Round and round from Debrecen to Debrecen

2023. May. 28. - 2023. Jul. 30.

Exhibition of keserű Károly Keserü

Károly Keserü studied in the Mihály Péchy Secondary School for Building Technology in Debrecen between 1977 and 1981. He emigrated to Australia in 1986 together with Évi Molnár.

First he worked as a draftsman and from 1992 he turned his attention to the artistic opportunities inherent in drawing, for which he drew inspiration from Hungarian embroidery patterns and Australian aboriginal compositions. From 1995 to 1996 he studied fine art at Swinburne University in Melbourne, and from 1997 to 1999 he was a student at the Victorian College of the Arts.

During a visit back to Hungary in 1999 he organised an exhibition titled Apróságok [Odds and Ends] at the Mű-Terem Gallery in Debrecen, which was opened by his former teacher, Zoltán Fátyol and Imre Dankó (Iglu Group).

Winning one of the most prestigious fine art scholarships in Australia (The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship) in 2000 enabled him to continue his studies in the Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, from where he graduated with an MA in 2001. The first sponsor of his artistic career was a London-based gallery: Patrick Heide Contemporary Art. Károly and Évi met Queen Elizabeth II in the same year, at the Exhibition for the Queen’s Visit at Goodenough College. Károly regularly participated in art fairs held in London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Amsterdam, Milan, Bologna, Basel, Karlsruhe and Bogota. He also took part in the Liverpool Biennial 2004, and in the summer exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His works entered numerous collections in Europe, Australia and America.

His first exhibition in Budapest opened in 2011 in the B55 Gallery. He displayed his latest works at the same venue again in 2013, when he and Évi Molnár moved back to Debrecen. Károly has been an artist of the Várfok Gallery in Budapest since 2014, where he has had four solo shows so far.

His first retrospective exhibition, encompassing the art of three decades, was organised in 2023 by MODEM.

He constructs his drawings and paintings from dots running within a thread-grid as well as tiny lines and/or holes. In some pictures these dots, circles, lines and squares obey and succumb to the pictorial rhythm created by the artist, while, as if driven by a will of their own, they move about in the pictorial space capriciously and unpredictably. It is this very characteristic feature of Károly’s works that make then akin to music. As if the artist had designed a pictorial rhythmic pattern or sequence or chords, using them as a starting point for improvisation, at times within certain constraints but at other times being given free rein to chance.

Another key feature of Károly’s art is the idiosyncratic dialogue his drawings and paintings are engaged in with those greats of the twentieth century who are close to his heart. He especially feels an affinity with the constructivists, the dadaists and the abstract expressionists, and in quite a few of his pieces he addresses them by name; such artists include László Moholy-Nagy, Josef Albers, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Victor Vasarely, Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko.

The first exhibition of his collected works comprises more than 130 works on paper, wooden panel, canvas and glass.



Nagy T. Katalin

Artworks from more than twenty private collections will be included in the exhibition by the courtesy of the Várfok Galéria and with the cooperation of Péter Képkeretezés és Galéria.

Supporter of the exhibition: Bortársaság Debrecen

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