koordination_theorie | Attila KOVÁCS
24 MAY - 16 JUNE 2018
The international museum collections present the works of Attila KOVÁCS (1938-2017) in the context of minimal art, concept art, monochrome, and non-relational art. His works are purified, geometrically constructed, and independent of the outside reality concerning the use of color, form, and tool, meanwhile standing in front of them brings harmony, timelessness, and the sensation of the presence of contemporary spirit. The complexity of art KOVÁCS believed. Instead of painting in the studio, he was thinking in analytical-elaborating processes, which he designated structural and transmuting, summarizing his principals under the title of Transmuting Plasticity. As an artist however, he considered the perceptional reactions the most important; thus he aimed at creating art where sensuality and logic are simultaneously present.
KOVÁCS's first 14 sequential drawings made in 1964 is considered the first sequential artwork ever created according to the research of the Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nürnberg (DE). KOVÁCS broke with the Euclidean mimetic art in the mid-1960s and established a new paradigm in fine arts: namely, the visual definition of qualified countable units using the logic of the geometry of Hungarian mathematician, János Bolyai. He created a new visual language by adding lines to numbers and sequences. The infinitely variable coordinates give the structure of the image KOVÁCS named Frame of Reference. Between 1973 and 1976 the artist generated 18 144 two-dimensional series and defined his algorithmic sequences of his transformations built on arithmetic, linear algebra and parameters. The form appearing in the coordinate system is nothing else but the sequence of his transformation. Based on his mathematical sequences, the visual mapping of his open structure with the form inside can theoretically be reconstructed or continued. Further, the synthesis of structure and form defined in his program book can be produced and printed on paper with the help of a computer.
His works on wooden board and paper have an impressing factor, nothing compares to his unique and outstanding manual craftsmanship. Each panel painting of the artist is a custom-made, unique piece executed on a panel with approximately 40 layers of foundation. KOVÁCS? paintings are rare examples of human focus. He uses the paint as a living material. Guided and applied by his entire knowledge, the paint purposely becomes an ingredient to the material of the picture, thereby creating a 'visual truth', a 'visual quality'.
Following his career closely from the beginning, the German philosopher, Max Bense (1910-1990) saw the visual formulation of his own aesthetic and philosophical thoughts in the works of KOVÁCS. Among the many artists he frequently exhibited with were Sol LeWitt, Julije Knifer, and Joseph Kosuth. His works can be found in over 40 public collections.
The koordination_theorie selects from the early 'koordination quadrats' works made between 1972-1977. Square in the third position that is the koordination p3, KOVÁCS? most emblematic and known program. The sequences of p3 series were invited to the documenta 6 in Kassel (DE) in 1977, where a nearly eight meters long series of works were showcased at Fridericanum. The exhibition attempts to give a comprehensive view of this period of the artist presenting his creative approach from the paperwork to the three-dimensional maquette, substrate, to the cardboard and works on canvas, and to the no less significant editions of the program. None of the works had ever been exhibited in Hungary, respectively there are works the public could not yet see at all.
Attila KOVÁCS was born in 1938, in Budapest. He immigrated to West Germany in 1964. He graduated from the Department of Art at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenen Künste in 1970. He moved to Cologne in 1972 where he lived and worked until 2010. From 1984, he regularly returned to Hungary as a German citizen and had a retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthalle Budapest in 1995. He was a senior lecturer of the Painting Department at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts between 1997 and 2010. In 2001, he became a Doctor of Liberal Arts. After closing down his studio in Cologne in 2010 he moved back to Budapest, where he lives with his wife and their two young children.