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Böröcz András - Nexus, 2023-24.png

András Böröcz - Crooks / New Sculptures (2021-2024)

Curator: Noa Rabinovich Lalo



About the latest sculptures of András Böröcz


Some of the sculptures seem to float; some cling to the wall like a butterfly, ready to flutter away at any moment; another stands on its pedestal like a grasshopper, poised to leap. They are organic structures that seem to be alive, although I cannot tell what kind of creatures they might be. When I first saw them, however, it wasn't living beings that came to mind, but the way I collect pebbles when I go to the beach. If I like one, I pick it up, look at it, then swap it for another, until I see one that I like even better and I keep that one. All the while, I barely pay attention to what I'm doing. And yet, nothing is accidental. An internal sense of proportion dictates, which is unconscious, but without which I wouldn't bend down to start searching. Moreover, without purpose, even though at any given moment there is nothing more important than picking up this or that pebble.


Some people collect pieces of wood. They do this with as much focused attention as those who search for pebbles. A particularly curved branch or a stunningly twisted stick recieves just as much attention as a pebble on the beach. People pick them up, walk around with them for an hour or two, and then, when the walk is over, they usually throw them away.


All this came to my mind in connection with András Böröcz's latest works. At first glance, they give the impression that they are all "ready-made" pieces of wood, as if they were not shaped by a sculptor's hand, but by nature. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that this is not the case at all. The curves are, of course, natural, just as the branches of a living tree can twist and bend in various ways, depending on where they get the most light. And yet they are all very carefully crafted pieces. The branches and spheres are oiled, which enhances their original colouring, and restores their natural state. Their colour varies depending on whether they are made of plum, beech, walnut, oak or mahogany. They fit together with the help of smoothly polished wooden spheres and are connected to each other with carefully crafted joints, ultimately resulting in – given that they are made of pieces of wood – intricate formations.

I observe how natural everything is. And at the same time, I notice how calculated, conscious and deliberate it is. It’s both organic and yet artificial. In other words, it’s artistic. I see the invisible hand of András Böröcz, painstakingly creating complex structures with many hours of work. I imagine that he experiments with many variations, assembling them in different ways until he finally achieves the structure he’s satisfied with. When he feels a piece is finished, I couldn't say. As a viewer, however, I percieve them as finished because I no longer see them simply as works of art, but as natural formations. In other words, Böröcz shapes, moulds and arranges the elements found in nature until they appear natural again. Perhaps that’s why some of them have titles that refer to dance: Waltz, Tango. Dance is also the most sophisticated system of movements, yet it is while dancing that the body moves as naturally as possible.

This time, András Böröcz has created sculptures in which it would be difficult to find any reference to human events, while this was very characteristic of his previous work. Irony is also absent from them, although it has been present in his works for decades. In short, there is no story, no 'literature'. Perhaps there is only 'pure art', something that is self-existent, that is not subject to anything. However, what is self-regulating – and I quote from Dezső Tandori – is "order-disruptive", "lawless", as it obeys its own laws. That makes it evident - another of Tandori's favourite words. Böröcz's recent sculptures are disruptive in this sense: he makes art by abandoning the order of art. They are self-evident - as if they had originated in the forest, on a tree, out in nature. And that makes them spread a certain sense of joy – in the same way as organic formations of nature generally enlighten humans.

And here I would like to return to the analogy of collecting pebbles. Böröcz is also clearly selective when he picks up this or that piece of wood or tree branch. An inner sense of proportion dictates his selection, telling him not to pick up this, but that - even though someone else might hardly notice any difference between the two. Whichever he ultimately chooses feels the most natural. The pebble collector stops at this point. However, Böröcz moves on. Still listening to his sense of proportion, he arranges, puts together, fits the found pieces until he returns to the starting point: the evidence. He moves from the evidence of nature to the evidence of art. A seemingly short, yet extremely long journey. Because the aforementioned internal sense of proportion is by no means self-evident. What appeals to a person, what they find beautiful, what appeals to them, is not the result of some innate ability. It involves one's past, upbringing, environment, decades of experience, and even, I believe, the inherited tradition of centuries and millennia. Archetypes emerge, swirl, and in the twenty-first-century person selecting pebbles of branches, ancestors from centuries or even millennia earlier speak up. They too whisper, dictate.

Böröcz's new sculptures and plastic works remind me of something like this. Just as a shepherd's crook - of which Böröcz has a considerable collection - in its simplicity evokes an extremely complex past, thus these sculptures capture me not primarily by their beauty, their flawless and harmonious complexity and arrangement, but by the fact that they open up something that one is not used to dealing with. Namely, that 'pure' aesthetics are never pure, but rather heavily burdened, and even the lightest, most ethereal structure becomes weighty when I think of how many generations it took for someone in the second twenties of the third millennium to finally create such, and only such forms and shapes. Contemporary sculptures, which are also archaeological finds.


András Böröcz: Crooks – New Sculptures, Einspach Fine Art & Photography, 11 April - 3 May 2024

Opening speech by László F. Földényi, literary historian

Translated by: Viktória Popper

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