Karoly Keseru's exhibition at Varfok Gallery, 2016
A guide to Budapest’s contemporary art galleries
In September, not long after Gallery Weekend Budapest, Arterritory.com illuminated its readers on four Budapest galleries that were participating in the viennacontemporary international contemporary art fair that was going on at the time.
Nothing, however, came to an end along with the autumn series of art fairs, and a number of promising contemporary art galleries in Budapest continue to march forward with exhibition programs and livening up the contemporary art scene in the Hungarian capital.
The following is a concise guide to six Budapest galleries (for more, click on the above link).
One of the first contemporary art galleries in Hungary, Várfok Gallery turned the ripe old age of 26 this autumn. Attesting to the gallery’s eminence is its list of represented artists, which is topped by the legendary Hungarian artist and winner of the Kossuth Prize, El Kasovsky (1948-2008). Kasovsky was a transgendered artist and one of Várfok Gallery’s first exhibitors in 1991; up until his death in 2008, he had a total of 16 solo exhibitions at the gallery.
Roland Kazi's exhibition at Project Room
The gallery has three main exhibition spaces. The main one, 200 m2 in size, is a white cube space that, with movable walls and a modern, professional light and sound system, provides a cutting-edge exhibition venue. There’s also an extensive art library and storage facilities. Right across the street from the main space is the smaller Project Room; located partly underground, it once served as the gallery’s original home. Guest artists and emerging artists are exhibited in Project Room, while the main space is reserved as a platform for more established artists and local presentations. Várfok Gallery has virtually taken over the whole right side of Várfok Street and created a sort of open-air gallery – purpose-built glass cases containing artworks bring art directly to the public in the street.
János Szirtes' performance
Várfok Gallery’s artists’ circle is currently comprised of some 23 members who are mainly painters and photographers. Included are world-renowned painters and photographers such as 95-year-old legendary French artist Françoise Gilot, Romanian-bornHungarian photographer Péter Korniss, and Russian-born El Kazovszkij. Also well represented is a new generation of recently established artists: Ádám Hollós, Roland Kazi, Mátyás Misetics, János Szirtes, and Anna Nemes, among others.
Várfok Gallery’s participation in international contemporary art fairs began in 1998, principally favoring French, Swiss and German fairs. Over the years, the gallery has participated in such prestigious fairs as FIAC, ARCO, and Kunst Zürich, and has shown several times in Cologne at Kunst Köln and Cologne Fine Art. In 2009 the gallery showed at ArtVilnius, the first international contemporary art fair in the Baltic States; in 2013 – at the Art Paris art fair, and in 2014 and 2015 – at Art KARLSRUHE. www.varfok-gallery.eu
Deák Erika Galéria
The Gallery is located on Nagymező utca, Budapest’s version of the “Broadway” theater district. It just turned 18 years old, and tirelessly promotes both young and established progressive Hungarian and international art, in all mediums.
Zsofia Keresztes. Installation view, 2015
Attila Szűcs, one of the most influential painters of his generation, will have a retrospective exhibition in the Ludwig Museum this winter (16 December 2016 – 19 February 2017), and his monograph will be published by Hatje Cantz for the occasion.
Moldavian Alexander Tinei has been featured in several books on contemporary painting, such as Vitamin P by Phaidon, and has had exhibitions in Europe and the US.
Young Zsófia Keresztes became internationally known for her beautiful and large paper installations.
In terms of international artists, the gallery has been working with German artist EIKE, Romanian artist Andrea Tivadar, the Spanish media guru Antoni Muntadas, and Russian artist Vitaly Pushnitsky for many years now.
Alexander Tinei. First marriage, 2015
The gallery has exhibited at Art Forum Berlin, viennacontemporary, Arte Fiera, Art Cologne, and Volta Basel, among others. Exhibition program 2016
The gallery will feature solo shows for its artists, as well two international groups shows for women artists.www.deakgaleria.hu
Founded in 2006, INDA gallery’s main line of work is representing contemporary artists whose careers began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, shortly before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Contemporaries of the Young British Artists, Róza El-Hassan, Balázs Kicsiny, Marianne Csáky, and Ilona Lovas soon became the representative members of the great generation of the 1990s and 2000s. Over the past few years, in addition to this main group, INDA has also been increasingly striving to embrace young talent from the Hungarian and international scenes (Polish, Indian, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovak, Swedish).
