Home Magazine The Familiar Unknown, an Individual exhibitions of Szabolcs Szolnoki and András Végh at Faur Zsófi Gallery

Szabolcs Szolnoki and András Végh solo exhibition has been held at Faur Zsófi Gallery. Eventhough the two artists have different artistic approaches, the meaning of their artwork and the feeling of disorientation they evoke are the same

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Szabolcs Szolnoki and András Végh are two artists represented by Faur Zsófi Gallery. Their solo exhibitions were exhibited recently by the Gallery. Although they belong to different generations, they have similarities and links between them. It is interesting to observe their relationship with figurative artworks and the similarities and differences they have in the personal approach they give to their works. What differs them is the depiction of human figures: while Szabolcs Szolnoki creates his realistic human figures through impressionistic, blurred patches, András Végh approaches his work from an abstract perspective. 

Szabolcs Szolnoki, Afternoon game. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

In the context of Szabolcs Szolnoki's art, concepts such as the elusive vagueness and dream-like quality surrounding his paintings, the "strong similarity of feelings, the radiance of some strange, dream-like, vaguely floating spleen" are often mentioned by the artist. His artistic practice is further reinforced by the outlines of the colors, floating beyond the boundaries, in which the motifs of the many-leaved green plants, the bright, quilted puffy coats and the silk monkeys are recurrent. Looking at Szolnoki's paintings, the viewer enters a kind of transitory state in which questions whether we are in the imagined spaces of wakefulness, half-dream or dream arises. 

Szabolcs Szolnoki's paintings lead the viewer into a world where he can explore the border between dream and wakefulness, where reality is not sharply defined. Colors extend beyond their boundaries where strange things are the uncertain hold on reality. For example, in the exhibition Aura, the painting named “The red line” shows a definite red line, which one does not know whether it is a projected light or a thread. The viewer does not know where it leads. The living characters in the paintings, people, animals and plants, disappear or gradually melt into the material environment, often leaving only their own aura around them.

Szabolcs Szolnoki, Hommage á Huxley. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

The faces are difficult to understand, sometimes obscured by a balloon like in the work “The end of the party”, or sometimes by the head of a dragon costume, such as in “The Outsider”. The materials, however, are easy to identify: the brown leather shoes, the elaborate shiny, soft, silk-like kimonos that cling to the body and the stretchy, hiding puffy jackets counterbalance the predominance of veil-like quality, while at the same time breaking the dominant expansion of vision-like quality. The function of the living spaces is an important theme as well. For example, the “AirB&B” painting represents a temporary home for travelers who are constantly changing locations. The “Passing Traveller” painting is a headless figure in a leather jacket ready to go, and the VR glasses in “Gamemaster/ Hommage á Huxley” evoke the immersion in the digital world, the difference of being physically on earth in comparison to living inside the virtual reality.

Szabolcs Szolnoki, The red line. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

Szabolcs Szolnoki's paintings frame liminal spaces that have a strong emotive effect. They are both unfamiliar and familiar, and therefore ominous. Due to their dream-like quality, they are attractive and inviting to fall back asleep.Szolnoki's paintings make the moment of being on the border between wakefulness and dreaming permanent, which makes the colors blurry and misty, and the presence of human-like figures is only hinted at by the outlines of body parts, clothes and objects. The depiction of human figures is not significant, but merely one impressions of surreality. They are as hallucination-like illusions, where reality cannot be clearly labeled, perception becomes uncertain. There is a call to past memories that brings the viewer into an introspective maze.

As Szilágyi Kata wrote, Szabolcs Szolnoki’s paintings „exist at the intersection of abstract and figurative, with either aspect occasionally taking precedence. His primary objective is not mere illustration but rather expression. He consistently establishes one or more focal points that serve as entry points for interpreting the painting's narrative. Elements outside these focal points, at the periphery, pose a challenge to capture individually, however, it is only through their collective presence that the picture attains completeness and coherence. They have the potential to evoke a dreamlike state, suggesting a world just beyond our reality.”

András Végh, Portugieser. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

Végh András, concentrates on the real world and humanity. He stated: “The aim of my artistic search is to apprehend the world and within it, humanity and myself. Things both visible and invisible become exposed under the light of nature. I adore the coincidental that inspires sentiment, the mysterious, the bizarre, the unforeseen, the surprising, and the grotesque the same way as I admire the magic of invention, the adventure through the unknown, the road from darkness to light and spontaneity filled with passion. My creativity is stimulated by that which radiates beauty, humanness, and life energy mixed with the ambiance of contemporary life.

András Végh, Munkácsy Mihály Prize-winning painter, was born in 1940 in Tolna, and currently lives and works in Budapest. His works are almost exclusively oil and plextol compositions on canvas, or on paper he uses watercolours, pastels and mixed media. The vital element of his work is the use of colours, which creates a particular formal order, saturated with emotion and stimulating sensuality. His expression and style is characterised by a sense of disturbance, fragmentation and fragmentedness, some kind of mosaicism. 

His paintings feel like they are dating back to ancient times, as Szilágyi Kata wrote, they are initially reminiscent of cave paintings, his works feature simple colors, stick-like figures, and various objects on canvas. “His works are easily approachable, leaving room for the public’s ideas and creativity, inviting them to connect with the artwork. The artist is process- oriented, emphasizing the process of creation over explicit depiction. His artworks incorporate writing-like elements, adding to the cave painting aesthetic with an unknown yet joyful vibe. Playful and enjoyable to behold, his works serve as a delightful entry point to art, setting a positive tone for the entire exhibition”

András Végh, Sky and ground. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

His paintings are montages of memories, with hardly recognizable figures standing amongst memory pieces. The surrounding environmental elements are blurred, then sharply outlined and then again fading into obscurity. The points of view are strange, the dimensions become disorganized, the perspective relations are palpable, and thus ordinary scenes become mysterious, inexplicable events evolving around phenomena. 

Similar to Szolnoki Szabolcs, the mysteriousness is a significant component in András Végh’s paintings as well. As a viewer, we can feel the same sense of mysticism, elusiveness and disorientation when looking at both artist’s paintings.

Cover Image: András Végh. Courtesy of Faur Zsófi Gallery.

Written by Kooness

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