The Christian Perspective in Contemporary Hungarian Art
26 February - 15 May 2011
MODEM's latest exhibition yields a variegated picture of contemporary Hungarian Christian art. A spectator accustomed to today's religious art might find some of the works shocking and might even, at first glance, interpret them as blasphemy. That is why we recommend first approaching them from the iconoclastic viewpoint and language of contemporary art, then from the theological concept conceived and often hidden behind the mask of profanity, and in this way it will become apparent that the surprising, seemingly playful and humorous surface conceals true faith and sincerity devoid of hypocrisy.
The twelve artists in the show are affiliated with different Christian denominations or are simply undenominational. Their concept of God and belief systems differ, just as their artistic styles embrace the widest range of artistic attitudes and contemporary visual representation. They avoid being dubbed as religious or Christian artists not unlike János Pilinszky, who also demarcated himself from the religious poets, saying he is a poet and a Catholic. Our exhibitors, too, are both artists and believers. This compilation is critical in nature, and the decision was facilitated by functional, notional and quality aspects alike. The exhibition does not present lithurgical pieces of art assisting intimate communion with God, nor even sacred works following traditional iconography and depicting the experience of religious fellowship. The religious works displayed here express individual faith experiences, the artists do not strive to represent divinity directly, but rather evoke the transcendent powers indirectly.
Some of them-for example, János Borsos and Zsolt Asztalos-reformulate classical Christian dogma with the help of contemporary conceptual art. Others-such as Imre Bukta, Miklós Ganczaugh, Pál Gerber, Ilona Lovas and Emese Udvardy-reflect on the current situation of faith and religion, the social issues of our present culture. The third group of the exhibitors-Balázs Kicsiny, L?rinc Borsos, Erik Mátrai and Zsolt Asztalos-bring up to date the traditional genres and topoi of religious art, while the fourth-Andrea Huszár, Imre Bukta, Ilona Lovas, and Erik Mátrai-praise the energies and beauty of nature.