Lucien Hervé & Rodolf Hervé: One-On-One January 12, 2019 - March 14, 2019

The Várfok Gallery’s latest exhibition entitled ’One-On-One’ showcases a special selection of photographs taken by father and son, Lucien Hervé and Rodolf Hervé. The images not only complement each other, they also highlight the different characteristics of the art of both photographers. The pairs of photographs emphasise the essential elements of both oeuvres, and the sharp differences between the two artists’ ways of seeing and creating. However, the pictures also reflect the photographers’ common spirit with regard to social sensitivity, social criticism, humour, irony, and their affinity with abstraction.

Lucien Hervé (1910-2007) was born in a small town in Hungary in 1910 and moved to Paris in 1929 where he spent the rest of his life. He began taking photographs at the end of the 1930s and, in 1949, he met a leading proponent of modern architecture, Le Corbusier, and became his "official photographer” between 1949 and 1965. The most important characteristics of his photographs are a clear, geometric approach and a powerful presence of light-shadow effects. Lucien Hervé’s photographic work has become world-renowned and exhibitions of his work have been held around the world, from Athens to Tokyo.

The presentation of his work in Hungary was initiated by Máté Major, an architect and university professor, in the early 1960s. Since then, his photographs have been shown in several prestigious Hungarian art institutions, such as the Budapest Gallery (1989) and the Hungarian House of Photography – Mai Manó House (2008). Most recently, in 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest organised a grand-scale retrospective exhibition on the occasion of the centenary of the artist’s birth witch was complemented by an exhibition at the Tornyai János Museum in Hódmezővásárhely, the artist’s home town. His works can be found in prominent international collections, such as in the Albertina, Vienna (A), Centre Pompidou, Paris (F), Victoria and  Albert Museum, London (UK), and The Getty Institute, Los Angeles (USA).

The versatile art of Rodolf Hervé (1957-2000) was well-known in 1990s’ Hungarian underground circles. The artist came to Budapest through the invitation of the Vasarely Museum in the last days of 1989. He stayed for several years after the change of regime when he became an important character of the alternative art scene. Following in his father's footsteps, he started to experiment with photography at a young age. However, because of his rebellious personality, he was more attracted to very intense, emotional forms of expression rather than his father’s strict geometric vision. Rodolf Hervé’s art can be characterised by sharp contrasts: tenderness and violence, realism and surrealism, the lyrical and dramatic go hand in hand in his photographs. In addition to photography and other visual arts, such as video art, electrographic art, collage and painting, he also involved himself with music and performance. Although his promising artistic career was broken by his death in 2000, his works have lost nothing of their impact and remain as influential contemporary artworks.

Rodolf Hervé’s first major Hungarian exhibition was held in 1990 at the Vasarely Museum of Budapest, followed by a special solo exhibition at the Marble Hall of the Széchenyi Spa in 1991. Later on, his oeuvre was presented in other important art environments, such as the Xantus János Museum in Győr (1992), the Centrális Gallery in Budapest (2011), and the Szent István Király Museum in Székesfehérvár which organised the joint exhibition of Lucien and Rodolf Hervé in 2001. His video works are held in the OSA Archive and C3.


The exhibition is sponsored by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary.
The exhibition is part of the Budapest Photo Festival’s official programme series.

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