The Space Between Us


7.12.2016 - 22.01.2017

Curated by Olya and Sergey Popov

Exhibitors: Ákos Birkás, Attila Szűcs, Zsuzsa Moizer, Csaba Nemes, Zsófia Keresztes, Dia Zékány

Pop/off/art continues with its course of introducing contemporary art from Eastern Europe to the audience in Moscow. “The Space Between Us” exhibition brings together talent from Hungary, the country with an art scene widely recognized as some of the most remarkable in the region. Show curators, Sergey and Olya Popov brought together established and emerging artists, mainly painters, of different generations, which is consonant with the gallery’s strategy when it comes to the art of native Russia. 

The exhibition’s core is made up of works by the artists, who are shaping the new tradition of figurative painting in Hungary – Ákos Birkás and Attila Szűcs. The paintings of Ákos Birkás, rich in colour and narrative, are often based on images from the media; they are capturing a subject’s state in the dynamics of a moment, akin to film stills. Attila Szűcs, whose solo exhibition is due to open in Budapest’s Ludwig Museum this December, also derives his subjects from media and “rubbish of collective memory”. Shifting his characters from the context of history and the everyday to the spaces that are empty and estranged, Szűcs opens up the new perspectives of seeing and interpreting the past and the present. 

The works by one of the key figures of the national painterly school, Csaba Nemes, contain undertones concerned with the Hungary’s present and relevant to its socialist past. His works combine acute political symbolism with urban landscape views. While the young artist Dia Zékány creates an alternative portrait of the nation, juxtaposing languages of photography and painting. She also finds ways to depict the interior as a mirror of a hypothetical person inside it and society as a whole. An inclination towards amassing possessions, that Zékány witnessed in apartments of her childhood, is turning into a thing of the past, yet still allows the artist to reflect on relationships between the world of humans and the world of objects. 

Zsuzsa Moizer and Zsófia Keresztes, also representatives of the young generation on Hungarian art scene, are working with the problematics of corporeal. Silhouettes of women are often discerned in poetic works of Moizer, connoting the complex subject of gender identity. Keresztes is the only artist in the show who works with the medium of installation. Her pieces present a humorous deconstruction of the biological in the era of new digital media and post-internet and take up peculiar shapes of sculptures in mixed media. 

Refraining from the concerns of national identity, works by these artists are raising issues critical for the whole contemporary society in Europe, that, in its turn, also pertain to Russia.