Spotlight: Hungarian Artist Tünde Újszászi’s Meditative Paintings Attempt to Tame Time Through Repetition

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About the Artist: Hungarian-born artist Tünde Újszászi (b. 1987) explores the legacies of Modernism through various mediums, from textile weaving to painting on canvas. The artist, who now lives in the village of Tahitótfalu, outside of Budapest, studied at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) and at the Aalto University in Helsinki. The artist’s second solo exhibition, “Safe Place,” is now on view at Berlin’s Galerie Pugliese Levi. Her previous solo with the gallery, “Objects” in 2019, included a number of large-scale woven works that explored her fascination with our shifting perceptions of our surroundings. 

Tünde Újszászi in her studio, 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi in her studio, 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Why We Like It: Újszászi’s interest in Modernism is rooted in a distinctly Hungarian perspective. The country operated under a Communist government in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union until 1989; throughout much of the 20th century, Hungarian artists experienced waves of censorship, particularly for progressive movements. Thanks to their perceived decorative nature, textile arts were often exempted from such mandates, and therefore became an important space for artists to safely experiment within. These histories first drew Újszászi to textiles as an avenue for repetitive action. In her new exhibition, “Safe Place,” however, the artist is presenting not the weaving and folding of earlier exhibitions, but acrylic paintings and a series of ink drawings on paper. Her concerns remained rooted in the possibility of repeated artistic gestures as meditative acts, but here she focuses on painterly accretions made continuously over time—using the strokes to tame a sense of oblivion through the generative act of creation. 

Tünde Újszászi, Safe Place 09 (2021). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi, (2021). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

According to the artist: “A state of void space where there is no compliance—that is the realm in which I can immerse and experience unconditional freedom. It encourages me to explore my inner visions. The process and the act of creation are what inspire me. I create forms and images which I can approach in this empty space,” said the artist.

 

 

Installation view "Tünde Újszászi: Safe Place" 2022. Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Installation view of “Tünde Újszászi: Safe Place,” 2022. Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi, Safe Place 06 (2021). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi, (2021). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi, Safe Place 16 (2022). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

Tünde Újszászi, (2022). Courtesy of Galerie Pugliese Levi.

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