smile somewhere here

28. June 2024. – 28. July
MegnyitóOpening: June 27, 2024, 6:00 pm

Smile somewhere here” – this is the English inscription on Endre Tót’s latest painting from 1999, which is on show at acb Plus, an ironic self-portrait and reference to the artist’s conceptual 1972 paraphrase of Mona Lisa.

This is an apt summary of the acb Gallery’s latest selection of conceptual paintings, this time drawn by Endre Tót in the 1970s, distributed as mail art and then painted in the 1990s. Endre Tót, who started out as a painter in the 1960s, gave up painting in 1970 and entered the international conceptual and fluxus art movements through mail art.

Until his emigration to the West in 1978, the artist was forced to think primarily in terms of ideas, happenings and various public and institutional interventions. The large panel paintings on display here can be seen as a manifestation of his conceptual work in the 1970s and as a “visualisation” of the internal dialogue between the various periods of his multi-layered oeuvre. This is why, in several works, two dates (e.g. 1975/1993) indicate when the original mail art work and then the painted version of it were made.

The focus of the exhibition at acb Gallery is Endre Tót’s paraphrase of Andy Warhol’s Elvis, juxtaposed with his own iconic self-portrait, which he has previously created in numerous forms. The two works, as well as several others in the exhibition, are linked by the abstract ornamentation applied to their surfaces with a paint roller, which can be interpreted as the artist’s signature attempt to deherogenise painting.

The other pieces in the painting selection engage in a similarly ironic dialogue with the major figures in the history of art (Leonardo, Mondrian, Duchamp, Man Ray, Andy Warhol) and their works, with the grand ideological narratives that were disintegrating by the 1990s, and with other series of the oeuvre (Zer0 works, Blackout paintings).