Centres of Gravity | The boundaries of representation in contemporary sculpture

Éva Farkas-Pap | Péter Gálhidy | Áron Zsolt Majoros | Péter Menasági | Botond Polgár | Mamikon Yengibarian

For the sixth time already, we are presenting the ‘one room - one artist - one curator’ format exhibition at Kunsthalle Budapest. This year, for the first time, we have chosen artists from the same genre and sculpture has become the guiding principle. The initial concept was inspired by the fact that there has been a strong sculptural boom in Hungary in recent years. From organic materials to plastic, from small sculptures to installations, novel examples of almost everything can be found.

It is important to emphasise that we are not presenting a crosssection, but rather a selection, as the works of six artists cannot provide a complete professional overview. Nevertheless, the selected artists employ many of the thematic and technical solutions that are characteristic of contemporary sculptural endeavour. In keeping with the original concept of the series, we have asked exhibiting artists to provide new works, newly made or adapted to the venue in installations. The clear aim behind the selection is to create an exhibition where works in adjacent rooms can enter into dialogue with each other, and where this dialogue or interconnectivity can also be experienced by visitors.

In this exhibition, the representation of the human figure is lent major emphasis, both as a subject of representation (in a motivic sense) and as a subject of human perception, as they evaluate their own stories, both present and past, and their relationship to the world and nature (self-reflection). In the selection Centres of Gravity, the representation of the human body is particularly important, the way artists explore human beings through their psyches, the way they examine the forms of nature, environmental factors and the place and role of living things from a human perspective. In the following, I would like to introduce in a few words the artists included in this year’s selection.

With her small-scale sculptures, Éva Farkas-Pap uses a variety of modern materials - concrete, porcelain, dental resin, silicone and plastic Lego pieces - to explore her relationship with dystopia and simultaneously with utopia, the impact of play and memory on adulthood.

For Péter Gálhidy, nature is an important source of inspiration. His sculptures emphasise the relationship between visual form and the title that explains it, interpreting the visual experience with a subtle irony. He works with traditional materials and sculptural techniques, making large-scale public and indoor sculptures, small sculptures and, in many cases, using ready-made tools.

Most characteristic of Áron Zsolt Majoros’ art are steel works constructed from slices, which most often appear as full-figure sculptures composed of horizontal and vertical sections. With these works, he also explores the relationship between the material and the immaterial, with a desire to capture transcendence.

The exhibited sculptures of Péter Menasági reflect his experience with his earlier public works. In his series Melancholy, each of the three site-specific works is given a quote from Pilinszky. The positioning of the figures follows the symbol of the trinity, emphasising the installation’s layers of meaning.

The sculptures of Botond Polgár are body-quotations, details and moments of existing paintings and sculptures, and by their very nature almost all of them are torsos. The works selected for the exhibition are thematically and motivically interconnected, responding to each other, outlining a creative process, the summation of which is the Dead Venus. It is an attempt to formulate the issues that the artist is concerned with: the confrontation with the finiteness of human existence and the eternal will to leave a mark.

Mamikon Yengibarian seeks a balance between life’s great questions: life and death, good and evil, certainty and uncertainty. Familiar objects, animals, human hands and feet all transcend their primary meaning. His use of materials also shows the dualism suggested by the combination of poisonous lead and healing beeswax: the sculptor shares the problems around us, but tries to find a cure for them. 


Mária Kondor-Szilágyi

senior curator of Kunsthalle Budapest

2023. March 24. - June 25.

Kunsthalle, Budapest

2023. February 10. - March 26.
Previous exhibition

Suede | Exhibition of Erzsébet Katona Szabó

2023. April 1. - May 28.
Next exhibition

Jan Saudek's Provocative World | opening exhibition of the Budapest Photo Festival