Péter Szalay explores in his works a special form of polygonal abstraction. In a Duchamplike gesture, he transforms “found objects” – mementos from the object culture of the ‘60s, and the porcelain figurines our grandparents kept in their china cabinet – not by manual work, but by a chemical process: he covers them in – and transforms them by – a crystal structure. Another method he works with is also “mechanical” in nature: he pulls a polygonal structure over the basic form and then prints it in 3D. Both approaches are the result of a unique, abstractive way of thinking, in which a kind of formal reduction is produced.
The appearance of this pop up exhibition at the Szentendre Gallery is no accident: the same recurring image-building method and polygonal form-structuring approach can be observed in the works of Szentendre painter László Kósza Sipos as in the sculptural approach and spatial formulations of Péter Szalay. The latter artist, however, also articulates through his works an ironic critique of today’s “superficial” abstractional trend. Not only because the deeper structures of his figurines conceal the requisites of another era, but also because he returns to Duchamp’s fundamental assumptions – the shaping power and conceptualism of thought – thus ironizing the mass of mechanically produced works. While Péter Szalay’s ideation about visual art relates to Kósza Sipos’ reality-based method in a somewhat contradictory manner, they do share the common feature of eliminating the original sight or spectacle by coating the base motif with a network of polygonal forms.
The exhibition entitled Poly Fiction is a continuation of the installations displayed at acb Attachment, where the “the green background behind the statuettes and their photos is a reference to green box technology. With this method, known from filmmaking and television productions, objects and human figures photographed in the ‘green box’ are lifted from their actual physical surroundings and, with the help of digital montage technology, inserted into the desired environment. In the case of Szalay’s small sculptures, since they are robbed – even if only in the virtual sense – of their physical space, the emphasis shifts to the spatiality of these free-standing objects and, especially, their bordering surfaces.” (excerpt from text by Orsolya Hegedűs, acb Attachement Gallery)913