Contemporary Tales... instead of Goulash - Paris 2010

Galerie Keller has been working in the trendy Keller street, in the Bastille quartier of the French capital since 2006.  The art gallery, mainly dealing with paintings and graphic art, aims to assist in the creative process and to promote contemporary, unorthodox art. The team has already proved themselves with previous excellent exhibitions, and they will confirm their reputation with the next exhibition. Although a considerably young establishment, Gallery Keller has cooperated with an established art gallery from Central Europe since 2008.
Várfok Gallery in Budapest, in the heart of Central Europe, was established after the political change-over of 1989 as one of the first private contemporary galleries in Hungary. Gallery Keller exhibited the works of a few Hungarian contemporary artists in the first half of 2008. Zsuzsi Csiszér’s, László Győrffy’s and István Nádler’s solo exhibitions enriched the Parisian art scene. The deeply different oeuvres of these three artists gave insight into the latest trends of Central-Eastern European art. There is a new name added to the list this year: Sándor Rácmolnár. The unusual title of the group exhibition: “Contemporary Tales…Instead of Goulash” – provocative, attention grabbing and at the same time destroying stereotypes.
The last decades of the 20th century had a profound impact on Hungarian contemporary art and everything else related to Eastern Europe. Pepper, goulash, and puszta are just a few common words that are meant to characterize Hungarian culture. In the final era of the socialist regime (1962-1989), the government intended to characterize Hungarian culture with this image. Although, this portrait was false and outdated even back then, the stigma remained with Hungary after the change-over, in spite of the depth and richness of Hungarian culture.
The Hungarian contemporary cultural scene was suffering: freedom of speech was always a sensitive question for the state. Nevertheless, despite the hardships, there were some tendencies characteristic for the area (having to face direct or indirect criticism) which changed the history of art in Hungary (and also in the region). (An exhibition in the Centre Pompidou showed a few examples from this era: ”The Promise of the Past...” / April-July 2010).
Luckily, times have changed, and we have a versatile and detailed picture of Hungarian culture today. In this regard, Gallery Keller’s group exhibition might be provocative, but will avoid any political implications. They merely wish to destroy deeply rooted stereotypes, and introduce notions like provocative, powerful, lyrical and playful into the vocabulary of the international reception of Hungarian contemporary art.
The new group exhibition (21.10.2010 - 13.11.2010) introduces four artists of entirely different social and artistic backgrounds. Sándor Rácmolnár (1960, Miskolc | H) produces one-of-a-kind prints on shiny aluminium panels, conveying everyday moments in an ironic context. His provocative figures are based on the world of dingbats, inviting varying interpretations for the theme and the pictorial elements as well. László Győrffy’s (1976, Budapest | H) works on paper are much more cruel towards their surroundings. His straightforward, controversial works generally evoke literal texts, authors, fragments from art history, or film scenes. The pictorial narratives, and impromptu captures of western society – our present do not try to preach, they merely reflect on the absurdity of everyday life. And the picture is usually not too complimentary…though witty and surprisingly entertaining. Zsuzsi Csiszér (1972, Veszprém | H) chose the traditional oil technique for her visionary pictures that enclose several layers or dimensions. Her large canvases appear to be ripped to pieces. On observing the pictures from a certain distance, they seem almost abstract. Close up however, the composition reveals realistic details. Feminine energy, bursts of colours and virtuosity characterise these paintings, instead of analytical composition. István Nádler (1938, Visegrád | H) uses only a few simple and pure pictorial elements: he links subjective and objective energies through the painterly manifestation of his motions. Despite being one of the most important neoavantgarde and neconstructivist artists in Hungary, also part of the IPARTERV generation of 1968, Nádler chose “inner emigration” in the 60s - as Lóránd Hegyi wrote. Inspired by meditation and (contemporary) classical music, his works delve into the depth of the soul. Nádler is considered to be one of the central figures of Hungarian contemporary art.
All in all, the exhibition offers a fascinating overview of three generations, three different techniques and three different world views within and outside the borders of Hungary. It also shows the results of a fruitful partnership between two galleries from far away countries.

The exhibition was sponsored by NKA.

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