Zsófia Antalka & Zsófia Keresztes: Minotaur

Venue: acb Plus
Date: Mar 19 – Apr 19, 2024
Opening: Mar 14, 2024, 18:00–21:00

Zsófia Keresztes (1985) and Zsófia Antalka (1994) have composed their unique duo exhibition, especially for the space of acb Plus. Titled Minotaur, it marks Keresztes' second exhibition and Antalka's debut at the acb Gallery. Despite employing different mediums, their attention to intricate details on their surfaces provides a common ground for their works. Keresztes is renowned for her vibrant, one-of-a-kind mosaics adorning sculptures, while Antalka crafts monumental curtains from tiny beads. The sculptures of Keresztes seem to be monolitic, earth-bound idols, which are defined by their weight, while the pearl compositions of Antalka stand for the illusion of the ethereal. Although the two artists are practicising in very different registers, on the occasion of their joint exhibition they have started a very delicate artistic dialogue and their consonances organically dissolve their opposites

The two artists didn’t simply reflect on the same topics, they collaborated as well on the creation of joint artworks. Central to their exploration is the labyrinth of Knossos from Greek mythology and the enigmatic Minotaur confined within it. By appropriating this mythological backdrop, historically associated with masculine aggression, the artists infuse it with feminine perspectives, reimagining the labyrinth as a symbolic realm of female roles. The maze is an important symbol of the contemporary feminist discourse,

The half bull, half human Minotaur isn’t concretely represented in the gallery space, but the logic of the exhibition is built upon the contrasts of his figure. The artists counterbalance the aggressive characteristics of the mythical being with refined technical solutions. Many of the new sculptures of Keresztes transform the traditionally masculine motif of the tie and collar into female symbols, such as head scarfs and mermaids. The monumental yet subtle pearl curtain of Zsófia Antalka is a snarling denture, which dominates the whole view of the gallery. The howling gorge relief behind the curtain is also strengthening this interpretation of the piece. 

Contrasts define the new set of colors of the joint works as well. The combination of red and blue radiates even from the joints of the sculptures of Zsófia Keresztes, this dominates as well the pearl curtains of Zsófia Antalka. The red and blue crinolettes modelled by Zsófia Keresztes are filled from the inside with the curtains of Zsófia Antalka which seem to be. The crinolettes in the exhibition space can be read as well a subconscious stalagmite of female representation.

The exhibited works of Zsófia Keresztes and Zsófia Antalka are paralelly focusing on contrasts, consonances, on aggresion and delicacy, on mania and repression, but most importantly on the importance of dialogues and balance. The further and more profoundly we roam in the labyrinth of the gallery space, the less it seems that there is any opposition, which can’t be resolved with the dynamics of consonace.

Zsófia Keresztes (1985) has become one of the most internationally known artists of her generation, she has represented Hungary at the Venice Biennale in 2022. She also participated at the Lyon, Timisoara and Ljubljana Biennals, and also at the Baltic Triennale in Vilnius. Zsófia Antalka (1994) graduated at the painting department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, just like Zsófia Keresztes earlier. So far during her career, her works have been exhibited in such instituions as Q Contemporary, Budapest, Studio Gallery, or right now at the ISBN Gallery.

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