Dóra Maurer: See like this and see differently

Cat. Kunsthalle Bielefeld

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Christian Végh, Henrike Mund
texts (German/English) by Zsuzsa László, Henrike Mund, Christina Végh
152 p with 140 coloured illustrations
280 x 230 mm, brochure with flaps

ISBN 978-3-86442-393-2

29,80 €

Dóra Maurer occupies a special position

Dóra Maurer (*1937, lives in Budapest) is con­sidered a prominent figure on the Hungarian neo-avant-garde scene. She is one of the artists who have been taking progressive paths outside of Hungary’s official state cultural policies since the 1960s. Her work in the mediums of printmaking, photographs, film, performance art, and painting features a conceptual approach. Major aspects are perception, movement, displacement, and transformation. In the early years of West-Germany, abstract art was intro­duced as a poli­tical new beginning in that it represented the so-called open society. Accordingly, numerous ­collections in German museums are oriented ­toward this, including the one at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (Dóra Maurer exhibition in Bielefeld 29/1–15/5/2022), whose building was designed by the US-American architect Philip Johnson. While ­abstract art in the West was considered »free of ideologies« and instrumentalized as such, ­abstraction in countries such as Hungary, which was part of the Eastern bloc at the time, certainly had an »oppositional« connotation. Due to both the non-representational nature of her works as well as her contacts and travels in the West prior to 1989 (permitted thanks to her Hungarian-Austrian dual citizenship), Maurer occupies a special position within the Hungarian art world, which in those days was mainly dominated by ­Socialist Realism. In her experiments in photog­raphy and film in the 1970s, as well as in her ­abstract, geometric works based on a process of displacement, there are obvious parallels to Western European and US-American post-war art. In fact, however, her oeuvre is inconceivable with­out her experience of life under the official Hungarian system during the socialist period.