József Kadosa Kiss: The order of Art – Arte legis

Arte legis – reads the key line on József Kadosa Kiss’ homepage. This Latin phrase equally refers to worldly, man-made order and to the rules of art. Kadosa Kiss’ works are all made by adherence to these rules. He is an artist steeped in the strict and ancient order of art; an artist of profound humility and discipline in his work, be it prints (the genre he has been familiar with the longest), i.e. etchings, engravings and lithographs, or paintings, sculptures and instruments, or his objects of everyday use verging on being technical wonders. He always subjects himself to the rules of art, yet treats them freely. Although his works are produced in a diverse range of genres, they all capture and depict eternal human values and inner psychological processes. Instilled in all of them are the continuous regeneration and variation of life. In one way or another, manifest in all his works is people’s love of life, their desire to rise above any difficulty and their incessant defiance coupled in asserting life. Experimentation played a central role in Kadosa Kiss’ art: it motivated him when he chose printmaking as his specialisation at the academy and has lasted up until now, when he works in the most diverse genres. The oldest, graphic techniques with their centuries old traditions give him the confidence which he can keep drawing on and returning to. The techniques he mastered later on in his career, i.e. oil paintings, gouache compositions on wooden panels, watercolours, illustrations, story boards, paper-based head sculptures, kinetic sculptures, instruments, a chess table and chess pieces, as well as other objects reveal something important about the mystery of the universe while adhering to the ancient order / rules of art.

What can that higher power be that urges Kadosa Kiss throughout his artistic adventures, anchored in graphic art, not only to explore the realms of painting and sculpture but also those of instruments and objects of everyday use distinguished by high artistic quality? What is the source of the forever renewing inner fire that virtually forces the artist to follow his creative genius in so many genres? Kadosa Kiss has known from the start that it is through art alone that people can rise above the disarray that lies at the bottom of the (only seeming) order of the man-made world. It is always art that can offset to some extent the destruction wielded by the capricious forces of fate and people’s own actions. This might explain why the artist has turned to the most diverse branches of art, and that is why he keeps making something new and something different, while searching for new ways in regard to both materials and concepts.

Kadosa Kiss looks for inner peace and quiet in every single one of his works. The kind of peace that the sounds of a cello and a pianist automaton of his creation or a dance master violin symbolising a predecessor important to him are able to bring to life. It often seems to be the case that while an artist is working on a piece quietly for a long time, time somehow slows down. Precious time, which we can so rarely enjoy in today’s accelerated world – time which becomes truly precious through being immersed in creating something.

The exhibition mounted in three rooms of the Műcsarnok#Box has three pivotal points, to which the artist’s periods can be linked. The first one is the paraphrase of a Renaissance painting, while the third one is the visualisation of the most cutting-edge space technology. Thus, the works placed in these pivotal points draw attention to something from the different periods of art history, symbolically too, with the distant past and a possible future being its two endpoints. The displayed works not only provide a kind of cross section of Kadosa Kiss’ career but also of the changes of art over time. The three pivotal points are the artist’s paraphrase of Leonardo’s The Adoration of the Magi, his work titled Cello, and a carbon fibre bicycle called Nimbusbike ’007 made by the artist. The two objects and the gouache composition painted on a wooden panel provide a framework for the exhibition in a temporal sense too.

József Kadosa Kiss drew storyboards for numerous films and commercials. Our exhibition presents details from the graphic scripts he made for the films Jakob the Liar and Ban Bánk, displaying side by side some scenes from the films and the freehand drawings made for them.

Réka FAZAKAS, curator

2020. September 11. - November 8.


2020. August 12. - September 27.
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2020. October 28. - 2021. February 14.
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Simultaneously – Studio Visits | Győző Byhon: Urbi et Orbi