Zoltán Ádám

Solo exhibition

Venue: acb Gallery
Date: Mar 11 – Apr 08, 2011

Zoltán Ádám’s latest pieces have many new qualities to offer to those who have followed his work. Each of the exhibited works drew its inspiration from places – and the ambience associated with these places – that are far removed from Ádám’s everyday life. The weekly trips to – and stays in – Pécs necessitated by Ádám’s teaching activities, along with his time spent in the Artist Colony of Pálfa, signified a breaking away – both spatially and temporally – from the (in his experience) oppressive milieu of Budapest. This, in turn, has resulted in fresh, dynamic material consisting of several series and comprising a number of media, which, through its language of form and colour, communicates the kind of ease that comes from an experience of freedom and release.
In addition to the paintings that represent the main body of Zoltán Ádám’s work, the exhibition also presents the photo documentation of his site-specific mural works from Pécs, along with a rich collection of graphics and an installation made specifically for the gallery.    
The paintings – ranging in dimensions from palm-size to 2x2m – address two intensive experiences: that of the long train journeys – an experience varied even in its monotony –
and the unusual environmental and atmospheric effects of the time spent in the Artist Colony of Pálfa.
The experience of freedom in breaking away from the city manifests in clear and striking colours, the use of few and simple motifs, and attempts at loosening the strictness of rectangular panel paintings. The themes of the paintings include such (perhaps sometimes incidental, but still uniquely meaningful) elements as the parallels of railroad tracks and train wheels, the characteristic roofs of peasant houses in the countryside, fences, crosses by the roadside, and carefully cultivated plough lands – observed at times from close up, at other times from a distance –, prompting meditation, or even just immersion in a mood, in anyone seeking voluntary exile from the city. The experiential material that served as a basis for the oil paintings can also be detected in the (parallelly created) drawing and watercolour series. These give a first-hand impression of what manifests in a more concentrated, condensed form in the paintings.
In connection with the establishment of the new cultural district of Pécs, the artist has had a number of opportunities to create mural works on disintegrating brick walls during the past two decades. These works are reminiscent of Ádám’s installation activities from the 90s, thereby revealing a side to him that is less familiar to most visitors. The photo documentation of these site-specific works is also exhibited at the acb Gallery. 

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