The Proposition Gallery is pleased to announce our second installment of virtual exhibitions with the presentation of New Drawings, the most recent collection of works highlighting the wondrous portfolio of gallery represented artist Balint Zsako. The exhibition will be made viewable on the gallery’s website beginning in June and has been scheduled in conjunction with the publishing release of a fully illustrated catalogue of Zsako’s ink and watercolor works on paper. Featuring several works from the personal collection of the artist, a foreward by MOCCA Director, David Liss, an essay and interview with the artist by Robert Enright and a closing statement by Robert Curcio, the catalogue Works from the Bernardi Collection showcases Zsako’s works within the collection of Roy Bernardi- all of which comprised the exhibition of the same name at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto in 2008.
Within these earlier works (2002-2007) as well as in his newest drawings at The Proposition, Zsako seamlessly blends his use of paint and ink in such a delicate fashion that the two media appear to coincide naturally. Each piece seems to have a thematic connection with the next, due in large part to the artists’ established vocabulary of images: naked bodies (be they transparent, mutated, morphing, or copulating), bodily fluids seeping from characters’ orifices, flora attached to or growing from figures, colorful fauna as stringed antagonists and elaborate mechanical constructions and alchemical apparatuses used for manipulation or control. The compositions, however, can vary drastically: in some instances the characters appear standing or floating in blank white space (void of the slightest hint of a horizon), while in others they inhabit a more developed landscape, sometimes accompanied by a pitch black sky.
Likewise, the interactions between characters appear to range from intimate to hostile and all points in-between, leaving the viewer with a degree of uncertainty about each character’s motive and the overall situation being presented. In one of Balint Zsako’s new untitled works, there are three men standing side-by-side with their arms pointed downward and fingers extended, connected into a long horizontal structure adorned with dozens of upside-down flowers. Not only are the men attached at the hands, they are also bound together at the head by beams-originating from either side of masked metal patchwork helmets and meeting at the base of a large cage containing the looming silhouette of a wolf. As a result, this enigmatic occurrence raises questions to the viewer: Are these seemingly immobile men in control, or being controlled? Are they to be seen as captors, or the captured?
Balint Zsako lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His previous exhibitions at The Proposition include Love Stories, a solo exhibition of mixed media works on paper, as well as two group shows, Five Years (2002-2007) and The Needle, The Paintbrush and The Knife, the Zsako family show presenting his intricately crafted collages. Zsako’s artworks have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Walrus, Culture + Travel magazine, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune Magazine, Poetry, Dose magazine, Macleans, The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Balint Zsako – New Drawings