“Art is a joyful, entertaining science.”– Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák, contemporary Hungarian artist
Meet iconic Hungarian Artist Dora Maurer
If you were lucky enough to visit London’s Tate Modern between August 2019 – January 2021, you may have enjoyed what was the largest UK exhibition of work by Hungarian artist, teacher and curator Dóra Maurer.
Over her 50+ year career, she has thrived on the experience of creating art and has produced a very diverse portfolio of work brimming with a combination of everything from film and photography, to painting, performance, and sculpture. Follow her on Instagram at @dora.maurer.
Her openness to artistic experimentation, helpfulness, directness, belief that an artist’s style develops as an observational process, and interest in young artists have led her to inspire new generations of Hungarian artists who sought her instruction, advice, and support. They became known as her disciples.
Exhibition: Disciples of Dóra Maurer
Last week, I was invited to the Hungarian Embassy in Belgravia for a press conference, a talk on the development of the Hungarian contemporary art scene and preview of an exhibition titled ” Disciples of Dóra Maurer” showing work by eight of these artists.
The exhibition shows work created across a variety of themes, materials and styles. Its diversity reflects the richness of Hungarian art as well as Dóra Maurer’s influence on those who are now walking in her footsteps, continuing her legacy, and enriching the national—and international—art scene.
“What makes a great artist an inspiring teacher? The exhibition attempts to answer this question by showing how an outstanding Hungarian visual artist is not only able to lift generations of artists with her knowledge and vision of the world but can also create a connection between Hungarian and international art,” said Máté Vincze, director of the Hungarian Cultural Centre. “This display carries on the legacy of the master’s show at Tate Modern and I hope it will open the doors for many remarkable Hungarian contemporary artists to introduce themselves for art lovers and experts in London.”
“Disciples of Dora Maurer” will be moved to David Kovats Gallery’s pop-up space in Covent Garden this August where it will be open to the public. There will also be a second space announced later this month.
Exhibiting Contemporary Hungarian Artists
If you visit the “Disciples of Dóra Maurer” exhibition later this summer, you’ll see the work of these talented artists:
TAMÁS JOVÁNOVICS was born in Budapest but has lived and studied internationally, often moving around. Dóra Maurer was his tutor during his double DLA degree in France. He said Dóra is his main connection with Hungary apart from his family. He recalled how she accepts everything which is playful and also her lack of snobbery when curating an exhibition, focusing on the theme rather than big names. Follow Tamás on Instagram at @tamas_jovanovics.
MÁRTON CSERNY lives and works in Budapest. He took various technical courses with Dóra Maurer and said that painting was not his goal, only a classic projection of the series he studied and made: photograms, mobile sculptures, motion pictures, music, conceptual constructions, printing cylinders and stencilage. Under Dóra’s instruction, “one does not have to struggle to find one’s own style, as is taught in more classical training,” he said, “instead it is the result of an observational process.” Follow Márton on Instagram at @martoncserny. I didn’t find a website for him.
ANDRÁS WOLSKY lives and works in Budapest. He took a painting class with Dóra Maurer at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and later Dóra was his master as he completed postgraduate painting. In the 25 years since, they have maintained a direct and creative relationship, and have collaborated on many joint projects, especially in the Open Structures Art Society led by Dóra. Follow András on Instagram at @wolsky.andras. His website is wolsky.hu.
BARBARA NAGY lives in Szentendre and works at the New Artists’ Colony. “From Dóra I learned acceptance,” she said, “and to open my thinking in all directions.” She recalled that Dóra Maurer accepted everything she produced as her student if only she could justify her work and was able to talk about it and write about it. Follow Barbara on Instagram at @nagy237. I didn’t find a website for her.
MÁRIA CHILF lives and works in Budapest. Her work was my personal favourite from this exhibition. As a student of Dóra Maurer’s she remembered that anything could fit into her interdisciplinary painting classes where everything from classical to digital art was welcome. When Mária became a more established artist, Dóra asked her to be her assistant lecturer and Mária has continued to teach to this day, carrying on Dóra’s belief in an inspiring and free atmosphere in which her students can create. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an Instagram handle for Mária, but her website is chilfmaria.com.
ATTILA CSÖRGŐ was born in Budapest, now lives in Germany. He was one of her students from a course called “Audio-Visual Practices” at the College of Applied Arts in Budapest. “I was captivated by the atmosphere that Dóra created; she was both encouraging and collegial, playful, and focused on the task at hand,” he said. “She was more invested in the fruitful process of experimentation than the realisation of the project itself.” Though not currently active, you can follow Attila on Instagram at @attila_csorgo. I didn’t find a personal website, but he does have a profile on Artsy.
ZOLTÁN SZEGEDY-MASZÁK lives and works in Budapest. He learned a lot from Dóra as one of her students, but primarily she taught him “how to relate to art, the affirmation of life and joy, humanity, and when it comes to art, mischief against the canon.” He also says that anyone who has been lucky enough to know or work with Dóra can experience art as a joyful, entertaining science through observing her paintings. I didn’t find an Instagram handle for Zoltán, but his website is szmz.hu.
ANDRÁS ZALAVÁRI was born in Székesfehérvár and lives and works in Budapest. He was not a student of Dóra Maurer’s but said that because she pays so much attention to young artists, she found him and invited him to the Ornament-Seriality exhibition at the Open Structures Art Society that she leads. After that, he regularly participated in exhibitions and felt that she understood his work, “even the layers that require a special way of thinking.” She later became his advisor for his DLA research. I didn’t find an Instagram handle for András, but his website is andraszalavari.com.
Disciples of Dóra Maurer will officially open to the public and be presented at two different London locations, starting with David Kovats Gallery’s pop-up space (28-32 Shelton St, London WC2H 9JE) from 12 August – 19 September 2021. A second location will be announced soon.
Discover More Hungarian Art on Instagram
While they may or may not have been inspired by Dóra Maurer, here’s a selection of several other contemporary Hungarian artists who I’ve recently discovered on Instagram:
No doubt this is only very much scratching the surface of talented Hungarian contemporary artists active on Instagram. DM me some profile links over on Instagram @littleobservationist if you have other favourites that I haven’t listed here!
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