The following eight artists were nominated by the jury to the Leopold Bloom Art Award 2017.
The fictitious artist Lőrinc Borsos – not someone to shy away from technological innovation - was created by artists János Borsos and Lilla Lőrinc, and was initially interested in examining questions of national self-representation, and later in those relating to contemporary social problems. More recently, Borsos has concentrated more and more on the medium of painting itself, and specifically on black paint: the extent to which it can be directed, its relationship to its environment, and its dependence on external influences.
Ákos Ezer is the youngest artist to make it to the second round, having graduated in painting from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2014. In his large-format paintings with their characteristic colours and forms, the drama of the expressive is in dialogue with caricature. His heroes appear in, or rather fall into, grotesque situations; the prelude here is not known, only the result – a helpless human being wandering in the forest of obscure reality.
Anna Fabricius is a photographer whose pictures features groups of people in the same profession – they are a mix of documentary and staged photography, since her subjects really are there (as subjects) as representatives of particular trades, but the scene itself is staged. Thus, the subject of her analysis is not only photography as a medium, but - as self-designated sociologist - the community of workers as well.
Márk Fridvalszki works with easily identifiable, unique stylistic hallmarks: a black-and-white photocopier aesthetic, geometric forms, the now ancient-looking technology of the 1980s. His works are research-focussed and look at various specific themes. Most recently, he has been examining people’s place in technoreality, which is to say people’s possible roles in the consciousness of the post-apocalyptic vision of the future of the Anthropocene era (and Mad Max).
Ferenc Gróf rose to prominence as one half of Paris-based Hungarian and French artistic duo Société Réaliste, now disbanded. His work is not confined by media: he works with installations, films, performance, and typography as well. With his creations, he manages to get his viewers to re-evaluate slightly distorted historical memories and social situations, by getting them to think about their own relationship to them.
Hajnal Németh has represented Hungary at the Venice Biennale, and has exhibited in Paris, Madrid and Berlin. The focus of her visual art is popular music and choral works, operas and performances, as well as the photo and video documentation of these events. Through music, she has us experience historical trauma, or transforms well-known hits into political statements through small changes.
Andi Schmied studied architecture, something that informs her art: she makes her photo series and short video clips into installations that record – and unmask - complex urban phenomena. Her latest work was executed during a scholarship in New York: disguised as the wealthy Gabriella, she visited the metropolis’ most expensive apartments as a potential buyer, taking photos with a hidden camera.
Eszter Szabó presents us with everyday scenes, placing under the microscope social and political questions and post-Communist reality that determines people’s everyday lives in Hungary. She calls our attention to those details that are, though significant, perfectly everyday, and therefore go unnoticed. To do this she brings to life apparently painting-like, but actually digital (and in many cases animated) works.