O U R E X H I B I T I O N S :
5 November, 2016 – 29 January, 2017
The Kovács Gábor Art Foundation’s thematic exhibition pays homage to sculptor Miklós Borsos (1906–1990), who was born 110 years ago. An oeuvre of great variety is represented with the artist’s most important works, including paintings, drawings, small and large sculptures, medals, plaquettes and reliefs.
Staged in the Borsos memorial hall and the rooms used for temporary exhibitions, this extensive display also allows us to present special exhibits, the two bronze reliefs which the Kovács Gábor Art Foundation came in possession of recently (St George the Dragon Slayer and Leave-taking). The exhibition underlines Miklós Borsos’s relationship to Tihany, Lake Balaton, and the fellow artists who lived and worked here. Tihany is the birthplace of such frequent themes of his works as the simple fishermen, the herdsmen and farmers, who sometimes transform into mythical heroes, and become invested with the characteristics of great figures of history, literature and art.
The exhibition takes a fresh look at those illustrations of biblical stories that draw on the artist’s classical education: Adam and Eve can be seen in Paradise, the iconographic type of Madonna and the infant Jesus appear in diverse presentations, as does Jesus among his disciples, Moses drawing water from the rock, Jonah on the shore, and various groups of angels and saints. In addition to the figures of the Old and New Testament, mythological characters also became themes, such as Odysseus, Aphrodite, Icarus, and Orpheus, who is usually seen with his attribute, the lyre.
Works with musical themes form a distinct group, with figures playing the violin or engaged in chamber music appearing mostly in prints, and fronts of bronze medals featuring the profiles of emblematic composers like Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Liszt and Kodály.
The inseparable unity of man and nature is of essential significance for Borsos’s artistic credo: it is highlighted in another room, through graphic works and complementary sculptures. Finally, early works dating back to Borsos’s journey in Italy offer a view of a Renaissance world.
Miklós Borsos is one of the most versatile figures of 20th-century Hungarian art, who left behind lasting works in all forms of visual art. Best known as a sculptor, he was not only fond of music, but played the violin himself. It is not difficult to see his sculptural work as a well-balanced, harmonic musical piece, a composition perfect in form and thought, in which every note and bar has its own character, but is also at the service of the score as a whole.
Drawing was another lifelong passion for Borsos. His graphic works are characterized by a mode of expression that does without fine details and foregrounds the essence of the message. His washed ink drawings are usually monochrome; it is with the tonal values alone of one colour or another that he creates plasticity or chiaroscuro, and this understated quality turns his pictures into peculiar worlds, which are rich in thought. Yet, despite the scarcity of the lines and the reduced palette, his graphic works do not make the impression of sketches; they are condensed accounts of the artist’s emotions, moods or such experiences that are related to the subject. The drawings were usually made on Japanese hand-made paper, with Chinese ink or walnut ink. The simple lineation and fine light-shadow play of these works make for a lyrically concise articulation of his humanistic painterly world.