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The first biennial

The Budatétény Gallery will play host to an event of national importance in the last weeks of May. At the 1st National Sculptural Drawing Biennial, a profession shows the world its hidden treasures, only rarely displayed in public if at all; its line-bound confessions about the profession and the world.

To become a part of the great journey between the dimensions, to be present at the switching of the points, when material reality, with the help of the drawing, the second dimension, metamorphoses into the more solid, almost tangible reality of the sculpture.

To peek behind the scenes, to see the trade secrets of the artist – from a different perspective for each age – can always be interesting.

In the past the sculptural drawing was seen as a step on the way to the finished sculptural masterpiece, not for public consumption, with only a limited afterlife in the folders of collectors and the archives of museums.

These drawings that record, like a journey log, the meeting with nature, the brief sketching of the first experience, the alignment of masses and forms with each other, the formation of artistic ideas, are today seen as having value in their own right. The spontaneity of these sketches, their emotional dynamic, dissolves the ‘cold perfection’ of the finished works, surrounding them with a unique entourage, a rich circle of association.

Through the respectful, chamber presentation of our classic masters, we too wish to document this harmonious consonance of drawing and sculpture, assuming that many of our sculptures who are alive today will also contribute works to this homage.

It was in the early ‘60s – fairly late – that visual arts in Hungary awoke to a consciousness of their self-determination and tried to break free of the manacles of both nature and the content that was forced upon them. Artists increasingly found their themes on travels to the interior of the soul, and the audiences, too, ever more impatiently, sought the fallible, feeling person behind the work, the creator struggling with expression. It was arbitrariness rather than finality, the process instead of the result, that came to be of interest. Film, poetry, buildings, introspectively revealed their inner workings; sculptors tried to initiate their audience as insiders through symposiums and happenings.

It’s only natural that, in such an atmosphere of searching for intimacy, this by-product of sculptural work, the sculptural drawing, was elevated to the status of a work in its own right. And while the moral decline of the public statue reached its conclusion,

and erecting statues became synonymous with meaningless protocol both in the literature and in the public mind, sculptors turned wholeheartedly towards the more intimate genres, and both the sincerity of feeling and pure intellectuality came to be embodied in the smaller dimensions. Small sculpture, medals and drawings – these moral refuges of our statue toppling era – offered a safe haven for the pure intimacy from which a new, credible form of public sculpture could evolve.

(Tétény Promontor, 1990, year XIII. issue 4. p 2)