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View of “Imre Bak,” 2016. From left: Orange, 1969; Reflection III, 1974. Photo: Plastiques Photography.

Imre Bak

Carl Kostyal | London

View of “Imre Bak,” 2016. From left: Orange, 1969; Reflection III, 1974. Photo: Plastiques Photography.

The now-septuagenarian Hungarian painter Imre Bak describes 1968 as a pivotal moment. A visit to Documenta 4 showed him the radical changes taking place across the Atlantic. That, together with trips to London’s Tate in the previous years and his work with a German gallery that exhibited American art, opened the young artist’s eyes to innovations in abstraction—particularly what he called “the emerging American art scene, when the abstract versions of Pop Art appeared, such as Hard-Edge and Color Field Painting (Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly).” Offering a concise picture of the intellectual journey that Bak has since taken, via eight works ranging in date from 1968 through 2005, this exhibition, curated by the British artist Peter Peri, was Bak’s first in the UK.

The show also gave a glimpse of the shifting intellectual currents in abstract painting across the decades. Despite

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