Noemi Conan – Midnight Sun (October 2023)

David Kovats Gallery proudly presents Midnight Sun, Noemi Conan’s debut solo show with the gallery.

The exhibition showcases the creative universe of the Polish, figurative painter and debuts works created in the past two years, combining a wide variety of visual influences and the personal mythology of the artist. The exhibition unveils her close ties with her upbringing in the Eastern Bloc. Noemi’s paintings are a mix of Eastern European culture, symbolism and both communist and capitalist propaganda.

Midnight Sun alludes to the White Nights of the North of Europe, which I experienced when living in Norway but which also somewhat explains the odd orbs I put into my landscapes. I have connected strongly with the emotional strain that Munch depicts through the way he paints trees, skies and fields. He saturates these landscapes that on the surface should be boring, with a life that mirrors his own anxious way of seeing the world which I find very relatable. All of these works are in a way, me creating love tokens for Edvard Munch, even though I am pretty sure he would not reciprocate my attachment to him.’ – Noemi Conan

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Becoming a Body of Water (March 2023)

David Kovats is delighted to present Becoming a Body of Water – a group exhibition, showcasing works by UK-based, East-Central European women artists. The show explores the social experience of being and becoming a CEE migrant woman through notions of adaptability, resilience, self-exploration, and connection with surroundings and the natural world.

The exhibition is inspired by the concept of hydrofeminism, developed by a cultural scholar and writer Astrida Neimanis. Neimanis’ writing and research focus on the cultural, social and political relationships between aquatic environments and Earth’s inhabitants, whose bodies are built primarily from water. Neimanis calls for a reevaluation of systems of power and responsibility, and advocates for creating sustainable bonds within the environment and between humans, based on care, trust and empathy.

The exhibition celebrates the resilience of CEE migrant women and provides a platform for their work and expression, which continues to be underrepresented in the contemporary art sector in the UK.

Participating artists: Natalia Janula, Maja A. Ngom, Miroslava Vecerova, Ana Milenkovic, Katia Kesic, Anna Kostritskaya, Noemi S. Conan

Curated by Marta Marsicka

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Endre Kis – Before Lights Out (November 2022)

David Kovats is pleased to present Before Lights Out, the first solo exhibition by painter Endre Kis at the gallery and in the UK. Kis’s new body of work invokes a nocturnal, post-apocalyptic atmosphere, and continues the artist’s central exploration of duality in technique and subject matter. The exhibition addresses themes of environmental devastation and violence that has resulted from the evolution of human technology and the exploitation of nature. His paintings fuse contrasting techniques, layering nostalgic, hyper realistic Post Soviet motifs against traditional painterly landscapes.

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Different Solar Settings (October 2022)

David Kovats Gallery and Longtermhandstand are pleased to present the group exhibition Different Solar Settings, showcasing the works of Eastern European artists working internationally, whose practices engage with the archetypal narratives, visual iconographies and material histories of the region. The exhibition seeks to locate these important artists within a planetary context while simultaneously addressing the concepts of belonging and heritage through a critical lens.

The universal symbol of the sun as the leitmotif reinforces the idea of interconnection and the oscillation between macro and micro narratives; the same sun shines on everyone in the world, but everyone will receive its light a little bit differently. We all share one planet as a home and should cultivate collective networks of care, empathy and responsibility independently of borders; at the same time, knowing one’s roots and learning from vernacular histories is essential for a more nuanced understanding of the bigger picture. Navigating the complex intersection of the global and the local, the artworks featured in Different Solar Settings mix different timelines and incorporate elements of identity, landscape and society with other global influences. They thus create a new, fluid mythological language through a canon of subjective voices.

Participating artists: Omara-Mara Oláh, Botond Keresztesi, Gideon Horváth, Ádám Ulbert, Selma Selman, Maja Djordjevic, Dominika Trapp, Attila Bagi, József Csató, Anna Hulačová, Áron Lőrincz, Pista Horror, Gergő Kovách, Anna Perach, Gábor Pintér. Curated by Peter Bencze, text by Sonja Teszler.

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Miklós Kiss – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (September 2022)

David Kovats will open its doors to the public on September 7th with a debut solo exhibition by Hungarian multidisciplinary artist Miklós Kiss, newly represented by the gallery. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang will feature Kiss’ series of Infinity Hug sculptures and his sculptural Gameboy paintings, following his large-scale solo show at the Art Museum Versi in South Korea.

Kiss’s acclaimed career in graphic design, typography and interior design heavily informs his conceptually driven practice, which examines the influence of language and visual culture on human relations and systems of communication and identification. The works typically incorporate motifs from mainstream visual culture like cartoon characters, video games, emojis and hearts, infusing these universal symbols with hidden twists in their meaning and their politics.

In his signature Neo-Pop style, Kis challenges the boundaries between High and Low Art and reflects on the entangled relationship between art, capitalism and human emotions.

ONLINE: Pista Horror – Kindergarten (September 2022)

David Kovats will launch its new online Viewing Room in September 2022, in parallel with the opening of our new gallery space in South Kensington. The first presentation will feature Pista Horror’s new drawings on squared paper.

