artist: Attila Janos Konnyu
curator: Laszlo Erdesz
The artist creates under the influence of a power over a person in a state of "nothing else".
In primitive man, the fear of the unknown forces of nature and its ability to be defeated were embodied by the shamans, who represented the totality of healing, religion, and art in their ceremonies. Shamans probably became the ancient people who devoted more time to getting to know nature, were more open to observing their environment and their companions, and realized how this knowledge gives them power over others.
Shamans and priests realized that man is more than a complex living being, something more than the physical reality, and they called this the soul. Because they realized that the body is a perceptible material property, reality, but what is beyond that is the abstract world beyond the senses - that is also reality. Body and soul exist together, together they form a perceptible unity. Man acts consciously. His body and actions are coordinated by his consciousness.
Konnyu lives and creates in Palm Beach. Anyone who has traveled to Florida has experienced that special experience defined by warmth and light, which is a source of joy in every moment of everyday life. The gift, the melting heat of summer can blur the borders of the self and the outside world, we essentially experience the joys of the "here and now", the smell of the water, the murmur of the sea, we can get dizzy with the blue of the sky, the caress of a hand. In such cases, we merge with nature, every moment is a source of inspiration for artists.
Konnyu lives and creates in this environment. If we look carefully at his works, we enter the "space" of the image (which is not difficult, because the dimensions absorb us), then surrendering ourselves to a receptive state, we can feel his creative energies. He paints the projected moments of his inner world, the lived, the dreamed. According to him, a new painting is always born when it receives an internal stimulus. By painting, splattering, erasing, and flowing the paint on the canvas spread on the ground, he projects all his energy into his subconscious, one by one. When an artist creates (then he can't do anything else), because the work he is creating is basically controlled and created by the forces emerging from his subconscious.
"Art puts outside what is inside: it displays the inner world, memories preserved in the collective subconscious - shared with humanity. In this way, not only the creator, but also the viewer and the listener can get close to their own collective subconscious, which essentially cannot be separated from personally lived experiences. The cathartic effect of this can release the energies tied up in the complexes, which increases activity, as well as the space and clarity of consciousness. In the background of the creative process, there are also unconscious tendencies that, in the degree of integration with consciousness, serve the fulfillment of the personality and the growth of consciousness."
The subconscious world is also manifested in Konnyu's paintings. Our knowledge reached in the 20th century until the realization that our actions and our lives are influenced not only by our consciousness but also by our subconscious. So we have feelings, thoughts, and even actions that we owe to our subconscious. Psychologists realized that not only is there a subconscious, but there is also a deeper layer that they called the collective consciousness (subconscious or unconscious) of humanity. The unconscious can be understood as an inner intuition before consciousness. (for intuition) According to science, this collective consciousness is the repository of all the experiences and knowledge ever learned and acquired, and one of its forms of existence is the art.
Art is therefore the highest form of expression of human emotions. Looking at Konnyu's paintings, a cathartic experience can slowly unfold in us, which is a great opportunity for art lovers to get to know a new world.
Cultural Anthropologist, Forensic Painting Expert, Curator
THOUGHTS ON THE GENESIS OF ARTISTIC AUTONOMY AND THE LIBERATING EFFECT OF ABSTRACTION AND ATTILA JANOS KONNYU
by Katarina Zavodszka
...In order to place Attila Janos Konnyu’s work we need to look at the European parallel to American Abstract Expressionism – Art Informel. It includes all the abstract and gestural tendencies that developed in Europe during the World War II. It is a French term describing an approach to painting that had an improvisatory methodology and used a highly gestural technique. The French art critic Michel Tapie used the term “art autre” (other art). This movement has given way to New Informalism in the year 2000.
“Create your paintings with strong, wild gestures and do it with a pure heart! If you please, shout with the power of wild colors, but create your paintings with the honesty of the sleeping child in you!”. These were the words of Karel Appel to Konnyu when they saw each other at the end of 1990's in Europe.
Indeed, as one views Konnyu’s paintings, it becomes apparent that the works offer a systematic coordination of parts. Elements are organized throughout the canvas, affecting the structure. They fit together harmoniously. One would expect chaos from so many elements and vivid colors and yet! Drawing upon Art Informel of 1950s that in fact refers to “a lack of form itself” rather than “informal” art, Konnyu himself states: “I paint the void.”
We may detect Richter’s manipulation of layers of paint in Konnyu’s canvases. “At the same time, there are fundamental differences in the method used for applying paint to the surface, in the use of rubber role,” says the art historian Endre T. Rozsa; while Gabor Pataki, the art historian at the Research Centre for the Humanities of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, adds: “Nor can we ignore the fact that, the consciously multicoloured oeuvre in the series of abstract works of the German artist consists of only one layer, even if this is not the most significant difference. The most crucial difference is that whilst Richter consciously refers back to the repertoire of methods used by the New York School and by Informel, Konnyu reaches the same destination by an instinctive, unconscious route.”
