Eastern European Collectors
Knoll Galria Budapest


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Symmetry with Counterpoints - Paintings from the second half of the 80's and the early 90's

László Mulasics: Nets Of Promises II. (1992, encaustic, oil, plaster, gold foil, canvas, 130x150 cm) Photo: József Rosta

02.12. 2021. - 29. 01. 2022.


Participating Artists:

Imre Bak, László Fehér, László Mulasics, Tamás Soós, Károly Klimó, Zoltán Tölg-Molnár, György Szönyei, Károly Halász



László Százados art historian


The exhibition is part of our series entitled The Fall of the Wall, which is a twin-exhibition selected by Hans Knoll in Vienna. The works of several artists (Imre Bak, László Fehér, László Mulasics, Tamás Soós) are featured in both presentations, and pieces from one series (Károly Halász) appear in both locations. The art documents of the activities of an Austrian collector and his colleagues, dedicated to Hungarian painting, are considered worthy of presentation for an Austrian-Hungarian gallery: both exhibitions were selected from the material of the Pedit collection. “Filtering” is multiple: through the limited space and time available for building a collection, purchasing artworks and connecting to related exhibitions.


Gaudens Pedit, a young Austrian businessman during his studio visits in the early 1980s and 1990s - with the help of Johann van Damm and then Loránd Hegyi - focused mainly, but not exclusively, on the work of the representatives of the New Sensibility. The trend was already in the mid-1980s, past its peak exhibitions - it is slowly decades-long story, the already controversial reception of which in the period of the change of regime puts it in multiple refractions. Coming from the west across the border, the unified and concentrated, unexpected and most importantly – with the European phenomena of a similar characteristics - the simultaneous appearance is already partly appreciated as a sign of the change of regime, which is only confirmed by the appearance at the state exhibitions. The power of the "surprise factor", the richness and variety of the artwork in the block at major international exhibitions, due to the curatorial work behind it and the intellectual performance of the program building, it is still present and makes an impact, despite the characteristic changes in the trend.


The overall picture of the two exhibitions is “radically eclectic” due to the period of collection (1988-1994), the framework defined by the works (1979-1992) and focus set by the works presented. The paintings (compared to the rich material of the former Pedit collection, which presents individual oeuvres in a broader intersection) implying of the changes in the direction of individual careers leading from the “core period” of the new sensitivity. (The work of El Kazovsky in Vienna and Zoltán Tölg-Molnár in Budapest is an exception.) However, even within the narrow frames of the Budapest exhibition, there is a shift - never giving up the sensual element -  in the use of color and form, in the treatment of materials and surfaces, from large-format and generous expressiveness to meditative and / or playful-ironic post-geometry.


As from the view of Vienna (recalling the Austrian and Italian pieces in the collection) -the still coveted Central European cultural identity that regularly proves to be a mirage in front of the spiritual background of the distant memory of the monarchy - it may even raise the possibility of a regional reading of the new painting movement, but from the point of Budapest it seems more of an inclusion, an unspoken story. Mostly from the point of view of comprehensive analyzes of the segments of art history, since the images themselves, as an integral part of oeuvres are often discussed as parts of overlapping eras: turning points, catalysts of internal inspirational movements. However, the endpoints and transitions of the ’80s, which are among the controversial beginnings of the regime change in the’ 70s, are still unclear in many ways. The current constellation of images is a snapshot of a temporary state, a retrieval and recollection of the past. Reconstruction of an external / adjacent look that is able to raise valid questions even in this fragmentary form.