1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158. (ground floor)
24 February – 23 April 2023
Dalma Eszter Kollár
23 February 2023 (Thursday) 6 pm
Asterion, the title of the exhibition, is a male name borrowed from Greek mythology. Asterion was the illegitimate child of Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos of Crete, born of an affair with a snow-white bull. Although given a human name at birth, the hybrid creature was never allowed to live freely as a human. The embodiment of being misjudged, of otherness, masculinity and animal instincts, he is best known to us as the Minotaur.
The paintings of Ádám Dallos (1986) often evoke mythological creatures. The naked men in his works, joined by symbolic animals of fairy tales, speak of desire, masculinity, dominant-submissive relationships. His compositions of garish colours with reddish hues celebrate physicality and unashamedly place the spectator into the perspective of the male gaze directed at men. In his most recent paintings, not only does the human figure interact with animals, but also merges with them to live on as a hybrid creature, in unity.
Although primarily known for his geometric paintings, Károly Hopp-Halász (1946-2016) has also made significant use of photography, performance and photographic action in his work. The themes of his longing for abroad, his relationship with the international art scene and his isolation were present throughout his entire oeuvre of private mythology, as were his search for identity and self-censorship. Presented now for the first time, his photographic action and his never published photographic works from the last years of his life refer back to his earlier works (Open Geometry, Modulated Television, Trampled Pictures) and, perhaps more boldly and openly than any other work we have seen from him, depict the male body as an object of desire, the subordination of the spectated to the spectator.
In 2016, the two artists planned a joint exhibition on the ground floor of the Budapest Gallery, which was never realised. Other than taking place at the venue planned seven years ago, the current exhibition highlights the common motifs in the work of the two artists (e.g. Rudas Bath) and speaks openly about homosexuality, which is repressed and even demonised to varying degrees under different political regimes in Hungary. This exhibition lets the ‘monster’ out of the labyrinth and gives it back its name.
Photos: Tamás Juhász G.