IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOMOTIRANNUS
Online opening: September 25, 2020, 6 PM
Opening speech by: Iván András Bojár, art historian
On view: September 24 - November 27, 2020
The Erika Deák Gallery is delighted to present the latest painting series by Levente Baranyai. Although the opening, again, will be held behind closed doors, all of our friends are welcome to follow our online opening speech by Iván András Bojár, art historian and virtual tour broadcasted on Facebook. The 3D documentation of the entire exhibition will be available on the gallery’s website and social media platforms, and can be visited during opening hours in compliance with all necessary safety regulations.
Levente Baranyai (1966, Budapest) has been dealing with the dialectical relationship between untouched landscapes and traces of human civilization for almost three decades. His paintings portray agricultural lands, cemeteries of decommissioned aircrafts, iconic sites of our capital, always from the aerial perspective of satellite images. Over the past few years however, he began to focus on the decay of humanity and civilization, and the depiction of demonic traces of destruction. His latest paintings reveal the ruins of the colossal structures of former civilizations, which have become preys to wars and human greed.
In our present exhibiton, Baranyai paints a dystopian image of our contemporary lives, he captures ancient cities that were recently destroyed to dust by the homotirannus, a giant anthropomorphic monster embodying power and human arrogance. This imaginary, fictional character was created by Baranyai, and it is rather similar to the man of today, who devastated and exploited wildlife throughout world history. To live in the shadow of this scary creature, of the homotirannus, means to be afraid of the unpredictable consequences of destruction, and decay.
The apocalyptic cityscapes and the fragments of surrounding landscapes still appear from a bird’s eye view, and actually based on manipulated satellite images. The monumentality of Baranyai's theme is also indicated by the size of his canvases. The thick, multilayered oil paintings create not only spatial depth, but also a dramatic, shocking effect. Baranyai works with a special painting technique, he creates his expressive works that emerge from the space, and reveals his illusory landscapes from fleck-systems and the construction of small elements on top of each other. The series In the shadow of the Homotirannus not only proves Baranyai’s importance as a painter, but also draws our attention to the tense relationship between human culture and modern barbarism.
Levente Baranyai lives and works in Budapest. He graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 1994. His works can be found in the most significant national and international private and public collections.
If you have further questions, please contact the gallery via telephone or e-mail.