Wednesday 8 November, 7:00 pm — Thursday 30 November 2017

1061 Budapest, Andrássy út. 32

URBAN POSITIVE – contemporary art exhibition

Opening on November 8th at 7pm in LATARKA Gallery

ARTISTS: Juraj Florek, Stefan Osnowski, Juraj Toman, Zsemlye Ildikó
Curator Tomasz Piars

The exhibition URBAN POSITIVE shows the works of four contemporary artists who tackle the topic of urban landscapes. In most cases, artists dealing with urban environments try to criticize it as a place which degrades humanity and is often connected with environmental crisis. The artists presented in this exhibition have a different approach. They are unstoppable "seekers" of beauty in the contemporary urban landscape and want to reveal its hidden or overlooked aesthetic qualities.
In order to create a fresh and authentic urban landscape and not to produce postcards or "nice pictures" which match the wall-colour in living rooms, there is a need for an unusual view, location or technical approach. Some of the examples at the exhibition convince us that this beauty can even be traced in post-communistic structures, failed urban development projects or derelict and abandoned buildings. Following Van Gogh’s approach - searching for truth instead of beauty in art - they keep the tradition of the landscape genre. However, not in nature but in urban environments, which are constantly changing with every new decade.
Woodcut printmaking is the main medium of STEFAN OSNOWSKI /1970/, born in East Germany and currently living in Budapest. In his latest series of prints he deals with "non-places", for example transport terminals, tunnels, highways or garages. Cityscapes in his case are always blurred, which refers to the abstracted view of the city dweller who is constantly on the move in the urban concrete jungle. The several weeks spent on creating one woodcut are in enormous contrast with the attempt to catch one fragmented impression. This contrast is not meant to disturb us, but rather brings us a poetic experience in our own perception of urban environments.
Urban plein-air painting is the domain of JURAJ FLOREK /1986/, a Slovak artist of the young generation, who spent September 2017 in Budapest. Under the Partizan Art Residency program he explored the City of Budapest and made many paintings straight on the depicted locations. His favorite sub-genre of urban plein-air painting is the Industrial. The unique morphology of the shapes of industrial architecture, with big contrasts between shadow and light, represents his love of heavy environments, which are usually not seen as attractive places. He mostly painted on the periphery of Budapest and shows us vibrant, contemporary urban landscapes. Budapest was the next stop in his long-term plan to enter new cities with plein-air painting projects.
JURAJ TOMAN /1985/ is another Slovak artist, thus the exhibited paintings show us very unusual urban places from Slovakia. He divides his time between painting outside in plein-air and working in the studio. In both cases, he usually deals with urban environments. In plein-air painting he prefers fresh, immediate impressions from the location, which do not need to be too intellectualized. In his studio works, usually bigger canvases, he often creates two or more time lines, which are blended together. He often depicts some mighty architecture or urban structures from the second half of the 20th century, as well as some derelict, ugly places. These locations, always painted in oil-colours, acquire a new and fresh angle of view in his work. 
ZSEMLYE ILDIKÓ /1969/ Hungarian sculptor born in Budapest. Her landscape (or terrain) sculpture art illustrates the contact of bronze, water and sand. She combines her constructions with living plants and moss. Her works represent the elements, objects and characteristic details of reality, little extracts from the real world deprived of their own context. She gives new meaning to the traditional categories of sculpture by actualizing her special interpretation of mass and space. The variability of her sculpture art always invites the viewer for a more recent spatial and sculptural experience by frame the material and virtual space in a unique way. The alternation of bronze surfaces, the mysterious, flickering lights and light-shadow phenomena among all the individual compartments emphasize the complexity of landscape sculptures and cut-out urban configurations. The tiny, modeled structures of urban buildings, the railroad platforms, overpasses depicted in an allegorical, lyrical way are just waiting for the viewers to reveal their personal thoughts and stories behind all the lights of urban landscapes.
In the case of all four artists, a positive approach to urban environments is presented in their artworks, resulting from a harmony of idea and form in every exhibited piece.

On view till November 30th.
LATARKA Gallery, Andrássy út 32.