Gábor Roskó

The Damned Hope

Venue: acb Gallery
Date: Jan 15 – Feb 26, 2015

Gábor Roskó presents his latest paintings and a ceramic installation at his solo exhibition. Though Rosko’s new works are attached in many ways to his characteristic painting universe, they show a significant alteration to his earlier works. The new, larger scaled compositions avoid narrativity, they are rather based on signs and the connections between them. As before, the roots of the motifs are the visual topoi of the universal human culture, supplemented with everyday household objects. There is a peculiar, anthropomorphic formation recurring on several paintings, which Roskó also realized in a three-dimensional form, as a ceramic installation. The paintings stylistically also differ from the earlier works: the motivically reduced toolbar is paired with a rough, loose, slim layered painting style.

Roskó, having started out as a painter in the 1980s, by the end of the decade, also extended his artistic scope to the media of ceramics and graphics. His figurative works, in all three genres, build on the (physical or intellectual) reality of his own age. Filtered, as they are, through a subjective, allegorical-ironic mode of expression peppered with references drawn from varied historical traditions, these pieces stand before the viewer as enigmatic, timeless works of art. In addition to the Jewish tradition, his historical references include the visual and literary (primarily mythical and fabulistic) heritage of a number of ancient cultures: aside from the cultures of the Mediterranean Sea, the legacies of the Middle and Far East also provide key sources for Roskó’s work. In his paintings and graphics, he often places animals and human beings (real people or mythical and literary characters), as well as their hybrids (e.g. animal-headed humans) in a surreal scene. In other instances, he arranges human, animal, plant, or object motifs into emblem-like, closed compositions, as is also characteristic of the visual world of his ceramics. Text is an important element of his works, sometimes appearing in the form of captions, at other times relating to the visual content as the title of the artwork, thereby providing a point of reference and further possible layers of interpretation (even if by the relativization or alienation of the visual content). While relativizing the present through various means, Gábor Roskó’s works engage such issues as anti-Semitism and Colonialism in their varied forms, as well as national (identity) politics. The works, which transport these topics (often stances) into a visual world permeated by symbols, allegories, and irony, prompt their viewers to think and form associations, while also testing their views on fiction, reality, private history, and ideology.

Supported by NKA.


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