1995. Testament, 1993-1994

Testament, 1993–1994
by Katalin S. Nagy

Exhibition in 2000, Szoboszló Gallery, Hajdúszoboszló, Hungary and
1995, Újpest Gallery, Budapest and
1994, Moscow, Hungarian Cultural Center

The pictures from 1993 and 1994, partly continue the discoveries of the previous periods (Prophet, 1993; Moses 1994; Torso, 1994; Green Angel, 1994; Tapir, 1994; Getting Stuck, 1994). They are partly the documents of the search for new paths. With his last pictures of 1994, Géza Németh returned to the period prior to the 1980‘s. He began a series on biblical themes (Green Angel, 1994; Prophet, 1994; Moses, 1994). Having been interested in the personality of Moses for a long time – and re-read Thomas Mann and Freud. He liked Mann‘s realistic details and Freud because of his work concerning Jews.
Géza Németh relates to the artistic attitude of our time through his continuous experimentation with the technical conditions of creative work. Active preparatory stages and probes precede the final treatment of the surface. The creation of a picture does not begin on the canvas: the painter brings about newer and newer procedures and inserts various phases in-between the planning and the creative stage. In the preparatory phase – in several of his periods – photography and plastic works are extremely important. Interpretation is made easier by the serial arrangement of the paintings. Géza Németh is characterized by continuous attention, remodelling, intellectual excitement, craftsmanship, intellectual control, and the active relationship of artist to the work of art.
He has been working with a whole series of transformations from the birth of an idea – through the creation of the art work. The picture, the completed art work, is a painting “par excellence”, a completed whole. Painting is longer and more complex than that. It takes place in the process of various “preparatory” stages – in the actions – in the artist positioning himself in front of the canvas, and in the creation of interim products.
In the 1970‘s and 1980‘s, the artist’s quiet, defensive behavior and alienation from the surrounding world and the potential spectators was a common philosophy of the artists who were unwilling to interfere with politics, sociology, or any social issue. The only important thing was the work of art itself, that is picture-making and expression. Instead of art and spectator, or art and society, art itself became an issue for the artist increasingly locked in the stocks of his own personality. The artist paints the evidence of his own existence – his own sensitivity, his fantasies, his individualism – into works which question the autonomy of the artist’s existence.
1995 Katalin S. Nagy