1986. The Master of Magic Metaphors

The Master of Magic Metaphors
by Kálmán Kecskeméti

I have been fortunate enough to follow Géza Németh's career from his early studies up to the present day. I have witnessed the artist's intellectual struggles to detach his real contact with nature from contemporary clichés in an effort to bring forth his ancient tectonic visions that come from his deep emotional attachment in this area.
An excellent architect, Németh used to paint ruins like Piranesi, but they were not representations of the strange architectural spaces of the antique world, but those of the destruction of our civilization. Lacking the grandeur of evanescence, his ruins did not evoke hitherto unseen space relations, but exhibited the last reminders of a devastated land. No new buildings would rise in their place, no notice would be taken of them in the history of civilization – these ruins would have to be erased from memory enabling the human race to turn over a new leaf.
Subsequently Németh's art underwent radical change resulting in the period of what might be called „organic metaphors".
Discovering peculiar contours in the sand, the artist begins to draw and take photos of fossils and roots. Demonic figures appear on his serigraphs. Just as smaller parts suggest the spirit of the whole universe, his pictures are populated with cosmic phenomena: elemental folds of substance, curves of a spiritual space, huge shapes resplendent from inside.
Referring to the philosophy of nature professed by mannerism, the German-born American art historian Erwin Panofsky remarks, “The visible world is no more than a metaphor for expressing invisible spiritual content”.
Németh's recent pictures are highly characteristic of these magic metaphors. It is a paradox in his artistic career that these mature pieces, many of which were painted in the U.S., vividly remind us of the philosophy present in Hungarian folk tales and legends leading us into the strange world of shamans, magicians and gnomes – the ancient memory of a people teems with such creatures.
With our imagination free, an animal is looming out of the thick branches– the magic deer! These “landscapes” seem to flash up the legendary figures of Hungarian tales.
We are taken into the realm of myth, back to prehistoric times, to the beginnings, to the birth of civilization. All mankind’s memory is deeply rooted in the common past and Géza Németh's pictures give all people the chance to discover the forlorn land of yore.
1986 Kálmán Kecskeméti