Sam Havadtoy was born to Hungarian parents in London in 1952. His family moved back to Budapest in the summer of 1956, from where, as a 19-year-old, he escaped through Yugoslavia and returned to London. Having then settled in New York City, he was soon living and working in the centre of the progressive art scene of the seventies and eighties, in the proximity of such prominent artists as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Agnes Martin and Robert Rauschenberg. Havadtoy, who was in increasingly high demand as an interior designer, gradually shifted his focus towards fine art, and, in the early eighties, began creating his paintings. While his art – which showed increasing diversity in terms of genres – reflects the influence of American abstract geometrism, pop art, and conceptual art, there is also a palpable sense of the airless scarcity that characterized the experience of the artist’s youth spent in Hungary.
The majority of the showcased works are exhibited for the first time. The latest works created in Havadtoy’s Szentendre studio also fall in line with the artist’s “lacework” series, which has by now become his trademark. The exhibition features a series that began with the transformation of a delicately thin Hungarian lace glove, as well as Walt Disney and Modigliani paraphrases and a miniature bronze version of the iconic Fiat 500. While all appears to be overrun by, and covered in, lace, the silenced, discrete presence of the created objects, as well as of the artist’s confessions and stories inherited in the form of lace, shine through the carefully laid layers and diversely structured gaps.7566