Zoltán Ádám

New paintings

Venue: acb Gallery
Date: Mar 20 – Apr 12, 2003

Zoltán Ádám's new paintings represent Gipsy people. These portraits came from amateur photographs given to the artists by family members. The painterly style of Ádám preserves the momentary nature of the snapshots and transforms them into a mythological time. Ádám meditates for days or even weeks on each of the faces represented by the photos. The painted faces are sketchy and roughly outlined, but Ádám avoids creating caricatures or impressionistic sketches. The faces he laid on the canvas with oil painting are ethnographically precise representations of contemporary Gipsy people but owing to the artist's style they are projections of his visions at the same time. On the larger surfaces with meticulous calligraphy, Ádám paints textile patterns, consisting of thin lines, radial lines and texts that make a layer 'above'; the face that serves as the basis of the picture, giving it a particular meaning. Ádám's style is well-known since the late 1990s. These Gipsy portraits are characters of a never-told myth and linked to the traditions of icon-painting of Christian Europe.

The portraits represent the key elements of the person whose face appears on the canvas. Even though we have no information about the person, for the viewer it is obvious that he or she is part of a narrative, more precisely: private, unknown mythology. The attention paid to the subject of the picture, the simplified construction and the emotional range of the works is just as intensive as in the case of Ádám's earlier works, the Tibetian Portraits. The artistic concept represented by Ádám is an outstanding, mature, style creating example of the wave of painting that gathered momentum in the second part of the 90s and the present years in Hungary.

The exhibition is sponsored by HUNGART and the National Cultural Fund of Hungary.

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