Tamás Melkovics is one of the most talented representatives of the new generation of sculptors in their thirties, combining the professional processing of classical sculptural raw materials with contemporary questions of the networked nature of digital existence. His sculptural works, which have been unfolding since 2019, explore philosophical questions of 3D-printed repetition, interchangeability, and networked existence. His unique, abstract sculptures, built as open systems, have already filled the Ferenczy Museum in Szentendre, but are based on a concept of monumental, even public space.
Melkovics, who studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts, experimented with the theme of structures made up of modules, following his 2017 exhibition Growing Systems. First, he created an ensemble of "families of forms or tools" that reproduced a particular form order. This gave rise to the Symbols series of rusted iron castings at the Steel Sculpture Workshop in Dunaújváros, with its infinitely concise, iconically simple utterances. The robust series is composed of five basic, emoticon-like elements: a schematized right hand holding up its index finger, an art deco head, an apple that opens as a container, an abstract tree stripped to its spindly branches, and a universal drop. From a multiplied combination of these, Melkovics has built a variable dictionary that evokes both Chomsky's generative grammar and the modules of LEGO toy sets, the abstract code lines of algorithms, and the symbol library of emoticons. Yet all the while, the silent and heavy iron statues are totemically unmistakable, like some kind of ancient relic.
Melkovics's main question - besides the utterances in the Symbols' Icons - is the possibility of a networked sculpture, promising infinite variability, which can be extended into any long complex sentence: the open work of Umberto Eco as sculpture, reinterpreted in the light of László Barabási-Albert's network theory. The results of this experimentation can be seen in his solo exhibition at the Ferenczy Museum in Szentendre in 2022.
The prototype of the new program, the Blue Kit 2020, is made of stacked, polished MDF sheets. It consists of thousands of modules that can be assembled in a thousand different ways and are fitted together with magnets: nodes branching in a Y or X shape, intermediate elements, and end nodes. Melkovics used these to assemble his upwardly projecting, organically interlocking, anthropomorphic-biomorphic shapes. They are not interactive installations, but open sculptures by a sculptor, allowing for a 'fluid communication' (redesigning for a given space) that classical sculpture does not lend itself to.
The Aloy series was created on the basis of the prototype Blue Kit, which was carved out of wood. In this case, Melkovics has built up a series of hundreds of modules, which he cast out of aluminum using 3D printer 'molds' and sand-casting molds. The ever-increasing number of shiny silvery elements are connected by pins. The Aloy series is a manufacturable set of molds made up of uniform units, allowing Melkovics to truly realize the idea of networked, expanding, 'rolling' sculpture. This pioneering series is a large-scale monumental art experiment thatholds the promise of monumental sculpture in the 21st century.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2022 Panta Rhei, Ferenczy museum, Szentendre
2019 Morfologick, Várfok Gallery Project Room, Budapest
2017 Growing structures, Parthenón-fríz hall, Budapest
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2023 Summer Wine - Einspach Fine Art & Photography, Budapest
2022 Drafting futures, Q-Contemporary, Budapest
2022 YouHu, Kieselbach Gallery, Budapest
2021 Esterházy Art Award, Scholarship exhibition, Ludvig Museum, Budapest
2021 Derkó2021, Scholarship exhibition, Kunsthalle Műcsarnok, Budapest
2020 Horisont, Bartók1 Gallery, Budapest
2020 Introspection, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art, Dunaújváros
2020 Sculptures under the sky, MANK régi művésztelep, Szentendre
2020 Derkó2020, Scholarship exhibition, Kunsthalle Műcsarnok, Budapest - Wunderkammer, ÚjMűhely Gallery, Szentendre
2019 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, István Csók gallery, Székesfehérvár
2019 Harvest, ÚjMűhely Gallery, Szentendre
2019 Ferrum, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art , Dunaújváros
2019 BAUHAUS 100, Vasarely Museum, Budapest
2018 Life jacket, M21 Gallery, Pécs
2018 Forenoon, Eleven Blokk, Budapest
2018 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art , Dunaújváros
2018 Derkó, Scholarship exhibition, Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary
2017 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art, Dunaújváros -Autism as a metaphor, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art, Dunaújváros
2016 Born in a studio, MANK gallery, Szentendre
2015 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, István Cók gallery, Székesfehérvár
2015 Space bending and crosstalk, Art mill, Szentendre
2014 Dadama, ASZMH, House of free culture, Székesfehérvár
2014 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art, Dunaújváros -Fresh 2012 empathy/manipulation, Kogart, 2012, Budapest
2012 ECA Sculpture show, Sculpture Court Edinburgh College Of Art, Edinburgh Scotland, 2012 -Throbbing serenity, ArtBLOKK, Budapest
2012 Best of diploma, Hungarian University of fine Arts, Budapest
2010 Annual exhibition of Fejér county, ICA-D Institute of contemporary art, Dunaújváros