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Two moments – an exhibition of the works of István Pető opens in the MissionArt Gallery

The exhibition selects from the fruits of the past fifteen years, those interested can get an insight into Pető’s exciting graphic thinking through nearly thirty works. It is particularly interesting that, in addition to the graphics, some paintings will also be presented, so it is possible to compare the two worlds, which in Pető’s case are not so different from each other. This is important if only because in the artist’s work, painting and graphics are in constant dialogue with each other and complement each other. The two areas show a strong overlap in his works, at first glance it is not necessarily easy to determine whether one is seeing a painting or a graphic. Incidentally, the reason for this may be that, as those who praise Pető’s oeuvre they interpret, the artist sometimes looks for and finds solutions to his painting problems in the workshop, sometimes vice versa. Pető also describes the creative process describes it asas a kind of dialogue between him and the image.

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István Pető: G139, 2017

The artist avoids narrative storytelling in both his painting and graphic thinking. This is the case even if in some of his works punctuation marks and letters that look like words and sentences, similar to newspaper writing, also appear. These are emphatically not legible, decipherable messages, but rather space-filling visual elements, modifications of the line studied by the painter, which attract the eye of the viewer instinctively searching for some clearly decodable detail like a magnet. Pető sees his pictures as “inner gardens”, and he compares the placement of colors and motifs on the canvas to gardening. His creations are mainly made up of sometimes looser, sometimes denser and more defined spots, the opposite pairs of dark and light, swirling and orderly, compactness and emptiness, geometric and organic appear on them, and these different qualities are present in each work they also initiate discourse with each other and with the host. The duality is emphasized by the fact that the image space is often divided into two – this can also be observed in the exhibited work entitled G127.

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István Pető: G127, 2015

At the end of the 1980s, Pető was still painting figurative pictures, after a trip to India he broke with this tradition and reached abstraction. He also visited Madagascar, Vietnam and Indonesia, all of these trips influenced his art. From 1984, his base was France, where his dedication to painting led him. At home, he worked as a designer, which left him with little time for painting, which he really wanted to do. He saw the way out in moving, he settled in Paris. An important moment in his life was that he got access to a studio in Saint-Denis, where he also had industrial heritage presses at his disposal. He is a thorough connoisseur of graphic techniques, and taught them at various institutions in France. He combines classic processes, such as etching, lithography or aquatint, with photo-based reproduced graphics and unique processes, colorful applications, and painterly solutions.

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István Pető: L108, 2020

He has had several individual exhibitions in France in recent years, but the last time he exhibited here was in 2005, at the Dorottya Gallery. The exhibition Kettős mozzanat, realized in cooperation with the Pető Art Gallery, is therefore an exceptional opportunity for visitors to get to know or rediscover the work of this versatile artist. The exhibition will be opened by art historian Emese Révész on March 22 at 6 p.m. The exhibition can be viewed from March 21 to April 2 at the MissionArt Gallery, on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The curator of the exhibition is art historian Noémi Szabó.


Cover photo: István Pető: G127, 2015