Róbert Batykó

Every Bite is a Story

Venue: acb Attachment
Date: Jan 13 – Feb 24, 2023
Opening: Jan 12, 2023, 18:00–21:00

Róbert Batykó (1981) presents a selection from his latest series of collages in his solo exhibition at acb Attachment. The artist embarked on the creation of this group of works in 2022, in parallel with his painting program. In recent years, Batykó has exhibited relatively few works on paper, as due to his work method, the preliminary studies for his paintings are typically created on a computer. A special feature of the artist’s new collages is their material, which includes food and pharmaceutical packaging, as well as fragments of VHS tape and vinyl covers. These collages are also associated with Róbert Batykó’s painting program owing to the use of these materials, as they already appeared in his 2015 ̶ 2016 series of packaging materials. The new works also continue the increasingly playful figurativeness of Batykó’s 2022 painting cycle, and in some respects recall the artist’s earlier series of paintings thematizing trash (2010-2014). Perhaps the collages mark a shift in Batykó’s art inasmuch as, after strong digital inspirations, the artist seems to be turning back to analogue, tangible materials, which require a different compositional approach than before.

After monumental paintings and painterly gestures, the new works bring back more detailed, experimental forms to the oeuvre of the artist. Already in earlier stages of his career, Róbert Batykó has inserted thematically and medially more limited mini-series into the bigger arch of his artistic practice. One such cycle was the Untitled (C. series) which focused on the abstract geometrical aspect of backdoors of lorries or the series which recontextualized speech bubbles of comic strips and cartoons, while his smaller-scale paintings used his collection of old typographical sets. These earlier mini-cycles reflect also on the hypnotic visual power of consumer culture, which is the other main driving force behind the general aspect of Batykó's art along with the reflection on digital image making. It seems though that the new collages tend a bit more towards playful figurativeness inspired by children's drawings and comics instead of the raw beauty of industrial forms or various approaches of photorealism. The multiple-recycled materials create webs of interconnected systems of motives: besides the private mythology of junk food and old-school UFOs, many other figures and forms join the interplay of the new contexts of the collages.    

In 2022, Róbert Batykó’s paintings were acquired by such Hungarian public collections as the Hungarian National Gallery and the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art. His catalog, associated with Batykó's 2021 retrospective exhibition Zoompark at the Paks Gallery, covers most of the artist's oeuvre and was published by acb Gallery in 2022. Batykó also exhibited several of his works in the highly publicized group exhibition New Mediations at MODEM, Debrecen in 2022. 

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