The directors of Art+Text Budapest have been active in the field of art publishing for a number of years. Gábor Einspach is the founder and publisher of Artmagazin, a prestigious Hungarian periodical dedicated to Art History and art criticism since its foundation in 2003. Tamás Kieselbach has published various albums, monographs, catalogues and other books on Hungarian painting from the late-nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.
Art+Text Budapest contributes to the aforementioned activity on an international level by publishing a wide range of Art Historical texts written on Hungarian as well regional post-war art in the form of essays, studies, books, and other publications of a diverse nature.
This spring a book by Sándor Szilágyi, Neo-avant-garde Trends in Hungarian Art Photography, 1965-1984 has been published with the support of Art+Text Budapest. The book, like its Hungarian version published in 2007, presents some 400 works of art by 32 Hungarian artists of the 1960s, 1970s and the early 1980s. It undertakes to collect the greatest photographers of this vibrant and fruitful era from Géza Perneczky to Tibor Hajas and János Vető. Among the presented artists we can find photographers who refused the anachronistic aesthetics of the official photography, and artists who used the camera accepting the conceptual approach of the period.
László Lakner – Traces
May 5 – June 3 2016
The recent exhibition of Art+Text Budapest presents a selection of László Lakner’s works, painted in Germany, focusing on the last two decades. Lakner is considered to be a painter active in surnaturalism, pop art, photorealism and conceptualism by the most important art historical writings in Hungary, while in Germany he is an important representative of the informel painting who focuses on the connection of writing and picture, and who uses literary references together with free pictorial gestures. The paintings displayed in Art+Text Budapest seem to disprove the commonplaces connected to Lakner’s painting: these pictures cannot be closely connected to Lakner’s politically sensitive figurative painting, either to his conceptual series reflecting to semiotic questions, moreover, their structure strikingly deviates from the scriptural composition characteristic of the artist in the eighties.
Essays published connected to the Diagonal Histories
show at Art+Text Budapest,
10 October, 2015 — 8 November, 2015
© courtesy of Pater Halley and Imre Bak
In the last few years, there has been a growing interest on the part of many critics in the idea of Postmodernism. These writers define Postmodernism in various ways, but they share in common the belief that the age of Modernist art is over and that a new set of theories is needed to describe art today...
Peter Halley contrasts the post-modern square with the modern square. Not only with the modern square but also with the European square. In his essay entitled The crisis of geometry (1984) he compares the mystic geometrics (Mondrian, Malevic, Rothko, Newman) and the neutral geometry of the minimalists with the geometry described by Foucault and Baudrillard, which shows how our everyday life is forced inside the limits of geometric systems. Instead of an abstract geometry, he analyses the geometry of the social environment and regards it as symbolic...
Art and Politics in the 20th Century
—panel discussion at Art Market Budapest
October 11, 17 h
Sarah Wilson: Picasso / Marx and socialist realism in France
—Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013.
Marx’s ideas are now subject to worldwide reappraisal, with conferences attracting the most important critical thinkers on the left. Marx and the Aesthetic (Amsterdam, 2012) reappraised Marx in the context of his own creative inspirations and contemporary art today. Max Raphael’s Proudhon, Marx, Picasso (1933), published in Paris by the exiled German art historian, a contemporary of Walter Benjamin, included the first attempt at a Marxist critique of Picasso. His book appeared when the global crisis of capitalism coincided with the birth of fascism.
Picasso / Marx looks backwards and perhaps forwards, resituating Picasso in dialectical terms. His context as player in the little-known Communist West, centred on Paris, brings into play the Marxist theory of his times. From the 1930s to the 1970s, Marx, Lenin and Stalin’s own theories on art and literature were discussed together with Plekhanov, Bogdanov and Zhdanov. John Berger’s Success and Failure of Picasso (1965), dedicated to Raphael, offered a critique of Picasso’s art and Communist politics within the lifetime of the painter. Picasso / Marx presents a critical view of Picasso to his new audiences from Melbourne to Moscow.
Klara Kemp-Welch: Antipoltiics in Central European Art 1956-1989. Reticence as Dissidence under Post-Totalitarian Rule
—London: IB Tauris, 2014.
Art historians have tended to frame late socialist central European art as either ‘totalitarian’ or ‘transitional’. This bold new book challenges this established viewpoint, contending that the artists of this era cannot be simply caricatured as dissident heroes, or easily subsumed into the formalist Western canon. Klara Kemp-Welch offers a compelling account of the ways in which artists in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary embraced alternative forms of action-based practice just as their dissident counterparts were formulating alternative models of politics – in particular, an ‘antipolitics’ of self-organization by society.
Drawing on Václav Havel’s claim that ‘even a word is capable of a certain radiation, of leaving a mark on the “hidden consciousness of a community”’, the author argues that all independent artistic initiatives in themselves served as a vehicle for opposition, playing a part in the rebirth of civil society in the region. In doing so, she makes a case for the moral and political coherence of Central European art, theory and oppositional activism in the late-socialist period and for the region’s centrality to late-twentieth century intellectual and cultural history.
This richly illustrated study reveals the struggle of Central European artists to enjoy freedom of expression and to reclaim public space, from within a political situation where both seemed impossible.
‘Klara Kemp-Welch’s book is illuminating and thoroughly written.’ – Dr. Victor Tupitsyn, Emeritus Professor, Pace University, Westchester, New York
‘This is a remarkable art history, concisely developed and engagingly analyzed.’ – TJ Demos, Reader in Modern and Contemporary Art, University College London, University of London (UK).
Sándor Szilágyi: Photomagic
– Journal on Images and Culture
Gábor Kerekes does an extraordinary thing with photography. He does not tell stories or cite dramatic events, nor does he document his own emotions and moods – he philosophizes. He makes ontological and epistemological investigations; he probes the bounds of human cognition. Through photography, he seeks our place in the universe. He researches characteristics of the human sensory organs, particularly those that help us find our bearings: the eye, the ear, and the brain. But, above all, he explores the relationships between science and art.
In one sense, it is as if he merely tried to recreate the cohesion of olden times – a unity that in the 19th century, regrettably, disintegrated in both the artistic and scientific communities. Science fell apart into increasingly specialised fields and at the same time became ever more dehumanised. Art, likewise, became emptier and more self-centred as it lost contact with other forms of understanding the world – that is, from the experiences of everyday life and the sciences.