Csáky Marianne. Letter sculpture M, 2013
Highlighted artists: Róza El-Hassan, Balázs Kicsiny, Marianne Csáky, Ágnes Eperjesi, and Agnieszka Grodzinska. Fairs
The gallery has attended Art Dubai, FIAC, VOLTA NY, Arte Fiera, Art Karlsruhe, ViennaFair, Photo Fever, and Art Market Budapest, among others. www.indagaleria.hu
Opened in 2012, Trapéz Galéria aims to present excellent contemporary artists, and to support artistic practices that are already founded or are developing, and that straddle the border between commitment to research and dynamic experimenting.
The gallery’s exhibitions offer opportunity for the creation of new artistic productions. Projects that grasp the possibilities offered by the classic exhibition space have the same important role as the more experimental ones, and are built on the supposition of the white cube.
László Lakner. I put on The Shape of the Stairs, 1971
Csilla Klenyánszki, László Lakner, Péter Puklus, Andi Schmied, and Beatrix Szörényi – are artists represented by Trapéz.
Also collaborating with the gallery in its exhibition programs over the last several years are István Csákány (who was introduced at dOCUMENTA (13)), Iza Tarasewicz (the winner of the “View 2015-Deutsche Bank Award”), and Damir Očko (who exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale).
The gallery regularly attends viennacontemporary, Art Brussels, and Art Rotterdam. www.trpz.hu
NextArt Gallery was opened in 2007 by Orsolya Németh, and since then it has been dedicated to promoting fresh and edgy contemporary art from the region. Since its opening, the gallery has been keen on searching for and representing artists who create in a whole range of mediums – from painting, photography and sculpture, to installations and video art – and showcasing their works both locally and internationally.
Moreover, the gallery creates a platform for creative minds to meet in order for ideas and practices to be developed and implemented.
A highlight among the artists represented by the gallery isGéza Szöllősi, whose last exhibition, “KITIN: Handmade Hollywood”, showcased sculptures made from insects embedded in resin. Szöllősi is able to get the deepest of gut reactions from the viewer – whether it be with his insect sculptures, taxidermy series, or sculptures made from flesh.
Szöllősi Géza in a DECADENCE NOW exhibition
The gallery has attended Budapest Art Fair, Art Cologne, and Art Vilnius. Every year the gallery participates in Art Market Budapest, since the fair’s very beginnings in 2011. In 2011 the gallery was invited to participate in Scope New York, and it has also participated in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Scope Art Show Miami Beach.nextartgaleria.hu
Horizont Gallery was established in 2015 by arts manager Balázs Arató. Building on an in-depth knowledge of the local art scene, as well as on experience and an established network gained from Inventio Arts, Horizont Gallery aims to work together with emerging and mid-career Hungarian and international artists. The gallery’s main objective is to introduce, manage and establish progressive artists – those who primarily work with the mediums of painting, installation, and new media – on the Hungarian and European art scenes. Various functions of the gallery reach beyond the borders of Hungary, such as representing artists at art fairs, exhibitions, and other artistic initiatives.
Kristof Gabor. Offsetting exhibition view, 2015
Besides commercial functions, the Horizont Gallery operates as an art-intermediary, organizing guided exhibition tours, thematic finissages, discussions, and art-education programs. The mission of the gallery is to provide professional and articulate insight into the current tendencies of contemporary art, while contributing to the strengthening of an emerging local collectors circle. Alongside solo and group exhibitions, Horizont Gallery’s program includes thematically curated exhibitions that reflect on defining theoretical discourses of contemporary art and culture. Furthermore, the openness towards experimental artistic initiatives and formats makes the gallery an appropriate space for performative artistic practices.
Joseph Tasnádi. Joyride installation, 2015
Gábor Kristóf, Gábor Erdélyi, Joseph Tasnádi, Botond Keresztesi.
The gallery is new and young, and has only been to Art Market Budapest 2015 so far. It will submit applications for next spring’s ArtCologne and ArtBrussels. www.horizontgaleria.hu/en