The MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Art in Debrecen invites those interested to an exhibition of extraordinary significance. The retrospective exhibition of László Lakner, one of the most important representatives of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde, opens on May 28, 2022. The exhibition, which runs until September 11 and is curated by art historian David White, showcases the artist’s more than 40 years of creative work.
László Lakner is one of the most important artists of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde: his art is characterized by thematic and stylistic diversity and continuous experimentation. Within his oeuvre, radically different style tendencies coexist, but they are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary. Some of Lakner’s works can be linked to gray naturalism, pop art, photographic realism, conceptualism, and informal painting of a scriptural character, and then a post-conceptual painting, often geometric, often based on letters and texts, becomes more and more emphasized in his oeuvre.
László Lakner’s retrospective exhibition entitled Alter Ego at MODEM in Debrecen provides a comprehensive overview of the oeuvre from the early, surrealist period of the late 1950s and early 1960s through pop art and then new figurative works related to photorealism in the 1970s. Through the conceptual photographs and book objects created in the 1990s, the writing was based on increasingly expressive characters in the 1980s, and the post-conceptual and scriptural paintings created from the 1990s to the present day.
The exhibition is the largest-scale overview of László Lakner’s extremely rich oeuvre since the Ludwig Museum’s exhibition Metamorphosis in 2004-2005. In Lakner’s works, he often finds himself in historical situations, identifying with significant figures in cultural history and thereby modeling historical-social situations. The title Alter Ego also refers to the many games of identification and thus to the dynamics of changes in style and motifs. At the exhibition, it becomes possible to read together with the different groups of works, and thus explore the hidden connections of the polyphonic oeuvre, the complex network of motives and references.
László Lakner, who has been living in Germany since 1974, is one of the leading artists not only in the domestic but also in the international art scene. He has performed three times at the Venice Biennale (1972, 1976, 1990), and has exhibited at the Kassel Documentary in 1977, the Sydney Biennale in 1979, the German Critics’ Prize in 1976, and the Kossuth Prize in 1998. In addition to the most important public collections in Hungary, his works can be found in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Berlinische Galerie, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Ludwig Forum in Aachen, the Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Galeria Degli Uffizi in Florence.
In Hungary, the Museum of Fine Arts – Hungarian National Gallery preserves the most significant collection of its works. In 2020, he donated about 40 of his works to the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts after 1800.
The cooperating partner of the MODEM exhibition is the Museum of Fine Arts. A catalog of studies by international authors will be prepared for the exhibition. The curator of the exhibition is David White.
The exhibition is open until September 11, 2022.
MODEM opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00