Katalin Nádor


Venue: acb Attachment
Date: Mar 10 – Apr 21, 2023
Opening: Mar 09, 2023, 18:00–21:00

Katalin Nádor (1938-2018) was known as the photographer of the Janus Pannonius Museum in Pécs where she worked for decades, until 2019, the date of her first ever solo exhibition organised by acb Gallery. Her name was also associated with the documentation of performances, land art interventions and exhibitions realized by the Pécs Workshop members. The first institutional survey exhibition of her work was organised in Robert Capa Contemporary Photographic Center in 2019, which marked a milestone in the reception of her autonomous artistic practice. The newest exhibition of Katalin Nádor unfolding in the space of acb Attachment reveals a new layer of the independent, experimental, lyrical abstract photographical work she developed in parallel in the course of the sixties and seventies. It clearly demonstrates how her practice is rooted in the visual heritage of György Kepes’ and László Moholy-Nagy’s photography, and reflects on the contemporary, new constructivist, geometric artistic endeavours of the Pécs art scene. Her photograms, graphical still-life analyses reveal a sensitive, singular artistic perspective that examines the aesthetical relation and reciprocity between nature and architecture, landscape and object through the lens of abstract photography.

The exhibition Transparences unveils a small facet of Katalin Nádor’s unwavering intention to highlight the unity of the world through its details. Operating with formal associations, the featured works retrace Nádor’s visual journey from capturing clearly recognizable natural motifs – clouds, trees, flowers – to abstract compositions playing with layers of geometric folds and transparencies. In the latter, she often used the methods of stacking, magnifying and strong lighting in order to obscure the subject of the photograph and blur the border distinguishing photograms and photographs. Between the figurative and abstract realms, the viewer follows the development of the artist’s experimental vision and approach, in which images are transposed in negative, developed several times, superposed and mirroring each other in other to expand the relationship between surface and shape.

Katalin Nádor’s secret artistic life reflected the life of creative women working in rural Hungary during the years of Socialism: her work as an artist evolved quietly, without any attention or acknowledgment from the professional scene, in spite of her peculiar, sensual experimentations, and the unique subjective abstraction characteristic of her photographs. As a result of her recent professional recognition, her works have integrated the collection of Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2019, and have been the subject of study in the frame of a research program initiated jointly by Centre Pompidou and Aware Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, Paris in 2020, at the occasion of the exhibition Elles font l’Abstraction that aimed to write the history of the contributions of women artists to abstraction in the twentieth century.

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