Czene Márta: Tradition Transmitter-Receiver17 January 2007 – 17 February 2007
Some give it, some get it. The Latin root of tradition means transmission, the transmission of tradition. The relation to tradition is diverse, there's traditionalist, tradition-creator, tradition-breaking, bequeathing, lacking tradition, forgotten tradition, forsaken tradition, progressive tradition, ancient tradition, false tradition, true tradition, sacral tradition etc. Today's late-postmodern spiritual space has the different ways of handling tradition in abundance: the anti-modernist eclecticism of Las Vegas (that was first poetised by Robert Venturi), or the postmodern, dispassionately cynical but undisguised, nostalgic historism lives on, while the honest new traditionalism also conquers. This corner of the artistic scene is far away from the hard avantgarde of our days. This is aristocratic art, with some conceptual overtone: instead of destruction, it preserves, instead of searching, it continues, instead of forgetting, it transmits. The soft pollen of the past is on it, very honestly and seriously. And the most thought-provoking thing is that it is done not by stubborn antediluvians, but by virtuous and honest young painters! Attila Kondor, searching for the classical picturesqueness of urban scenery, Viktor Surman, contemplating the geometric beauty of the mediaeval sewers, or Márta Czene, making use of the imagery of icons, still-lifes and advertisements. Their paintings unite on the latest exhibition of the INDA Gallery.
Attila Kondor (1974) is a pillar of the so-called radical neoconservative (János Sturcz) Sensaria society of painters, that undertakes the inheritance of classical painting. In the middle of the nineties, he discovered the broken tradition of the conventional genres (still-life, landscape) as a college-student. With many of his partners - within the frames of a solid aesthetic revolution -, he drew back to the painting and intellectual quality of the classical ages, trying to reconstruct the long-gone Unity. He's looking for this spiritual and vocational completeness in all his pictures, in the gardens of Roman villas, in the roots of the secret, night-time stairs, in the frontal ornaments of the downtown palaces, and also in the prefabricated houses of the Gazdagrét housing estate.
Viktor Surman (1976) is not interested in urban details, he pays attention to whole streets. With indefinite exactitude - just like the glassman of The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain -, he draws the complex architecture of the houses trimming the mediaeval sewers onto his canvases. He travels in his mind, he gets to the red-bricked northern towns or Venice on the wings of imagination (or rather, photos), in order to find the ideal motif. He doesn't much care for the characters, his urban scenes are just as cold and strict as the works of the baroque architecture-painters. However, the mathematical order is saturated with a steamy, whitish mist of the sorrow of nonexistence and improbability.
Márta Czene (1982) is from a realist painter family, already engaged with tradition as the student of the College of Fine Arts. Like the ocean-going pianist of Alessandro Baricco's novelette, instead of indefinite variations she chooses the classical keyboard. In spite of her youth, she is very confident in handling the conventional techniques, from the aged gilding, through the eye-catching trompe d'oeil, to the photo-naturalism. With her steady professional knowledge, sometimes she creates a postmodern collection of quotations, and sometimes a nostalgic still-life or an alienated commercial paraphrase.
Rieder, Gáborart historian, curator of the exhibitionBACK