Mátyás Erményi

Dusty Doodles

Venue: acb Plus
Date: Nov 04 – Dec 09, 2022

Mátyás Erményi (1992) earned a master’s degree in painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2017. In the summer of 2020, he found the motif that, to present, has constituted a central element of his drawing-like figurative paintings. Trees have become an important aesthetic reference in his canvas paintings, evoking the visuality of animated films originating from Central Eastern Europe. The protagonists of Erményi’s paintings emerged from the background of cartoons and illustrated fairytales. Taking staffage as a starting point, the artist’s imagination translates these figures into the foundations of a private mythology. 

Visitors to Erményi’s first large-scale solo exhibition at acb Plus will find his art enriched with a new set of motifs: the artist has undertaken to create works on a larger scale than ever before, while also breaking out of his previously observed framework and boundaries in terms of style and painting technique. The trees that form such an integral part of Erményi’s experimental paintings are complemented by his newly appearing cockle stoves, cobwebs and stormy skies. Another elemental novelty of the artist’s linear compositions – which continue to display a drawn-like effect – shows up in his stove paintings: Erményi blends his hitherto purely cartoon-like figuration with instinctively developed abstract geometric patterns. His works reveal fragments and the object culture of the recent past from a child’s perspective, without evoking nostalgic feelings. The basic set of emotional associations in these paintings is based on ambivalent dichotomies, in which kindness and fear, cuteness and melancholy – concepts that have served as the basis of socialisation for multiple Eastern European generations over the past decades – are simultaneously present. Following his acb debut earlier this year, Mátyás Erményi participated in MODEM’s travelling group exhibition, which had the Budapest Gallery as one of its venues. This year, in addition to a solo exhibition at the New Irokéz Gallery in Szombathely, the artist’s first solo show abroad also opened a few weeks ago in Hong Kong, at the Double Q Gallery.

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