Gallery19 | The open-air gallery introduced
Initiated by the owner of Várfok Gallery, Károly Szalóky, the open air Gallery19 was opened in 2007 with the support of the local government, as well as a number of private companies. 19 trees along the even numbered side of the street were covered with protective glass panels showing contemporary art works. The large-scale, good quality reproductions on the glass panels are designed to attract the attention of passers-by and serve as an ornamental background on their way up to the castle. Gallery19 was officially opened by the distinguished painter, Françoise Gilot on 31st May 2007. Since then, we have organised four exhibitions - the last one dedicated to Endre Rozsda’s colourful oeuvre, complete with comprehensive documentary material in Hungarian and English.
The newest exhibition was inaugurated on October 26 2012.
Discovering Inner Landscapes
The latest exhibition of Gallery19 invites passers-by to discover the Inner Landscapes of 26 artists - members of Várfok Gallery and Spiritusz Section. Among them are young artists at the start of their career, as well as established masters of modern art. The artworks help spectators to fully immerse in the atmosphere of the castle’s cultural attractions. The pictures open a window to the inner world of the artists and unveil a variety of creative processes. The various colours, compositions and subject-matters provoke different reactions, and prompt the spectator to start a journey into their own inner world – a journey from picture to picture, from artist to artist, creating a bridge between the artist and the spectator.
A journey is more than just travelling. A journey means adventure. It requires resilience, dedication and time. The traveller is driven further and further by hope and the promise of reaching his goal. What is the artist looking for? What are the questions arising from these pictures, and what are the answers to them?
We find a wide range of genres: from still lifes to portraits, or actual landscapes. Some of the landscapes are abstract, some of them are more realistic. Levente Herman’s paintings belong to the latter category, although, the realistic image of a meadow is transformed by the artist’s subjectiv approach. Instead of the natural, irregular shape of rocks we find perfectly formed spheres. Szilvi Tóth highlights the subjectivity of reality and the impact of mankind on our natural habitat by placing a painter’s palette in front of a waterfall. The photo of Mátyás Misetics shows a genuine night-time street scene, while the lack of natural lighting, the empty cars and roads without traffic, as well as the isolated figures evoke the feeling of loneliness.
Enikő Hangay also reflects upon the urban landscape, but the grey, rainy air is turned into a expressive orgy of colour.
Some of the works examine the artistic effect of images, as well as the question of lonelyness, human relationships and the sense of community. Hella Mayer’s little girl in a red dress, András Szabó’s living puppet, Sebastian Weissenbacher’s evil teddy-bear, Kata Töttös’ letargic female figure asking about the washing-up, or Réka Jahoda’s creepy little beast are all somehow manifests of alienation. The painting of El Kazovszkij conveys deep loneliness – and much more. The dismembered Venus symbolises the tragedy and hopelessness of longing for transcendental beauty. Only aatoth franyo offers a faint ray of hope: his Don Quijote-like knight hoovering enthusiastically represents the balance in communication between men and women.
Péter Korniss’s photo of a Transylvanian wedding from 1972 revives the ancient sense of community and tradition. The vibrant cavalcade of people is swirling round and round like an abstract homogeneous whirlwind of colours. Péter Ujházi’s summer scene reveals another face of country life: its everyday simplicity and atmosphere.
Right next to the rural landscapes, we find ourselves in the midst of a bustling metropolis. Behind Endre Rozsda’s abstract compositions and amorphous geometrical shapes, we might be able to discern the harsh flickering of pulsating city life. László Szotyory’s grandiose skyscrapers dissolve in the baroque colours of the sky and the ethereal clouds.
On leaving the outer landscapes behind, we descend into the abstract inner world of the individual. The bridge between the two worlds is clearly represented in Ádám Hollós’s picture: a little boy on a train seems to be fully immersed in his imagination, completely forgetting about his environment. János Szirtes’s selfportrait with covered eyes examines the senses and sensuality. The melancholic Pallas Athene of Martin C. Herbst represents the minuscule movements of the soul, while László feLugossy’s faceless figure relfects its own inspiring nature. The works of Róbert Várady and László Győrffy display the intricate thought process of philosophy and the complexity of subjective memory.
Some of the pictures take us to far away lands, fantasy worlds, or to another time, eg. Sándor Rácmolnár’s mythological priest conducting an ancient ritual in a boat, István Szántó’s faceless baroque horseman surrounded by monkeys, or the ziggurat-like composition of László Mulasics, resembling to an ancient city map. The journey continues on the level of abstract symbols. Françoise Gilot’s dynamic tondo connects the tangled threads of fate, while István Nádler’s transcendent gestures evoke the geometry of subatomic particles.
And finally, the circle is closed: we have reached the equilibrum between outside and inside, up and down, between the self, the world and the artwork. However, it’s an endless and aimless journey. We are going round and round, like the Flying Dutchman, searching for answers and guidance.
The exhibition was sponsored by the National Cultural Fund and the Public Foundation Guardian of the Buda Castle.