Ferenc Ficzek | Exits Left Behind

Exits Left Behind
Opening: Friday, September 13, 2019 | 6 – 9 pm
September 14 – November 9, 2019

Gregor Podnar is pleased to present an incisive retrospective of artworks by Ferenc Ficzek (1947-1987), a member of the Hungarian artist group, Pécsi Műhely (Pécs Workshop). Ficzek’s earlier works of geometric graphical shapes were the beginnings of a short yet prolific artistic career dealing with the relationship between the image of the object and the subject of his works. Ficzek tirelessly worked with the notion of presenting a representation of space and its connection to reality using palpable structures that resulted in abstract imagery.

Of Pécsi Műhely, Ficzek’s work could be considered the most poetic of the artist group. The multi-faceted documentations of his experimentations are presented in the form of recorded performance, photography, photomontage, print making, painting and sculpture. The lyrical meanderings of Ficzek explore the interrelation of different dimensions, whether it be negative and positive, light and shadow, nature and human habitation, the tangible and the intangible, or the question of form, space and volume.

Pécsi Műhely were often referred to as the Hungarian Bauhaus for their following of the Bauhaus principles as well as many leading associates of the school, such as, Sándor Bortnyik, Marcel Breuer, Alfred Forbát and Victor Vasarely, either native to the city of Pécs or devoted to teaching the rich and comprehensive Bauhaus curriculum within Hungary.

The artist group was collectively active from 1968 until 1980, renowned initially for their geometric enamel designs, which were made in cooperation with the Factory of Enamel Industry Works in Bonyhád. Their enamel designs were considered complimentary to the architecture of the time and thus gained them esteem and status within the art world. An example of Ficzek’s large-scale enamel work is on display at the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition.

Pécsi Műhely were later recognised for their land art performative works, which can be witnessed by means of photography, film and detailed diary entries. They were pioneers of this new art form within the neo-avant-garde art scenes of Hungary. The artists took advantage of their decentralisation from the cultural capital, Budapest, and enjoyed the artistic freedom the surrounding of Pécs offered their performative land art explorations. The autonomous artistic production of the group was anchored in its localisation to Pécs and it is the artists’ innovation within this microcosm of creativity that has cultivated the attention and interest of an international audience decades after.

Ferenc Ficzek (b. 1947, Pécs, Hungary), educated at Goldsmiths School of Art, London (1961-1965), lived and worked in the city of Pécs before his early death in 1987. Most recently, his work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Carl Kostyál Gallery (London, 2017) and acb Gallery (Budapest, 2016). Ficzek has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at The Vinyl Factory Soho (London, 2018), Ludwig Museum (Budapest, 2017), Elizabeth Dee Gallery (New York, 2017), m21 Gallery (Pécs, 2017), National Museum (Warsaw, 2017) and the Neuer Kunstverein Wien (Vienna, 2016).

The exhibition was made possible in collaboration with acb Gallery, Budapest.