Péter Szarka


Venue: acb Plus
Date: Sep 15 – Oct 20, 2023
Opening: Sep 14, 2023, 18:00–21:00

Péter Szarka (1964) presents his latest paintings in a solo exhibition in the space of acb Plus. One of the most striking formal peculiarities of Szarka’s brand new painting program is that he creates his pieces by stitching together canvases of different sizes and thicknesses. The playful title of the exhibition also reflects the composition of the images, which are mostly made up of four elements, but the word quad refers not only to the four-wheeler, an off-road vehicle, but also to the quadrangular courtyard or the prison.

Szarka’s new paintings are characterized as much by powerful, instinctive painterly expressiveness as by a conceptuality that reinforces the variability and modularity of the works and maximizes the role of chance in their creation. From time to time, Szarka’s painterly thinking also appears in his oeuvre in terms of media, his new paintings being linked in many ways to his series from 2012/2013, in which he also used egg tempera. However, the artist’s new paintings are in some respects more expressive, more abstract, less referential and freer, as Szarka is constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials. 

Péter Szarka’s art is based on the integration of pairs of opposites: his surfaces can accommodate the most lasting and also timeless technique of egg tempera, which has been used for centuries on panel paintings, while at the same time silicone and spray paint make their mark on his surfaces as the most prominent attributes of our time. Yet perhaps the most enduring role in Szarka’s painting is that of the axonometric representation of polygons.

Péter Szarka became known as a founding member of the Újlak Group at the time of the regime change. His last institutional solo exhibition was at Trafó Gallery in 2017, and before that at Liget Gallery in 2015, before which he had exhibited at Műcsarnok, Ludwig Museum, MODEM in Debrecen, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Dunaújváros, and the Szombathely Gallery. Szarka also participated in the 2004 São Paulo Biennale and in a group exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. With the Újlak Group, he has exhibited at Art in General in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.

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