Concept Conception Extracts

Exhibition of the Vasarely Museum

28 February 2008 - 28 March 2008

Recent years have seen a renaissance of concept art all over the world, and here in Hungary too. Studies, conferences, symposiums and exhibitions have been exploring and trying to define the shift in artistic trends and approaches which began in the 1960s in the USA and soon spread to all the five continents infusing and incorporating earlier trends. While this academic interest picked up only some years ago, from the 1970s onwards the work of generations of artists has been built on the intermediating aspect of conceptuality, and conceptual purity has become an expectation in traditional genres, too.

Dóra Maurer ,"Confusing space", 1972,
Chapel Studio of György Galántai, Balatonboglár, (photo)

The exhibition presents concept art in Hungary, which has seen an uninterrupted presence and has undergone several transformations since its emergence in "Eastern Europe". The organisers did not seek to impose on visitors any particular system in arranging the material but rather wish to extend an open invitation to explore the thematic and logical links between the displayed works. As with other exhibitions staged by the Museum of Fine Arts, the international background to the works of Hungarian artists is outlined by displaying works of international artists from Hungarian private collections. The exhibition did not strive to present comprehensive material of concept art but it was an important guideline to portray a diverse picture of this art form by including not only well-known works but also some rare ones and some that the public have never had the chance to see before. Among the displayed works are some unusual assemblages, such as the almost entire collection comprising DIN A/4 sheets made by Neo-Avant-Garde artists, who emerged in the 1970s. The collection, which was assembled from works submitted on the theme of IDEA – "artwork=the documentation of an idea" in response to an invitation by László Beke in 1971, has been a kind of legend even in professional circles and has up to now been seen by very few people since its creation.

The exhibition is the sixth of its kind which the Open Structures Art Society has organised in the museum in Óbuda. The objective of the joint project of the Museum of Fine Arts and OSAS is to make the Vasarely Museum into a new forum of Hungarian and international art and create a community space which can successfully mediate the values of contemporary art to the wider audience. OSAS was established in February 2006 in Budapest as an independent initiative of artists acting as private individuals with a two-fold objective: to have a forum for themselves and their works and to engage artists of the older generation in an extended dialogue.

Vasarely Museum
Szentlélek tér 6, 1033 Budapest
Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 17.30
Closed on Mondays
Telephone: +36 1 388 7551
Fax: + 36 1 250 1540