City guide

7 exceptional Budapest gallery exhibitions for autumn 2018

Photo : Courtesy of Attila Szűcs

From a thought-provoking installation inspired by the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to paintings by a living legend of European 20th-century art to a photo project that subverts stereotypes by capturing giant billboards of nearly naked women from surreal perspectives, several fascinating exhibitions await viewers across Budapest this autumn – and all of them welcome everyone for free. View assorted artworks by Hungarian and international visionaries for no entry fee at these current Budapest gallery shows.

Sarah Fonzi: “Elevator Conformity”

Photo: Dávid Bíró/Courtesy of Horizont Gallery

Plaster castings envelop the vital societal role of reproduction in the works of Buffalo-based American artist Sarah Fonzi, whose newest sculptures are now on view in Budapest. Fonzi’s collection of modern-day fertility figures draws on the same theme of such sculptures discovered from throughout human history, with her contemporary versions containing architectural elements, mass-produced items, and varied textiles. By presenting her statues with no colouration, the artist encourages viewers to look deeper into their three-dimensional components and interpret their narrative more freely.


Where: Horizont Gallery – District VI. Zichy Jenő utca 32

Open: Until Sept 22, Tue-Fri 2pm-7pm, Sat 2pm-6pm. Sept 24-29 by appointment.


Norbert Juhász: “The Big Sexy”

Photo: Courtesy of Norbert Juhász

Advertisements certainly have an outsized influence on the public perception of what defines a “perfect” body image, but former We Love Budapest staff photographer Norbert Juhász presents an intriguingly surreal perspective on this topic in a new exhibition examining gigantic billboards of nearly naked women. To highlight the absurdity of these storeys-tall images of models wearing swimsuits and underwear, Juhász took photos of their humongous ads from unusual angles and with odd juxtapositions to the buildings that they are mounted on, humorously defying unfair stereotypes of female beauty.


Where: BRFK Gallery – District VIII. Víg utca 20

Open: Until Oct 3 by appointment. See the exhibition’s Facebook event info or call +36 20 375 5078 for more information.


Dora Kontha: “dreamland”

Photo: Courtesy of TOBE Gallery

Expired rolls of 35mm film produce erratically appealing colours, patterns and shapes in this new exhibition of otherworldly scenery by Copenhagen-based photographer Dora Kontha. The artist creates imagined universes to fulfil her escapist longings for illusory settings that she cannot find in real-life surroundings, layering her compositions with distorted landscapes and everyday subjects to share internal visions with viewers in vivid hues. These experimental works present novel ways to utilise analog photography in unpredictable ways that could never be imitated by digital imagery.


Where: TOBE Gallery – District VIII. Bródy Sándor utca 36

Open: Until Oct 13, Wed-Fri 2pm-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm.


János Fodor: “Videnda”

Photo: Courtesy of Kisterem Gallery

Combining a 20th-century pop-art mentality with humorous cartoon culture and ordinarily overlooked urban objects, Hungarian multimedia artist János Fodor pushes boundaries by seeking unexpected connections between the material and aesthetic worlds that everyone occupies. Fodor’s works highlight tiny details that relate to the many associations and conjunctions that most individuals never observe in their daily lives, but which inspire this artist to create drawings, videos, photographs, and other pieces that spell out the intertwined nature of our contemporary cognition – sometimes literally.


Where: Kisterem Gallery – District V. Képíró utca 5

Open: Until Oct 19, Tue-Fri 2pm-6pm.


Attila Szűcs: “Inside the Black Box”

Photo: Courtesy of Attila Szűcs

The ethereal images of internationally renowned Hungarian artist Attila Szűcs frequently portray memories melded in visual medleys that transcend time. His latest Budapest exhibition features new drawings mounted within a structure standing apart in time and space: a huge black box inspired by the unknowable monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Viewers can look directly into the box to examine one artwork at a time, or step back and perceive how these images come together to form a whole in the same way that our own recollections combine to shape our intuitive cognition.


Where: Deák Erika Gallery – District VI. Mozsár utca 1

Open: Until Oct 20, Wed-Fri noon-6pm, Sat 11am-4pm.


Françoise Gilot: “Endless Journey”

Photo: Courtesy of Várfok Gallery

The incredible life story of 96-year-old French artist Françoise Gilot continues with this solo Budapest exhibition. After her tumultuous decade-long relationship with Pablo Picasso, Gilot went on to earn acclaim for her paintings of organic figures that now appear in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Musée de Tel Aviv. Gilot’s other endeavours included designing costumes, stage sets and masks for productions at the Guggenheim. This special Budapest exhibition highlights recent works portraying her travels through exotic locales such as Senegal and India.


Where: Várfok Gallery – District I. Várfok utca 11

Open: Until Oct 27, Tue-Sat 11am-6pm.


Árpád Fenyvesi Tóth: “Splendid Isolation”

Photo: Tibor Varga-Somogyi/Courtesy of acb Gallery

As a largely unsung visionary of Hungary’s 20th-century avant-garde art scene, Árpád Fenyvesi Tóth (1950-2014) is now honoured with this retrospective presenting revealing works from his career spent primarily in underground circles. During Hungary’s era under Soviet rule, Tóth tried to fit into Budapest’s creative community but then retreated to his small home town by Lake Balaton. There he drew on works by idiosyncratic Magyar artist Lajos Kassák to create impressive geometrical abstract paintings and compelling graphics far from the prying eyes of the country’s Kremlin-controlled authorities.


Where: acb Gallery – District VI. Király utca 76

Open: Until Nov 9, Tue-Fri 2pm-6pm or by appointment.