Critics’ Picks

István Nádler, Zug, 2003, tempera on paper, 27 1/2 x 20".

István Nádler, Zug, 2003, tempera on paper, 27 1/2 x 20".


“On Paper II”

Erika Deak Gallery
Mozsár utca 1.
July 3–August 1, 2015

If this group exhibition feels breezier than most, it’s not just the five electric fans in László László Révész’s drawing Verti, 2008. This breath of fresh air comes courtesy of curator Zita Sárvári, whose “On Paper II” takes the popular conceit of the summer works-on-paper show and infuses it with a vibrancy and spontaneity rarely associated with the genre. Some of this dynamism stems from Sárvári’s rejection of the unspoken mandate that works on paper must be limited to two dimensions: Ádám Ulbert’s watercolors are slathered in polyurethane then dangled from laths using pins; Csaba Szentesi stacks intricately contoured cut-outs into collages set out from the wall; Enikő Márton shapes chipboard into freestanding hexagons coated in undiluted acrylic hues; and Zsófia Keresztes fashions her object-assemblages from scraps of Plasticine or discarded iPhone instructions. Keresztes’s untitled floor sculpture from 2015 is anchored by the box for an Apple iMac, which features a full-screen shot of Yosemite’s Half Dome set against a silky, cantaloupe-colored sky. The artist builds this image out to create a miniature mountain range around the box, transplanting the desktop image into its “natural” landscape.

But works need not be sculptural to steal the show. Amid the strong gestural swoops and electric color palettes of emerging talents such as Ulbert, Szentesi, and István Halmi-Horváth, two 2003 tempera abstractions by István Nádler—who at seventy-seven is one of Hungary’s most celebrated artists—crackle with an intensity that feels truly just out of the box.