© Zsolt Molnár 2017

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Zsolt Molnár is a member of the youngest generation of Hungarian graphic artists. After having completed his studies at the Graphics Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2012, he moved away from traditional printmaking techniques and began studying the conceptual possibilities inherent in graphic arts imagery. He abandoned the slow chemical processes of printmaking and began constructing highly complicated works of collage-architecture, which at first were layered pictorial surfaces and which with time grew into three-dimensional installations the structures of which were balanced in space. The wooden and metal structures built around picture fields expanded into objects closely follow and almost simulate in space the actual functions of the depicted objects, tools and agricultural equipment. Associative titles, like Magpie-Trap (2014), Situation-Regulator (2015) and Multi-Row Sprayer (2016), help one decode the objects, which are hard to identify at first glance. In front of and surrounding the collages, the colours of which have been reduced and the forms and sizes of which vary, Molnár often places a white “paper coulisse” cut to shape. These “coulisses” follow the contours of the objects in the collages with minute precision. The objects depicted in this manner seem to float in the sterile space, which lacks any horizon.

The collages, which consisting of various picture planes and paper layers, become part of the installations and thereby enter the space. The groups of works and the series can be categorized according to subject matter. Prototypes of the forms depicted in the picture planes are mostly tools and pieces of equipment used in agriculture. Molnár studied their mechanisms and construction before transforming them into abstract geometric structures.

The exhibition entitled Agro Scenario presents Zsolt Molnár’s thematic series in a virtual eco-synopsis the chapters of which can be read in any order. These sections, which appear as islands in the exhibition space, can be read as an ill-boding sci-fi-like ecological drama of a global scale. Passing by these collages, one is forced to reckon with unsettling issues, such as the questionable sustainability of European wildlife management or the beneficial or harmful nature of gigantic machinery spraying fruits with pesticides or fertilizing the soil. And in the meanwhile, Molnár uses forms recalling agricultural machinery and the futuristic aestheticism of operation simulations in an endeavour to guide and divert our attention.

Mónika Zsikla