Hungarian/American painter, George Peck's exhibition in the Ernst Museum comprises an attempt at the revival of painting.
Peck was born in Budapest in 1941. At the age of 16, he emigrated to the United States of America, where he became the student of Joseph Albers. In the course of his career comprising several dozen solo exhibitions, we have also had the opportunity to meet with his works in Budapest on a number of occasions: at the Kiscelli Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Applied Arts, Barcsay Hall of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Mű-terem Gallery, in the "Turkish" Bath, the Várfok Gallery and the Folyamat Gallery. In 1997 Peck gave a course at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, and since then his engagement has continued with young Hungarian painters.
Peck was one of the leaders of the New York monochrome movement in the 1970s. Initially, he curved the picture surface into a convex structure, and later he applied various layers of paint, cutting and scoring the painted surface. In his series from the 80s, he applied the carved canvases to another supporting surface. His works produced in the mid-90s applied abstract forms of diverse technique to the canvas, mounting them to a newer, unstretched surface after their dissection with the aid of acrylic paint. Within a few years, he also relinquishes coherent supporting surfaces, with his reticular, open structures entering into intimate dialogue with the exhibition space.
The artist describes his newest works:
"This exhibition will consist of three new works I have made between 2004 and 2005, entitled: Fools Gold, Strip Search and Clairvoyant. To the viewer they appear to be paintings in a state of animation, incorporating the "moving image" in their makeup. The projection transforms before our eyes. Behind their layered references, these works take into consideration the uncertainties we now face in our post-9/11 world. As a painter, a New York painter (born in Hungary), my reality has also changed. I am compelled to look around anew, in order to put this into my own context. In my previous paintings, I have been continuously involved with the layering of various materials, visual language and painterly issues. Now I find the "subject matter" takes on an important new role. The reality of the painting and existential reality overlap, creating a new conceptual space. The surface composed of layers of fast-drying acrylic paint is concealed, while its visual existence is intensified by the looped moving image, reduced to minimal human movements, whose events - of human existence and its fragility - are shifted by the layers of paint and other materials to become simultaneously reality and illusion."
New York, NY
Fool's Gold; 2004, variable dimensions, acrylic, polymer, nylon scrim, video)
Clairvoyant; 2004-2005, variable dimensions, acrylic, polymer, nylon scrim, video)
Strip-Search; 2004-2005, variable dimensions, acrylic, polymer, nylon scrim, video)