Professor of Language Arts and Literature, Writer, Art Historian, Critic, and Curator
ATTILA JANOS KONNYU'S PAINTINGSSSS
by Gabor Pataki
Institute of Art History, Research Centre for the Humanities
Hungarian Academy of Science
...At this point one must take an important factor into consideration: the relation between the time of the birth of the pictures and art history. Because however justified it may be (and permissible) to revitalize an old style, one cannot step twice into the same river, and it is also obvious that the artist cannot ignore the fact that decades have passed between since his predecessors did their work. He must react to those works and to the critical reception they received.
We are talking therefore about inspirations and influences, about the space between a mode of creation and the process of learning to be an artist. For example, Konnyu acquired some techniques, like the "all over" effect, from Jackson Pollock, the use of radical slashing forms that crash into the surface, from Clyfford Still, and, if we go back further in time, the bizarre possibilities of melting, softening forms from Oscar Dominguez. The inspiration of Zao-Wou-Ki, who belonged to the second abstract wave of the Ecole de Paris, can be found in the poetic exploitation of coloured surfaces that crash into each other, and in the preference for the organic motive.
Though Konnyu does not mention it, to me Wols's (Wolfgang Schulze's) influence is obvious. (He was a Parisian German artist of tragic mentality and fate.) His compositions, with their central knots of pain, which burn like fire, can be interpreted either as flowers or as vulvas, until the lines finally erupt outwards and collapse. Certainly, I know that Konnyu does not always paint scratched or burst wounds, the way his German predecessor did. Neither his approach is as dramatic, but, looking at the compositional similarities, what one can observe in some places is a passion and a sincerity which is common to both. There are also striking similarities with the works of Jean Fautrier, Otages, the great French representative of this movement. These examples underpin my view that the role of Art Informel is most important among representatives of Abstract Expressionism.
Gerhard Richter's works, to which Konnyu refers several times, raise other problems. No doubt, in Richter's abstract series, mainly in his cycles from the 1980s and 1990s, the artist's vivid colors, the manipulation of the layered stripes of poured colors layer, the brushwork effects and the gestures were important sources of inspiration for him. At the same time, there are fundamental differences, in the method used for applying paint to the surface, in the use of rubber, as described by Endre T. Rozsa. Nor can we ignore the fact that in the German artist's consciously multicolored oeuvre the series of abstract works consist of only one layer, even if this is not the most significant difference. The most crucial difference is that whilst Richter consciously refers back to the repertoire of methods used by the New York School and by Art Informel, Konnyu reaches the same destination by an instinctive, unconscious route.
The fundamental question is this: beyond the outer forms of Abstract Expressionism, to what extent did Konnyu take on the creative attitudes of the genre, and to what extent has he reshaped these attitudes for the current era? Which of these components is stronger? Is his a heroic, activist attitude, an existential commitment, or does he have a lyrical, meditative approach that shades into transcendental experience?
Perhaps the crucial point is that Konnyu does not commit himself unambiguously to any method. He makes some use of the first, activist model, since the "painter's dance" – the ensemble of all the dynamic, barely controlled movements made during the painting process - is an indispensable component of such a creative process. As to the kind of significance existentialist determinism assigns to the body, let me quote from Merleau-Ponty's book, The Phenomenology of Experience, published in 1945:
"Body is the anchor of our earthly existence... I do not only think about space and time, but I belong to space and time, my body fits in to them and pervades them...I am my body". The implication is that the motion and function of the body shapes all our mental and emotional activity.
As Konnyu writes: "...I express myself through the direct, instinctive act...my painting is built on gestures and actions". The bringing to the surface of intuition, spontaneity, the contents of the subconscious can be only seemingly opposite to the meditative, creative behavior, preferring the empty state of zen, since as
Mark Tobey's legendary example shows, one can get to Abstract Expressionism from a Buddhist monastery, too. In any case, it seems that Konnyu need not give a definite, yes or no reply to the above question. He just splashes and pours the paint, listens to his instincts and meditates. He appears to recognise that his task is to choose, not make final decisions. If anything, there is really something postmodern in the way he recycles Abstract Expressionism: not only the stylistic marks can be changed and mixed, but attitudes, too. Taking into consideration all the views expressed above, as well as the expectation of the essayist that he be objective, what can I say about his pictures?
Let us start with the obvious. They are strong, colourful, striking and spectacular in the truest sense of the word. However, behind the orgiastic vision, the almost psychedelic aesthetic, there are hidden depths. Depths, but not abysses; miracles, not traps. The poured out surfaces involuntarily suggest continuous change, the image of an eternal metamorphosis. Certainly, serendipity plays a role in the pictures as well, but in the majority, the excitement of the instinctive trace and discovery can be felt in them. The stripes and layers sometimes react to the painter's emotions with the sensitivity of a cardiogram, while in other cases they reflect the mysterious richness of a micro world. In brief. These pictures “work”, and there is potential in them. Contrary to his statement, they do not represent "nothing", but "everything": the continuously changing worlds of life and art.
Art Historian at Institute of Art History Research Centre for the Humanities. Hungarian Academy of Sciences
THE MYSTICAL AWAKENING
by Attila and Marion Glatz
This unique production of dance music in a virtual animated movie is more than a dance movie; It’s an hour spent in an enchanted imagination using ground-breaking progressions in modern technology and contemporary dance. The musical component of the film brilliantly combines excerpts from some of the greatest moments of symphonic hits by such composers, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Wagner and others.
