You can’t be a professional autobiographer

Exhibition view, May 2018, Liget Gallery, Budapest

The writer…, 89×63 cm, oil on canvas

Window, 89×63 cm, oil on canvas

Enumeration, 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

Tandori, 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

Tandori II., 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

Box and Tulipe, 89×63 cm, oil on canvas

With window, 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

Enumeration II., 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

Saint Katalin, 89×63 cm, oil on canvas

I need white background, 63×89 cm, oil on canvas

These ten paintings presented here create a series in which the process of painting, thinking and the pursuit of writing are displayed. Looking at the canvases, one can have a peak of the mess in my studio, bear witness of my struggle with the spoiled foundation and the mourning of the never-written-novel. While presenting the doubts I had during the creation and exhibiting my failures, pictures are still generated and these questionmarks become paintings.

There is a painting that is completely filled in with a sentence stolen from the Hungarian writer Péter Eszterházy: “The writer was such a writer, who always picked literature over life, because he thought, moreover believed, this was his life.” On another painting (titled Window) I continue my speculation on what is painting, what is literature and what they mean for me. The sentences are free of self-censorship, as a free-writing everything that crossed my mind at that moment is painted on the canvas. So you can see the statement “writing is essentially a punishment for me,” and then the question later on on the same canvas: „Why does someone write such a thing that writing is essentially a punishment for me?” In two other paintings (and in many more because of the Drost-effect I like using so much) Dezső Tandori appears as the main reference point. One time I enlarge one of his drawings on my white canvas, another time I write down the sentence “I am the free ideas of Dezső Tandori” referring to a study written by a literary critic about Tandori’s book ‘The stories of evidence’. This particular book of him has no other story, than the story of writing that book and questioning its legitimacy from the very beginning, parallel to my paintings where the theme is the painting itself.

These pictures were exhibited at Liget Gallery under the title of ‘You can’t be a professional autobiographer’. The opening text was written by Blanka Győri, who I would like to quote:

„Tiny objects rendered by needle pointed brush, notes, a mattress in the corner of the studio, letters composed in disciplined lines, they all lay out together the space of the painter’s thoughts, but a physical space as well. Is there any thought without space? For Zsófi the room of one’s own is not just a possibility to be absorbed in ideas, but it carries the ideas as if they were identical.

There is a special modesty of this room, this picturesque attitude. One has to fix one’s own planet first, says Exupéry, before reaching out to anything else. And it can happen that we realize the whole day has passed by with this one task. Or even the whole life.”