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Leslie Szabo: Journey
About László Szabó-M.’s paintings – pentillist.

Szabó-M. is an unusual, prominent artist in the modern Hungarian art scene, who resists being placed into any particular movement.
He is constantly experimenting with different movements and techniques, from painting to sculpture by way of drawing, and he has created many striking pieces, which show an astounding breadth of talent and a drive to master the fine points of technique.
At the same time neither his technique nor his vision can be compared with any other, he is a unique, constantly fresh artist, who over several decades has developed his very own style, which we might call “pentillist”.

Although he is officially designated as a graphic artist – and is in fact an exceptional one– his works of art, which achieve the appearance of a painting through graphic art techniques, are far beyond the boundaries of classic graphic artistry. If we look at his pictures, our first impression is of a delicate painting (in particular the patches of colour give this impression), but in fact this unique effect is achieved through the use of ecoline pens.
His pictures are made up of countless tiny lines (similar to the countless tiny dots of paint in pointillist paintings), which seen close-up indicate a highly controlled creative method, from further away, however, they give a delicate and sensitive feeling. As if those tiny lines are the thousands of building blocks from which the total impression – the picture – is made.

However we can be sure that Szabó-M. is not directly concerned with which category his technique falls into, but with the subjective flow of his creative art. Pictures, works of art flow from his pen, with delicate and sensitive colour graduations, with waves of disintegration and re-integration, and with many associations, which charge both the viewer and the artist with a dynamic tension. His colours are varied, but the artist, even when using strong colours, always remains conscious of the inner harmony that his pictures portray.
In Szabó-M.’s works details of landscapes, objects and forms, taken out of context or montaged in a surreal juxtaposition, or faded into unrecognisable distance, make his intensely personal vision apparent. As the artist uses his realist (or apparently realist) approach to show us unexpected vistas or intimate spheres, half-guessed-at worlds or almost hyper-realistic motifs, he can produce the same sense of shock in us as the surrealists.

The artist’s “pentillist” pictures show a new, original approach in the artistic scene, where we thought everything possible, and its opposite, had already been discovered. Szabó-M’s long and determined exploration has given us an innovative, powerful and convincing new style.

June 2008, Budapest.

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