The dancers submerge in unique space and time images of revolutionary vibrancies of life inserted into a romantic story. The male dancer/choreographer, Lorand Zachar’s performance is an unselfconscious delight, and in his solo he was like a bird released from a cage. With the female dancer, Erika Vasas, is equally at her artistic heights, together they look like real lovers. Their chemistry is measured and clean; despite their understated sense of poetry, they never gelled as a couple in such a subtle, fragile modern dance.
In the production Mr. Zachar, the male dancer moves swiftly showing deep face expressions, creating a love tension between the two of them with a precariousness of their partnering, which is truly heart-stopping. There’s a patience in the way both dancers hold their bodies, which seems to stretch time. Zachar is so clear and so refined yet not quite on this world. Something has broken free in him, and it feels like a whiff of the spring to come. The imagery behind the dancers are absolutely the newest technic in illusion art and it was made possible by the highly respected creators.
The audio-visual tale of this captivating movie portrays the human inner world and its journey to find resolution in a mystical awakening. This production is recommended to all ages as it is entertaining and at the same time portrays human life from an entirely different prospective. Marion and I congratulate the director and producer, Mr. Attila Janos Konnyu and his production team for this outstanding creation and wishing all the success in bringing it to wide international audiences.
Attila and Marion Glatz
Attila Glatz Concert Productions, Toronto, Canada
Member of League of American Orchestras, New York, USA
KONNYU'S FIGURATIVE COMPOSITIONS
by Csaba Kozak
I first encountered the artist's work on the dark walls of a downtown Budapest restaurant. We met again a few years later. He took me to his huge studio on the banks of the Danube in Budapest. He worked between the naked concrete columns of the space, divided into several sections, while the sun shone through the glass windows of the roof. It was an ideal place to work. He said that he studied architecture, but in the mid-1990s he was seduced by the fine arts. I was sure that before his (Neo)Expressionist paintings, he was also tempted by the figurative/figural approach. But when he showed me some of his drawings and paintings, I was surprised, as most of them revealed a demonic, diabolic world.
In his graphic "Emergency", a scary figure appears. His hands/arms are ready to attack, his body swollen with muscle. Its springy legs spring into a leap, its head turns towards us, its ears like horns. A frightening phenomenon. In the graphic of "Rest", the female body looks more like a dead person than a person in sleep. Her nose and chin are violent and sharply sculpted, her nails like those of a predatory bear. There is no trace of beauty, her image is a document of decay. At his " Flow" work, the lean female body tenses as she kicks away from the ground. The figure bends into a taut arch from the effort, there is no light, ethereal floating. Pain is coursing through the woman's body. In her nakedness, the "Medieval Woman" is completely vulnerable, her beauty long gone. Her bones lean ribs are broken, the head is splintered and ashen. The destructive wounded body evokes the figures of Egon Schiele. In a kind of resolution, however, there are "Diogenes". The figure emerges from the barrel, dancing wildly, imagining himself as Bacchus.
In the graphics of Konnyu's, all figures are naked, their bodies either swollen with muscle or starved to death. Apart from black, blue and white, the artist uses only gold, red and silver. Some of the figures are drawn in a single, defined line, while elsewhere the contours are windy and jagged.
The early oil paintings on wood show a similar spirit. Alongside the more relaxed, softer "Mademoiselle" and "The Woman", demonic faces/figures emerge again from the subconscious. The mask-like face of "Consciousness" stares blankly into the world with its cold eyes. From the abstracted background of "The Hunt", a hellish face emerges: eyes burning fiercely, nose and mouth reddened, scalp burnt and mangled. In "Why me?" figure is not earthly. His bodie are translucent, almost liquefied. One would be reluctant to make an appointment with him. And on the platform of the last station of the ghost train, there stands the figure of the man from "The Hidden Man". He's sinister and scary, terrifying. Compared to the artist's figurative paintings - perhaps because we have seen them so often - William Blake's Visions, Hieronymus Bosch's Demons or Edvard Munch's Scream are easy to look at.
Where do the figures of the artist come from? I knew that Konnyu doesn't do drugs, doesn't take any medication, hallucinogenic substances, has no addictions, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, well, he smokes a cigar now and then. So I asked him if his subjects appeared in his sleep. The answer was a definite no, and he sees positive images, he is basically optimistic.
I do not wish to delve into the mysteries of psychoanalysis, but I have a strong suspicion: Konnyu had to go down this path to get to his Tachiste and Contemporary Informel paintings. It is probable that he simply erased the primordial, deeply hidden 'evil' (in all of us), the latent 'evil', simply painted it out of himself, in order to get rid of it.
And I could go on, but descriptive is not enough, it doesn't give the picture. But one thing is certain: Konnyu create in free his own works. He meditates a lot. He listens to impulses from hidden corners of the soul and obeys them. He gives chance to chance, he does not edit, but his compositions remain balanced. By listening to his positive inner flow, he has managed to free himself from our hidden demons.
Art Critic, Art Writer