This exhibition of L. Föld Terebessy’s work was originally scheduled to open in April, on the evening before Earth Day. However, for reasons that are all too well known, we had to postpone it. In the meantime, the global situation has lent a new currency to this exhibition: Now, as we view this series of works on display in the Műcsarnok#Box – by an artist who, a quarter of a century ago, adopted the name of ‘Föld’, which is Hungarian for ‘Earth’ – we are acutely aware that this Earth, encircled by seas, is still very much in need of our attention.
Terebessy has exhibited his works since 1970 displaying them in exhibition venues and public spaces or permitting us a glimpse into the gentile world of his studio. His chosen audience consists of professionals and laypersons alike, and he credits both with an equal measure of expertise, which goes somewhat against the market-dictated pressure to conform. One reason for this could be that he treats the material and the spirit, the tangible and the intangible, as invariably coexistent.
He has surrounded himself with natural materials since the beginning of his career. He works with wood, and more recently with stone, bronze and ceramics, and also incorporates water and fire into his works, for example in the form of a bird bath or burnt materials. His sculptures or, as he calls them, his “objectifications” – some archaically figurative, others representing experiential reality in abstract forms – always depict living creatures or make their thoughts and feelings visible, palpable via the materials.
His studies abroad provided countless formative experiences; in particular, he spent many years in Sweden. The travelling may have contributed to the duality that permeates his oeuvre, nourished by the exciting juxtaposition of the security represented by immobility, a sense of belonging, and the yearning to travel. In the garden of his house, where he keeps several of his works, the stone nests and wooden birds also bear witness to this. The combined experiences of the place we have found for ourselves in the world, the act of travelling and often flying can all be found in the multiple versions of Sky-Rocking Earth Carousel, the variants of the always location-specific Spiral-of-Life Snail, the Ore Caps, which seem to project the weight of our lives and Frog Perspective, which might be interpreted as the opposite of flight. The Creation or Orientation Maps, a few of which are on display here, offer guidance for navigating the understanding that can generally be attained during our earthly journey.
The first hall of the exhibition contains early objects made in response to his early realisations, while the second is home to an increasingly spiritual selection of works that invoke paradisiac states and bear the hallmarks of earth, water and fire. The innermost space completes the experience with acoustic works that incorporate the laws of the cosmos and the fourth element, air, as “raw materials,” revealing deeper levels of thought and emotion.
Curator: Szilvia Reischl