Szabolcs Bozó: Busójárás (Carnival)

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Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm

Abdijstraat 20 Rue de l’Abbaye, 1050, Brussels, Belgium
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm


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Szabolcs Bozó: Busójárás (Carnival)

Brussels

Szabolcs Bozó: Busójárás (Carnival)
to Sat 15 Jan 2022
Tue-Sat 11am-7pm
Artist: Szabolcs Bozó

Almine Rech presents an exhibition of works by Szabolcs Bozó. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Artworks

Maci (Teddy Bear), 2021

Acrylic and Oil on canvas
50 x 40 cm 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Göncölszekér alatti találkozó (Meeting under the Big Dipper), 2021

Acrylic, Oil, Oil stick, Charcoal and spray paint on canvas
190 x 160 cm 74 3 /4 x 63 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Ó Erős Pista a Gorilla (Strong Stephen the Gorilla), 2021

Oil, Oil stick and Charcoal on canvas
190 x 160 cm 74 3/4 x 63 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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A Kert (The Garden), 2021

Acrylic, Oil, Oil stick and spray paint on canvas
190 x 160 cm 74 3 /4 x 63 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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A Csigák Istene (The God of Snails), 2021

Acrylic, Oil, Spray paint and Oil stick on canvas
200 x 255 cm 78 3 /4 x 100 3 /8 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Bozó Népmeséje (Bozó’s Folktale), 2021

Acrylic and Oil stick on paper
50 x 42 cm 19 3/4 x 16 1/2 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Esik a Mecseken (Raining on Mecsek), 2021

Acrylic and Oil stick on paper
50 x 42 cm 19 3 /4 x 16 1/2 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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A Kereplő Orrszarvú (The Clapper Rhino), 2021

Acrylic, Oil and Oil stick on canvas
160 x 130 cm 63 x 51 1/8 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Piros Krampusz (Red Krampus), 2021

Acrylic, Oil and Oil stick on canvas
160 x 130 cm 63 x 51 1/8 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Victor Vasarely Portré (Portrait of Vasarely), 2021

Acrylic and oil on paper
50 x 42 cm 19 3 /4 x 16 1/2 in
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Madárfej + Liszt Ferenc ( Bird-head + Liszt Ferenc), 2021

Acrylic, Oil and Oil Stick on canvas
170 x 190 cm 66 7/8 x 74 3 /4 i
Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography

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Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 1

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 2

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 3

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 4

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 5

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 6

Almine Rech Brussels Szabolcs Bozo 7

Marvelous characters populate the canvases of Bozó’s paintings. A panoply of monsters and spirits alternately charm and unsettle their viewers as they gaze from limpid eyes or bare their sharpened teeth. From Krampus to a snail god, the origins of many of Bozó’s creatures derive from the rich, folkloric mythology and tradition of the artist’s native Hungary. The vivid imagery of these stories was reinforced for Bozó growing up in Hungary in the late nineties and early aughts, when animation studios proliferated and cartoons flourished in the country following the 1989 fall of Communism. These cartoons, and particularly those produced by the famed postwar studio Pannónia, indirectly inform Bozó’s aesthetic.

Raised in the town of Pécs, Bozó became familiar early on with the festival of Busójárás that takes place annually in nearby Mohács prior to the beginning of Lent. Akin to Carnival, Busójárás marks a chasing away of the winter season by elaborately-costumed, ferociously- masked cavalcades who march through the streets, waving noisemakers and interacting with the crowds. Bozó draws from the iconography of these traditional costumes and reinvents it in his quixotic canvases. A Kereplő Orrszarvú (The Clapper Rhino) (2021), for instance, reimagines the devilish masks worn by masqueraders in the face of a mischievous green beast wielding a signature noisemaker in one clawed paw. The gestural brushstrokes composing the brute, as well as the spare marks and paint drips that fleck the painting’s background like hieroglyphs allude to an affinity with the postwar avant-garde, and especially the Abstract Expressionists, just as much as the impish eyes suggest a consonance with the graphic sensibilities of 1980s street artists.

A centerpiece of the show is A Krampusz Ölelése (The Hug of the Krampus) (2021) a multi- pieced work that will hang assembled from a central column of the gallery’s exhibition space. Composed of fourteen separate canvases, the work depicts a grinning creature wrapping itself around the pillar. Krampus, perhaps one of the most well-known characters of Hungarian folklore, is a devilish figure who appears to frighten misbehaving children around the Christmas holiday season. In Bozó’s version, the patchworked being appears to offer a somewhat friendlier persona, though its dozens of pointy, sharpened teeth still give one pause about accepting its hug. There is a sly humor fundamental to Bozó’s work as the viewer negotiates whether or not to trust the enigmatic smiles of his characters.

Also on view is A Csigák Istene (The God of Snails) (2021), one of several canvases that breaks the format of depicting a single creature, and instead portrays a crowd of cartoon animals who seem to move together in that spirit of carnivalesque procession. Heading up this tangled cast is the outsize snail of the title. Bozó has given him a bulbous red nose, sharp talons and that distinguishing grin as he carries on his back—instead of a shell—an array of wildlife that are almost, but not quite, recognizable. Along with others, a two-headed mouse and a flamingo with worried expression reside alongside a blue, foxlike creature and a many-eyed beast of indeterminate nature—a teeming, fantastical jungle that fills the canvas as much as it does the viewer’s imagination.

– Jessica Holmes, writer and critic

Photo: Huggard & Vanoverschelde Photography


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