figure | group exhibition

June 25, 2020 - July 25, 2020

Mária CHILF | László FEHÉR | Pál GERBER | Előd ORBÁN | László László RÉVÉSZ | Luca Sára RÓZSA | Tamás SZVET

The latest exhibition of VILTIN deals with the forms and tendencies of figurative art in the light of different artistic positions and generations. The figure as an agent of the spatial, the figure as the strongest narrative of meaning, the artistic topos has been determining the history of art from thousands of years. From the traditions of contemporary art's point of view, the exhibition approaches the story of the human-centred, figural art tendencies from the 80's to the present.

To comprehend the often dynamically changing or apprehensively in await world of contemporary art, we need to simultaneously and deeply listen to the old and new messages. The long-known artistic techniques and their reinterpretation bear with contemporary relevancy. If we are able to welcome this thought, it can level our understanding of art and lay the foundations of our idea of the future.

Pál GERBER (1956) created his painting, Andromeda chained to the rock - after Rembrandt in 2011, which stands as the starting point of the exhibition. The picture can be seen as an homage to Rembrandt as well as a mythological narrative, being the triumph of beauty. If it is paired with the background's abstract composition, not only the old art, but the modern one materializes in this contemporary composition. Another possible, yet contradictory interpretation; the GERBER painting is a sort of universal art persiflage, which addresses a contemporary ideal such as the artwork is the painting, the copy of the painting, the irony linked to painting and the critique of art all at once.

Among the works of László FEHÉR and László László RÉVÉSZ we can hardly find one without a figure. Their oeuvre is an attempt of the postmodern representation of existence, where the Self (the figure) is the symbol of being, meanwhile referring to the communal identity and the presence of a wider social oneness. FEHÉR's and RÉVÉSZ's practice tightly carry the imprint of art before the II. World War, such as the school of expressionism or fauvism. László FEHÉR's (1953) large scale Rocky Landscape with Figure from 1985 recalls the expressive brush-work of the west German heftige malerei, only more lyrical, and delicate, in the spirit of Lóránd Hegyi's figural New Sensibility. Whilst FEHÉR's work is clearly post-modern, picturing the trauma-ridden man of 20thCentury, László László RÉVÉSZ's (1957) work from the 90's recalls the leaded murals of the antiquities' compositions, hence he openly pictures the idealistic, universal man of science and human accomplishments. RÉVÉSZ's 'character' embodies the relationship between man and women, exposing our often changing social status, the eternal narratives of our functions. His works represent the end-of-the-century man's dilemmas, meanwhile envisaging the image of a holistic 21stCentury man's, who searches for new solutions and universal answers.

The aquarelles of Mária CHILF (1966) between 2007 and 2010 were determined by the focus and concentration of the person. Her figures picture seeking and inquiring men, looking downwards, someone who contemplates the edge of past and present. CHILF's figure looks forward from the threshold of the 21stCentury's New World by a yet closed periscope with a set perspective.

Part of the discussion of contemporary art is the old and canonized method's revitalization, this elemental idea determines Előd ORBÁN's (1984) sculptural practice. He works with marble, a material partly ignored, so-called overly dense, yet a universal medium capable of lyrical expressions. Intimacy is an early work of the artist from 2011, where he postulates the aesthetics of beauty and its contemporary interpretations. The exercise of deliberate destruction and damaging of an artwork appeared it the beginning of the 2000's. The gesture of examining destruction, and its relation to the intact started to become the trademark of artistic freedom. ORBÁN has patinated his figure's hands and out sticking body parts; an analogy of time turning into material within the whole sculpture, creating an aesthetic-philosophical contrast between past and present.

Tamás SZVET (1982) made his Case study - Aesthetics object in 2012, where he uses the perspective anamorphosis optical image making's technique. First his artwork looks like a large artbox, which is open on two sides. On one side of the box an organic, indistinguishable, abstract, broken through drawing is placed, on the other side a round hole as an abstract shape, a sign can be seen. If we step closer and look into the peeping hole, we meet the other visual reality: within the box Henri Matisse's The Dance II. (1910) painting's paraphrase appears as a lingering, spherical image. The figures' jolly dance is the flow experience of the 2000's. Luca Sára RÓZSA's (1990) latest series is entitled Paradise. Her figures are composed into an imaginary and indefinite space, bracing the moment of formation. Her inspiration comes from the philosophy of Albert Camus: the historic man, the European man raised in the Jewish-catholic culture, who aims to reconcile his spiritual existence with the dogmas of his cultural heritance. Determining a 21st Century figural attitude, which incorporates the paintings of earlier times, the artistic questions and manifests itself on this process. Her painting is no less than the synthesis of endless human intellect and the existing matter.


Tibor iSKI Kocsis