Returning to a more immediate medium after his labour-intensive tile paintings from recent years, Horror synthesises various past sources of imagery and symbolism in this new series. The drawings hit a playful and subversive note with nostalgia, recalling a ‘rebellious student’, who spends his time sketching tongue-in-cheek illustrations in class, while still maintaining a darker undertone of Horror’s signature black humour and his resistance to both aesthetic and social norms.

Kindergarten presents a multilayered world where different imaginary and real planes fracture one another, creating new avenues of association and challenging a monolithic view on systems of knowledge and reality.

Oana Farcas, Iona Iacob, Tincuta Marin – Stolen Moments, Vivid Dreams (February 2022)

The exhibition brings together three young women painters from Romania: Oana Farcas, Ioana Iacob and Tincuta Marin. There has been a great deal of attention afforded to the male artists who trained in Cluj and who went on to be described as: ‘The Cluj School’ – artists such as Adrian Ghenie, Victor Man, Marius Bercea, Serban Savu and Mircea Suciu, yet sadly little attention has been afforded to the women who also trained there.

This exhibition provides a long overdue opportunity to begin to redress the balance. Curated by Jane Neal (who launched the careers of the Cluj artists with the now legendary exhibition ‘Cluj Connection’ at Haunch of Venison in Zurich, 2006), Stolen Moments, Vivid Dreams examines the distinctive styles and subject matter of Oana Farcas, Ioana Iacob and Tincuta Marin. All three artists are preoccupied by the interior world of the mind’s eye, the link between the visual and the perceived – and the power of the imagination.

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In partnership with: Jecza Gallery

Zsolt Bodoni – Hybrids (October 2021)

Bodoni has been known for his wraithlike canvases on the Eastern European mind. His dark and dingy atmosphere is now turned into an ingenious and – literally – ’bright’ essay on medium-specificity in art. The figurative painting that captures three dimensions in two is now enriched by a new, non-planar form of being confined to a paintable plane. The light that regularly has to be mastered on the front now hits from the back.

The dawn of modern advertising or the architectural mastery of artificial roof lighting are common motives to lead us through an ’ultra-hygienic’ post-pandemic world, or through the epic, Laocoön-like struggle of modern man with a spectacle-oriented society. But there is something much more accurate to be said. Bodoni inverts the history of using visual skills to project 3-D compounds on 2-D images by adding them an extra – and unconventional – layer of depth through neon lights, bearers of a striking graphic essentialism. His acrylic canvases are sculpture-like neither for their realism, nor for the informal techniques and heavy impasto, but for using lit-up contours to entertain a more accurate perspective.

In partnership with: Einspach Fine Art & Photography

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Barnabás Lakatos Gelléri – Arriving into Something New (August 2021)

Awash in sensual, radiant colour, the young artist Barnabás Lakatos-Gelléri’s large-scale canvases freely adopt the palette of Pop Art — or perhaps anachronistically, the Fauves — with the gestures of Neo-Expressionism. Still a student at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Lakatos-Gelléri is already something of an icon of the ‘Queer Budapest’ movement, an initiative bringing together and showcasing queer artists. His work finds its energy in a street art aesthetic of flattened perspective, aerosol paint and bold figuration, as well as a powerful sense of resistance to the conservatism of Hungary’s establishment: ‘Here we are fighting for survival as queer artists and this kind of collective visibility gave us a lot of strengths to our community, he asserts. ‘I hope that through art we can reach people in Hungary.’

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Gábor Király – Blissful Idleness (July 2021)

Central to Gábor’s practice is an experimental approach to painting that rarely involves conscious planning. Often abandoning then reworking images over long periods, his portrayal of human frailty and fallibility in raw, gestural brushstrokes echoes post-war neo-expressionist motifs. Gábor’s subjects are at once anonymous — he claims they are fictitious interpretations of real people — and seemingly alert to their individuality. Some are almost intimidating full-face, or half-length compositions cropped tightly to the extremities of the frame; others, in three-quarter view, suggest the intimacy or vulnerability of a self-portrait. Despite the idiosyncrasies and awkward poses, there is compassion too — he describes the works as subconscious impressions of social encounters.

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Bazil Duliskovich – Selected Works (June 2021)

In Bazil’s experience, viewers interpret his paintings differently from the way he sees them, frequently pointing out a sense of loneliness suffusing the work. He rarely begins with a set plan in mind, and does not set out to capture a mood of isolation — nor is he comfortable providing ideological interpretations. But it is true that he prefers complete solitude in the studio, his own autonomous space.
• Exhibition in partnership with Blitz Galeria

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István Nyári – Hungarian Beauty (May 2021)

István Nyári’s approaches his art with the eye of a film director. To experience his large, vividly coloured paintings is to be confronted by carefully staged, hyperrealist compositions crowded with kaleidoscopic detail. Although István’s canvases are a bravura display of technical skill, he prefers to discuss the narratives behind the work, believing that meaningful art should transcend its physical qualities.

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Pista Horror – Year of the Rat (December 2020)

‘I do not think in terms of traditional works of art, I am looking for a challenge that drives us towards seeing a given surface more intently. I do not want to create a commonplace work of art, I would like to know that my creation has its function and place. It is inspiring to create this way.’

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