Szilard Gaspar

Szilard Gaspar’s “First Museum Show” is a spectacular conclusion and a thrilling promise. Featuring a diversity of artistic media, from sculpture and installation to video, from performance to photography, the show is nevertheless tightly coherent and unified by a certain dominant atmosphere and by the particular attitude towards art making in which all the exhibited works are rooted.
Having serious experience as boxer and being an academically trained, visual artist, Gaspar has reached the point in his artistic development where he can be considered a mature, although really unusual sculptor and performer. He is not merely sculpting, modelling or casting; impressively and daringly, he is performing sculpture. His performative interactions with clay can be easily misunderstood by anyone who has no basic representation of the nature of fight sports and / or refuses to take into consideration the intensely educated talent and the exquisite physical and mental precision they actually require, when performed at advanced levels.
Gaspar’s art fits well in the history of performance art, which is saturated with artists expressing themselves in dynamic manners, via actions that often connote aggressiveness, exaltation or display some liberating emotional outburst. But such performances, even when they require endurance, for example, are still almost always unskilled or de-skilled in some sense, except for the cases in which some sort of professional performers (actors, dancers) are involved. To the contrary, Gaspar’s stake is to displace and re-contextualize solid, highly specific skills, to make boxing skills, moves and specific beauty migrate into the realm of art, without simplification or compromise, and to be deployed for expressing new meanings. His aim is not to exuberantly let emotions out, but to precisely master physical explosiveness and body dynamics, in order to meet aesthetic ends. This is no second rate, care-free therapy of sorts; this is about mind and body being conjugated in a strenuous effort aimed at making inert matter yield into providing meaning.