal: Honfoglalás/Conquest. képváltós prizmatábla, 70x100 cm (megsemmisült)
Bak Imre: Köveskál. Akril, vászon, 200x450 cm
fotók: Sulyok Miklós