Visual Arts

EXHIBITION REVIEW: Splashing into Viscosity – Márta Kucsora at the Concept Space

Rating:

March 5, 2017

_MG_1565_ (1)__1488748658_92.233.115.226The Concept Space is a brand new venue in Bermondsey debuting with Márta Kucsora on their first solo show together: Viscosity.  The mission of the new project space is to become a cutting edge hub for arts professionals, and to present both UK and international artists. The current show was curated by KB Stowe with the aim of bringing some fresh perspectives into the London art scene. For starters, visitors can have a taste of CEE art in the past 3 years.

Kucsora is based in Budapest, finished her studies in New Jersey, and has had several international exhibitions. This thematically arranged display brings together different periods, allowing us an overview of her work.

At the entrance, bold but small-scale abstract works are lined up along the corridor, foreshadowing the themes ahead. For the larger untitled pieces in the gallery-space, the guide is a short text on the wall, introducing the artist and concept (we’re also shown the abstract forms in motion, something that helps our understanding better than any label would do). A heavy blue and green, lava-like stream brings the paintings to life, explaining their genesis through the constantly moving fluid, the rolling forms revealing the works in progress.

_MG_1581 (2)Although the pieces are made in a short time, extensive research takes place in advance. First, she collects information and ideas, exploring every aspect of the subject. No brushes are involved in the creation, but sprays and other tools, the dripped, splashed and spattered forms reminiscent of abstract expressionists and Jackson Pollock. As you walk past the works, you see slowly melted heavy shapes and exuberant aerial elements.

Most expressive of all is the huge, dynamic diptychon where, from a purple background, orange and green explode, suggesting both order and randomness. Sometimes, in the abstract compositions, there’s a hint of natural phenomena: fluidity is one of her themes and she systematically explores every aspect of it, with acts of plashing, splashing, grouting. Oil paints were used for a long period then changed for more viscous fluids, like acrylic. The latter dries more quickly, suiting Kucsora’s bid to capture liquid’s unique behaviour, freezing its peculiar moments into a still image.

Another experiment Kucsora has developed over the years are her so-called Plantagrams. These were influenced by László Moholy-Nagy’s and Man Ray’s photograms, a technique used in the early 20th century: photographic images made without a camera, by placing objects onto light sensitive material (like photo paper). Thus she creates imprints of various parts of the plants: flowers, leaves or branches.

Márta Kucsora manages to integrate different heritages and issues concerning both abstract and figurative arts. Yet her visual language is distinct, reaching back both to  myriad influences from her native Hungarian art and the wider international art scene.

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Márta Kucsora’s Viscosity runs at the Concept Space, Bermondsey, till 25 March 2017.

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