Attila Szűcs

Bubble Memory

The nearly two-decade-long oeuvre of Attila Szűcs, who has also been experimenting recently, with animations does not only consist of the development and cultivation of a new method of painting. 
It also signifies a continuous thinking process and commentary regarding the possibilities in figurative painting and questions touching on contemporary visuality as well as the medial and communicational areas of the painted image.

His style of painting, which has been brought into connection with numerous branches, as well as Hungarian and international representatives of realisms in painting, is nevertheless a pronouncedly unique approach. It creates powerful dialogue with post-conceptualism, which deals with the questions of the conceptual analysis of art.      

Szűcs works with recurring motifs: he projects onto one another the now-historical documents of high and pop culture, the emblematic moments and participants of 20th-century history and its scientific experiments, often-cited cinematic compositions, and objects from his personal environment. The postcards, photos, reproductions, stills and downloaded images – which have turned up from the various containers and carriers of collective memory, and which signify the origins of his painting – at first glance suggest unanimity and give a sense of familiarity. At the same time, details and compositions which have been multiply snatched from their original surroundings and restructured are suddenly freed from all contexts and thrown in the vacuum-like space of “suspense”. The first experience of recognition in its departure from the initial sense of identification blur into the glazed, sensual anonymity of the mainly monochromatic painting space.   

In situations created by the methods and materials of narrative figural painting, Szűcs, with his decades-old stereotypes and veiled-in-obscurity dramaturgies, directs our attention primarily to 
the operation of the mechanisms of vision and attention – it is the constellation of these, structured by precise artistic decisions, that he shows us.      

The image space dissolves into metaphysical space; the farther we drift from the uniqueness of things and happenings – from “realness” – the more unique the painted space becomes. Szűcs creates room and surface for solving “classical” painting problems (composition, treatment of surface, colour and light conditions, etc.) in connection with the image that was used for inspiration. In this metamorphosis, which also documents his artistic decisions, everything that is kicked into operation, conjured up and activated in conjunction with his works is part of the process – the “mental excursion” – which Szűcs himself performs and which he guides the viewer through, thereby revealing the complexity of 
the gesture of painting correction.

(Introduction of Attila Szűcs's new catalogue Bubble Memory by Lívia Páldi)

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