Economist and art collector László Gerő owns one of the most exciting art collections in Hungary. Viennese Actionism, which represents the torments of the human body in the form of orgiastic actions, comprises the core of this broadly-arced collection. In addition to what are now regarded as classic works by Günter Brus, Rudolf Schwarzkogler and others, the collection also contains numerous pieces from the older generations as well as the young artists of today – ranging in scope from Tibor Hajas to Rita Ackermann.
At first László Gerő was primarily interested in collecting European avantgarde art, and, within that, lyrical abstract gesture painting – as indicated by some early works from István Nádler, Tamás Hencze, and Károly Klimó, as well as later pieces by such international stars as John Bock, Eva Schlegel and Martha Jungwirth. Eastern European painting occupies a distinct position within the collection; most notably, important works are included by such prominent figures of the Leipzig School as Neo Rauch, David Schnell, and Christoph Ruckhäberle.
There are also a large number of works by “maverick” artists who, in the past two decades, have actively engaged in the task of renewing the concept of art; having rejected conventions, working independently from genre designations and building – as well thinking further – on the past, they have sought their own individual paths. Daniel Richter, Ákos Birkás, Balázs Kicsiny, Attila Szűcs, Péter Szarka, Kamen Stoyanov, Róbert Batykó and István Csákány are some of the familiar artists to be mentioned in this context.
A defining arc of the sculptural portion of the collection can be linked to transformations in the genre of object art. The works of Daniel Spoerri, Gyula Várnai, Ottó Szabó, Henrik Martin, Péter Halász and Anselm Reyle, among others, point toward performative sculpture.
Offering a representative overview of László Gerő’s rich, carefully built art collection, the exhibition showcases distinctive works from past decades, which have been born of the impactful – often secret-laden – narratives of the recent past.