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—Krisztián Frey—

Art+Text Budapest is delighted to announce its new exhibition in the glorious interiors of the famous Bedő House dedicated to the eminent avant-gardist painter, Krisztián Frey.


Exhibition: 11 September, 2015—3 October, 2015

Krisztián Frey is a renowned representative of Hungarian Informel and Pop Art. Two of his most frequently reproduced works illustrate this: 3180  (1966), depicting women’s combination underwear, and Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis (1969), with female shoes. Frey’s graphic works and his paper-based painting activity show that the reception of Western trends in Hungary is relevant in his art and that he has a very unique style. The highly educated Frey created a specific genealogy for his pieces and called his method gestural painting with alternating pace, marking the direction both through technical means and in philosophical ideas.

Already at the end of the 1950s, Frey had experimented with the synthesis of visual and verbal representation, i.e. the combination of pictures with textual additions, but it was only during travels in 1963 to the West (during which he encountered the work of Hofmann and Twombly) that he received real positive feedback. This brought about a special Hungarian version of Informel. First he created paintings with multiple layers, which he overpainted and overwrote, combining in them figuration and abstraction. At the exhibition this is represented by the works from the end of the 1960s, which show figural motifs (Zodiac signs) characteristic of the Rákosliget period and also Pop Art-like additions (silhouette of a pin-up girl) showing characteristics of the IPARTERV period. His method changed after his emigration in 1970 and after his long correspondence with Endre Tót: signs of Fluxus, Concrete and Conceptual Art appeared in his works. Simultaneously, the classical references that had appeared earlier (Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis refers to the end of Goethe’s Faust) were replaced by Fluxus’ everyday, often obscene text, which can also be paralleled with the development of Beat poetry and postmodern literature.

Rather late, only after he had moved back home in 1990, was Frey discovered by experts dealing more and more intensively with the Neo-avant-garde period. Thanks to the invitations to exhibit that he received, he started to paint again. On the one hand he started using his old, time-honoured methods, the synthesis of Informel, calligraphy, Conceptualism and Minimalism with alternating pace and proportion, while on the other hand he started experimenting with folded surfaces as a new element. However, the overall picture has not changed much; even Frey admitted with irony that he has done the same thing for 30 years. This does not take away anything from the timeliness of his art – not even 20 years later –, which combines innovative Lyrical Geometry with Fluxus, figurativity with shapelessness, and the classical with the avant-garde.

by Sándor Hornyik

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