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Exhibition launches Modernity X Hungary: A Festival of Hungarian Modernism in New York
László Moholy-Nagy, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1926. Silver gelatin print, 1973. Hungarian Museum of Photography.

NEW YORK, NY.- AlmaOnDobbin, a Brooklyn-based art foundation that connects art circles in America, Eastern Europe, and Africa, presents “Impact: Abstraction & Experiment in Hungarian Photography,” the first of two linked exhibitions that celebrate Hungarian photography from László Moholy-Nagy until today, opened at Alma Gallery on May 7th, 2016. This event launches Modernity X Hungary—A Festival of Hungarian Modernism in New York, a series of exhibitions, concerts, and performances taking place May 7 - August 14, 2016, sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary.

On view through June 18, 2016,“Impact: Abstraction & Experiment in Hungarian Photography” highlights László Moholy-Nagy’s experimental drive and his tendency toward abstraction, alongside more than twenty other artists, past and present, who share these impulses.

Ágnes Eperjes’s color photograms explore the operation of pure, colored light. Szacsva y Pál blurs the real and the represented by photographing projections onto objects. Enikő Gábor transforms her living room into a camera obscura, photographing her neighbor’s property through blinds that work as shutters. Dezső Szabó electrifies a metal airplane model until it emits the light effect known as St. Elmo’s fire.

Gábor Kerekes viewed photography itself as an alchemical juncture between art and science. His drone’s-eye-view anthracotypes of Roswell and Area 51 link secrecy and surveillance, fact and fiction—and recall Kerekes’s own past as a state informer. The tension between current observation and historic techniques occurs also in Magdolna Vékás’s New York series, produced with emulsion on offset-litho plates. The collaborative works of Tibor Hajas and János Vető include “Surface Torture III” (1978), in which the artists’ angst is expressed by burning the negative.

Moholy-Nagy’s fascination with new media is evident is his remarkable color film, “Light Machine” (1942-43), and it is echoed in Ted Kraynik’s “Video Luminar” (1968), a pioneering video that will premier at Alma following its recent restoration. Equally inventive is Monochrome Clack’s eponymous installation, which features projection over a mosaic of modified black-and-white photographs, with a music mix by Kinga Kovács a.k.a. DJ Sanyi.

This exhibition is immediately followed by “Echoes: City, Society, Conflict & Self in Hungarian Photography” (June 24 through July 30, 2016). Both exhibitions, curated by Gary van Wyk, are presented by AlmaOnDobbin, the Consulate General of Hungary, the Balassi Insitute, and Art Market Budapest, Eastern Europe’s leading contemporary art event that hosts Art Photo Budapest, one of Europe’s major international photo fairs. Lenders include the Hungarian Museum of Photography, Moholy-Nagy University (MOME), the Kepes Institute in Eger, leading Hungarian galleries, collectors in Hungary and the United States, and Hungarian artists in several countries.

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