Beauty and the Beast
10 September 2008 – 3 October 2008

Fiction and reality, the narrative of the frames and a personal life story fuse in Ágnes Szépfalvi's latest sequence, which deals with the relationship of man and woman – as the title reveals it.The myth of beauty and the beast dates back to the antiquity, when satyrs and nymphs were chasing about in the groves of imagination. This half-man, half-beast figure, the inseparable supplement of the woman idealized as beauty, appears on a drawing and on the background wall of a self-portrait painted in a rococo palace. The perfection of the ominous, overstrained charm and the ideal, harmonious scenes carry a suppressed tension, while the postures and facial expressions keep secrets. There is always a symbolic animal next to the beautiful women of idillic scenes - a tiger, a horse, or King Kong itself of an early blood-curdler.

Szépfalvi's characteristic narration and her storyboard-like presentation marks her new works too – although they do not make a close-knit story, they relate the same. Once again, the paintings and drawings are median derivations, personal and found photos, images of family members and actresses. The representation of desired beauty, the well-painted image full of tension creates a distance between the audience and the portrayed ones, where the subject, the personality is mere fiction, and thus, Szépfalvi's paintings become the part of modern picture criticism, and in a very allegoric language, the experimental maps of human relations.

Muladi Brigitta

art historian,curator of the exhibition