DIEHL is pleased to announce its very first solo exhibition of Imre Bak - prominent figure of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde generation and abstract geometric painting.
The organization of the band motif running through the paintings combined with rectangles of various colours is a recurring element in Imre Bak’s art. From the beginning, its use was related to the problem of the boundaries of panel painting, which first appeared in Imre Bak’s art with regard to his conception of the painting as an object towards the late 1960s. In analysing painting, one of the most significant conclusions the artist came to, and which would influence his entire praxis, was that he considered the painting an object independent of the outside world, having its own internal laws.
‚Als ob... Landschaften / Masken’ (As if... landscapes / masks) presents two related but at the same time distinct group of paintings. One group of these paintings compositionally evokes landscape associations: metaphysical landscapes which avoid any kind of figurativeness. Their referentiality – inherent spatial and landscape-like character – is provided by the correlation of homogeneous colour panels and frame motifs.
Although the compositions of the second group of paintings are also based on homogenous cololur panels and double band motifs, their arrangement and the discontinuity of the bands of colour, their reduction into rectangles in some places, allows the spectator to interpret these works as stylised mask-like portraits. The motif of the human face is a recurrent subject of Imre Bak’s endeavours in painting since the mid-1960s. Studying the portrayal of the human face in archaic craft objects, Imre Bak was primarily intrigued by methods of reduction and questions of arrangement, with special regard to the relationship between different motifs.
Bearing figurative referentiality, displaying relations of light and space, the paintings of the exhibition ultimately pry into the relation of representation and abstraction.