Csaba Nemes

Making Painting

Venue: acb Plus
Date: Jan 12 – Feb 23, 2024
Opening: Jan 11, 2024, 18:00–21:00

The debut solo exhibition of Csaba Nemes (1966) opens the series of exhibitions in 2024 in acb Plus, which is a space dedicated for showcasing large scale works. Csaba Nemes is one of the most active members of the Hungarian contemporary art scene since the early 1990s, with countless international and local institutional exhibitions behind his back, in 2020 he radically redefined his own art practice, and ever since he is working according to an abstract painting program. In 2020 a painting series entitled Greyscale, which was focusing on completetly abstract tonal plays of the grey color completely substituted the previous painting practice of the artist, which was based on photorealism and on reflecting on social and political questions. 

The selection of the exhibition is based on the two freshest series of the artist, Making Painting from 2023 and Appearance from 2022. Both cycles are based on free, improvisative, visceral painterly gestures, which are characterised by thick layering of paint, and scraping and carving as well, in many ways the works are based on compositions focusing on opposites, counterparts, but both series are connected to each other furthermore. The leitmotifs of the paintings of Nemes, such as the arrows, vectors, which are leading nowhere, the scraped square grid, and brick walls appear in both featured series. These motifs which are resurfacing, are never concrete reference on the canvases of the of the artist, they are more given self-referential signs related to abstract painting.

The playfull abstraction of Nemes, which he adresses as provisional painting, positions him in a row of such contemporary painters as Stanley Whitney, Joe Bradley or the french Support/Surface group, which was founded in the 1960s. Provisional painting is based on fresh, improvisational painting gestures, which result many surfaces on each piece, which invite the viewer for unexpected pianterly adventures and interplays. Painting itself is in focus on the paintings of Nemes, his brushstrokes become the protagonists of his images. The artworks which often feature repetitive patterns are centered around the phisicality of paint, and not around the spatial illusion created by it. Furthermore the new works are reconnecting to a very early stage of the career of Nemes in the 1990s, where he experimented with his own reflection on the local gesture painting of the 1980s. The medially ever renewing practice of Nemes, which incorporated many radical shifts in the past decades, and also his dedication towards critical topics gravitates his oeuvre towards such figures as the late Ákos Birkás.

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