Contemporary Hungarian art
As part of the Year of Renaissance
“What’s Up?” Informal as the question is, the situation it concerns is very complex. What is it that interests our artists today? To what extent are the problems proposed by Hungarian contemporary artists current, novel or progressive? These questions were the guidelines for those nearly twenty artists we invited to appear in Műcsarnok, with works that reflect on the issues that concern them. As a result, the display brings to you not only the works, but also the creative processes.
When selecting our artists, we made a point of representing as many generations as possible. As we analyzed their activity, several concepts cropped up, which eventually contributed to the unity of the display. Our keywords – absorption, commitment and statement, which could easily signify the three phases of the creative process – concerned methodology, because we were most interested in the visions and approaches of the artists, and we handled their treatment of the subject in this light. These three categories are present in the creative process of every artist, but we found them especially worthy of attention in the personality of our participants. Their attitudes differ and their emphases are various, yet this methodological approach proved viable in the exhibition as a whole: it testifies to the complexity and multilayer character of creativity.
The exhibition can be understood from other angles as well. If we take a look at the subjects of the artworks, we will find personal stories, the analyses of social occurrences, poetic relationships and the humorous aspects of life. Nor are absent those works that discuss new forms of aesthetics, seek universal truths, or explore new uses of materials.
Interestingly, though these categories are clearly distinct within the exhibition, they do not classify the artists. The various phenomena overlap, the works often display intriguing parallels or enter into dialogues.
Each artist has several works on display, making the exhibition a collection of individual installations. Whilst the works include drawings, paintings, sculptures, photo series and videos, it is installation that gives the true character of the display: it is this form that is best suited, through its peculiar use of space, to incorporating self-sufficient works, and creating a variety of configurations from the same elements by changing their relationships. Representing one artist with several works enables us to highlight his or her issues and approaches from several angles, even through a variety of genres. Most of the works are newly made, with some older ones never shown in Budapest before, which in the current context serve as points of reference. Some of the artists preferred to present a single work, which is suggestive of their current interests, the problems they are dealing with.
Greatly influential on the form of the exhibition was the experience we gained when we visited artists in their studios. In the ateliers, the works coexist in an organic manner, often paired by chance or routine. Our conversations with the artists, however, shed a new light on the works, revealing interesting, inspiring, usually unique nets of relationships. It was some of these constellations, rich in visual quality and meaning, that we wanted to recreate in the halls of Műcsarnok, to offer our visitors a more original, less formal view of those issues and subjects that presently intrigue our artists. While this view is far from being exhaustive, it is our conviction it will provide our audience with a rough and ready guide to contemporary art in Hungary.
Attila Menesi - Christoph Rauch’s project is also part of the exhibition, though it is situated outside the gallery walls, in public space. The link, the special July-August supplement of index – the scenes of art, the artists’own bimonthly publication, also deals with the central issue of the exhibition.
Several Budapest-based private galleries and non-profit organizations will take part in the multi-venue show, including the 2B
, galleries acb
and Videospace Budapest
, and the Studio of Young Artists Association
Part of the program are the video-screening series organised by the Miskolc Gallery
– Municipal Museum of Art and the Imaginary Collection
Angel Judit, Petrányi Zsolt