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Éva Köves (1965 HU)


ÉVA KÖVES studied painting at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Budapest. Her distinctions include, among others, the Pro Cultura Urbis Award of the City of Budapest as an acknowledgment of her artistic innovations in dealing with urban themes. She was awarded with the Grant of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (New York) three times (1999, 2010, and 2014). As early as 1997 Éva was selected – with two fellow-artists – to exhibit her works at the Hungarian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. She put four installations on view each consisting of 14-18 pieces. Besides that, she painted a monumental (450x350cm) mural painting titled “Venice Veil” that was situated over the entrance of the pavilion.

She has developed especially fruitful working relationship with the Ludwig Museum Budapest – Museum of Contemporary Art where she had three successful individual exhibitions in 1993, 2001 (entitled “Still Life” – the common title of many of Éva’s pictures and installations before and after that) and 2013. By now, Éva has had more than 30 solo exhibitions in Hungary and around Europe: in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Russia, etc. In addition, she participated in about the same number of group shows and exhibitions in her home country and internationally. Her work was shown at international exhibitions staging comprehensive overviews of contemporary Hungarian and Central European art, such as Hungarian Avant-garde in the 20th Century (1998, Linz, Austria), Aspects/Positions 50 Years of Art in Central Europe (1999 and 2000, in the Ludwig Museums of Vienna and Budapest), Lost and Found – Hungary in the Mirror of Its Contemporary Art (2006–2007, Baden-Baden, Germany). Éva as an artist is largely independent of any group or school of the time, however, her work is related to the geometrical, constructivist and anti-mainstream tendencies of the 1920s (the Bauhaus and, especially, Moholy-Nagy). She has found the techniques and the forms that came up to her ideas as soon as in mid-1990s. She re-interpreted, in some way, the classical traditions of painting with oil and mounted her (self-made) black-and-white photos (blown-up in the traditional way) on canvas, took them further in paint, and then went on to create mostly large painting-installations from them, at times consisting of over a dozen small-sized pieces. For about twenty years, she has consistently worked using those techniques and formal elements, even if with consecutive changes in the world, in themes, motifs, and artistic ideas she had to develop and extend them. Specifically, those elements are characteristic for the latest period of her creative art (2009 to this day) when she started cooperating with Andrea Sztojánovits, an intermedia artist engaged in improvisative audiovisual performances, prevalently called VJ (Video Performer). The collaboration is based on the finding that computer-based animation (movements, light, sound—i.e., music and text) projected on the oil/canvas/photo paintings (painting-installations) connects genres emphasising both the prosaic and the poetic world of constructivism. Animation produces a symbiosis between those kinds of art. As a result of the shared creative process, separate painting-installations are coming into existence. Some of the recent works were exhibited from December 2013 at Éva’s third personal exhibition in the Ludwig Museum Budapest (this time with Andrea) called “Monochrome Clack”. In 2014, a gallery in Budapest exhibited “Oscillations” – another pieces resulting from their artistic cooperation.