JÁNOS FAJÓ – BLACK AND WHITE

 2018. 02. 09 – 03. 24.

Curator:  Zita Sárvári

The Erika Deák Gallery is delighted to present one of the leading figures of Hungarian geometrical painting, János Fajó, with his first solo exhibition in the gallery. This occasion gives an opportunity for a double celebration, as we do not only mark the 81st birthday of the master on opening day, but this exhibition is also the inaugural of his membership of the Hungarian Széchenyi Academy of Letter and Arts in 2016.

During the selection process we kept the same simplicity that has been driving Fajó in his praxis and life. In order to understand and follow Fajó’s artistic intentions, we concentrated on artworks using only a few tools and instruments while making. Fajó believes in modesty: “which you can solve in two forms, don’t solve in three” he says.

On this exhibition we will show his seldom seen monochromatic, black and white and pastel colored works, and as well those sculptures, which exemplify his obsessive interests in lines and forms the most. For Fajó, the primer forms and structures have the same importance as colors have, however, he states, when we take the colors away, the sensual pleasure will be replaced by a mere intellectual attention.

His works are easily recognizable, “I do not have a bigger desire than creating order, match and unite, to present all kinds of symbioses” – he said in 1979, as his sculptures, paintings and serigraphy’s point the inexhaustibility of the optical world in a very particular manner. His works are solid statements, genuine blueprints of spatial laws and contexts. By shifting basic shapes and forms, he creates symmetry, asymmetry and endless variations of motion, rhythm and dynamism.

Fajó has always kept his quiet dialogue with the international modernist abstraction. He was not only a pupil, but a friend of Lajos Kassák, whose bed remains in Fajó’s atelier, and whose artistic practice determined Fajó’s art.  He collaborated with Victor Vasarely on numerous silk screen prints and object-serigraphy, and was also in close connection with the founder of the rational and “cold” concrete art, the swiss Max Bill. For both Bill and Fajó, parallel to making paintings and sculptures, theory and teaching played fundamental roles in their artistic practices.

The sculptural works we chose to show are also rare pieces. He created the expression “plain sculpture” in 1965, as these objects exemplify how his visual logic, merged with some mathematical methods, presents his essential formalism, a typical Fajó sculpture.  His chrome steel objects appear to be flat at first, but after a closer look one can recognize how they shift and fold into space, how they turn inside-out or up and down in space.  He leads our eyes from sharp-edged arches to soft circles, from the inside of a waving stripe to the periphery of streaming bodies. Even that he used different materials, like wood, marble, bronze and aluminum, we will only present his chrome-steel sculptures.

János Fajó was born in Orosháza, 1937.  He is living and working in Budapest. He received his degree at the Academy of Applied Arts in 1961. He founded Pesti Műhely, a studio for multiply graphics. Beside his publishing activity, he organized exhibitions and lead a free school for young artists. He was awarded with some of the most honorable Hungarian prizes, as the Munkácsy Prize in 1985 and the Kossuth Prize in 2008. He was a teacher of the Academy of Applied Arts from 1989. He received the membership of the Szechenyi Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016. His arts can found in the most important private and institutional collections, like in the Albertina, Wien, in the Madi Museums, Mauberge, Bologna and Dallas, in Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum in Graz, in the Haus Konkrete in Zurich, in the Konkrete Kunst Museum in Würtzburg or in the  Modern Museum in Moskow, among others.