Levente Herman: Auto-Portraits September 14, 2012 - October 13, 2012

Levente Herman (b. 1976, Târgu Mureş / RO) joined Várfok Gallery’s permanent circle of artists in 2007. The September show will be his fourth individual exhibition at Várfok Gallery while this year only, several important invitations enrich the artist’s artistic path. In Spring 2012, Herman exhibited in a nearly 1000 m2 exhibition space in the heart of the freshly renovated Zsolnay District (m21 Gallery) of Pécs, his works were presented then during the Summer in Pál Gallery in Miercurea Ciuc (RO), in the Studio Gallery Korunk of Cluj-Napoca (RO), and in the Waldbott Castle of Tolcsva (H). Following the Várfok Gallery show, a special selection of new works will be presented at Edward Cutler Gallery in Milano (I), giving Herman the opportunity to be introduced on the Italian art scene.

Considering the exhibition material to be shown at Várfok Gallery, it is to note that a new guide-line has been developping during the past half a year to become characteristic of Levente Herman’s actual works. A line of clothes started to ’annex’ his works as the elements of a new wardrobe. However, the vivificated vestments would ignore the Human body. Herman toyed with the idea that contrary to the constrained, wolfing down, wasteful consumer habits of our contemporary society, the main role on his paintings would be played by simple objects: clothes which theoretically have already been rejected by someone, hence still occupy a place on Earth as somethings. This is how the cycle titled Second Hand came to life, giving birth also to the series presented at the September exhibition.

Some linguistic cross-talking and referring to word-plays might help to understand the fact that the Auto-Portraits evoque the genre of self-portraits. Time has left serious marks on the cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles placed in the centre of the paintings, yet reminding us somehow of posters. In spite of their solitude and quietude, hope surrounds them, here and there the spectator will discover some vital signs…  These are not only portraits, as the first few pieces of the series served as a mirror to the soul of the painter, who in the name of moving on or restarting associated the words road, movement, progress with the motive of the automobile. He also refers to ’second hand’ origins: Herman gives thrown away, burnt-out objects needing renovation the chance to get back to life and become once again useful objects, returning as entities to the sources of their original functions. The exhibition of Herman invites at the same time the spectator to time-travel as the show will align a series of models from the beginning of the XXth century up to now – enabling us to maybe discover ours amongst the density of auto-portraits. Three of the first pieces of the series got into a private museum’s collection in Louisville (Kentucky, USA) named 21c Museum and two of them are exhibited until January as of the highlights from the 2012 Collection.

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