The Proposition is pleased to present Appetite, by Balint Zsako, his second solo show in NYC featuring watercolor and ink works.
Untitled (Appetite) describes the complexities of human interaction through a combination of realistic scenarios and fantastical metaphors. This work joins the thrill of sex and the weight of death with the color of flowers and the rattle of bones. The characters are connected by their gestures, their hair, and even by their fingers sprouting roots and burrowing inside one another. Technology collides with natural history to create a world of complex power relationships. One figure controls the light switches for an entire world of buried rooms but she is seduced by a bouquet held by an angry man picking the last flower in a field of stumps. Here, like in a hundred different instances in the work, what one person does can start a chain reaction that works its way through the lives of everyone.
Untitled (Appetite) is also inhabited by the doppelgangers of art historical figures; Joan Mitchell paints a wild abstraction, Yves Klein jumps off a ledge, Agnes Martin fills a figure with lines of colored thread, Gordon Matta-Clark grows a live tree underground, Marina Abramovic connects people by their hair, Dieter Appelt builds a tower out of sticks, Christo wraps a body, Pina Bausch pretends she is a tree, Philip Guston takes care of the lightbulbs, the Mughal painter concentrates on flowers and Lucas Cranach delicately holds a knife with a smear of blood on it.
This work gives equal weight to the optimistic striving toward the future and the buried horrors of the past; success is not guaranteed but neither is failure, what makes life beautiful is the complexity of the people living it.
Measuring 66 x 90 inches, Untitled (Appetite) is the largest watercolor and ink on paper work Balint Zsako has made to date, yet it retains the precision and detail that the artist has become known for. In addition to the new large masterpiece, after which the exhibition is titled, there is also a selection of 13 framed drawings which playfully explore the themes of Appetite.
Balint Zsako was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1979 and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1988. Since graduating with a B.A in Fine Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto, he has exhibited his photographs, collages, sculptures, paintings and drawings internationally. A travelling exhibition of his drawings was organized by the MoCCA in Toronto in 2008 and was accompanied by the artist’s first monograph. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
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The New Yorker
Goings on About Town: Art
Art history takes a folkloric turn in the whimsical drawings of this young Hungarian-Canadian artist. The show’s centerpiece, a large ink-and-watercolor work measuring roughly five by seven feet, is a swirl of brightly colored leafy branches and nudes with flowing black tresses and beards, interspersed with familiar figures: Yves Klein leaps into the void, Joan Mitchell dashes off an abstraction, and Philip Guston tends to some light bulbs. Smaller drawings seem to critique the feeding frenzy of the art market: a goateed man futilely tries to gild a pile of shit; elsewhere, figures frantically weave a colorful grid from a mass of loose thread. Zsako’s style is a hodgepodge of Chagall, Bosch, and folk art, and tilts dangerously close to illustration, but charm and savvy win out. Through May 27.
April 13 – June 3, 2012