Over the past year and a half, a project was carried out with the collaboration of prominent contemporary artists, resulting in the showcasing of representative artworks in the corridors and various spaces of KEMKI.
The tapestries and enamel art created by ÁDÁM ALBERT, FERENC GRÓF and ZSÓFIA GYENES are site-specific pieces based on research conducted in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the KEMKI Archive and Documentation Centre (ADK). These works provide the opportunity for institutional self-reflection through the use of records and materials from the past, explore possible points of connection, and seek a contemporary approach. They reflect on the documents—be it in the form of texts or objects—preserved in the relevant collection units (e.g., KEMKI ADK’s archives and lectorate materials) by reworking motifs and archive material.
In the tapestries displayed along the corridor of the lectorate and in the research room (FERENC GRÓF - ZSÓFIA GYENES), the logos of art institutions that had defined the pre-regime-change era (Gallery Company, Young Artists’ Studio, the Association of Hungarian Fine and Applied Artists) have been enlarged and placed as central elements—or “decorative motifs”—on a background whose colour scheme is derived from the hues of the archival documents (yellowed stationary, blue stamps, worn folders and binders).
The enamel panels on metal support structures (ÁDÁM ALBERT), which are showcased along the corridors of the archives—and could also be regarded as “visual aids”—transform particular motifs from the works of JÓZSEF RIPPL-RÓNAI, DEZSŐ KORNISS and LILI ORSZÁG, while also offering unique reformulations of the documents of MIHÁLY MUNKÁCSY and LÁSZLÓ MOHOLY-NAGY, as well as details, visual elements and calligrams contained in the correspondence between DEZSŐ TANDORI and DEZSŐ KORNISS.
The thematic unit of the enamel works shown on the first floor (ÁDÁM ALBERT, FERENC GRÓF) operates with pictograms, concepts, cartographic elements and typographic solutions that are “interpreted” from a historical, institutional context. The latter works were produced at the turn of the ’70s in the enamelware factory of Bonyhád, which is still operational today, and where much of the public art of Hungarian neo-avantgarde artists (including those affiliated with the Pécs Workshop) were created. The tapestries were made using a tufting gun, employing a hybrid of industrial technology and handicraft.
By invoking the artists’ earlier experiments and installations (which also bring into play traditions from the history of institutions, collections and cultural education, and which can be found in the Contemporary Collection of the Hungarian National Gallery), as well as other precursors of the neo-avantgarde (including the enamel works of Imre Bak, Sándor Pinczehelyi or Ferenc Lantos, also found in the Museum’s collection), the displayed works may inspire the creation of further pieces and exhibitions.
Much appreciation is owed to our chief museologist colleagues ESZTER BÉKEFI and LÁSZADOS SZÁZADOS for their work in providing the professional background (collection of materials, consultations) in connection to the art designed for display at the KEMKI, as well as for writing the texts for, and editing the website.