Venue: acb Attachment
Photo: Tibor Varga Somogyi
20 September – 25 October 2019
Máté Dobokay presents his first acb solo exhibition at the acb Attachment, showcasing his series from the past six years. In continuation with his exhibition entitled Ag, which was presented recently at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center and focused on photographic silver, the artist carries on his explorations in chemistry – which he began in 2013 with Hommage à Simon Hantai – in his latest works as well. Máté Dobokay’s body of conceptual artworks pushes the boundaries of photography: they uncover the inner structures, raw materials, chemical and physical components of photography, often without a camera and as a result of lengthy research experimentation. In his analytical pieces, the paper, the photographic substances, and the chemical reactions all serve as tools of artistic examination.
The exhibition entitled Density is centred on three different series by Dobokay, created between 2013 and 2019, and points to the artist’s practice of exploring the materiality of photography through his abstract images, which are expressions of his investigations into the structure of photo paper. The selection, which proves that the artist does not shy away from painting either, presents silver solutions in various states and on different support surfaces. As the title also indicates, the juxtaposition of these series allows for drawing comparisons between various structures and densities, as well as different degrees of concealment and saturation. As the point of departure is always the same: light-sensitive paper and silver.
In his series Hommage à Simon Hantai, already familiar to Hungarian audiences, Dobokay adapted the pliage technique that was developed by Hantai, to the raw materials of photography: the imprints of chemicals seeping into the creases of the photo paper that had been crumpled up and immersed in developer are revealed when the support is smoothed out again. With this method, Dobokay also initiates a dialogue between painting and photography. In his series entitled Silver on Paper, the artist performed electrolysis to obtain silver from used fixer solution (which had dissolved into it from the photo paper) and then captured on etching paper the material, tangible essence of the chemical element. The resulting visual effect is, in some places, reminiscent of cosmic currents, while, in other instances, manifests as static, textural patterns. In his latest group of works entitled Silver on Canvas, the artist obtained his silver with the same modus operandi, which he then dribbled through a white canvas, resulting in shapes with layered, condensed surfaces resembling patterns from the Rorschach Test.
Máté Dobokay was born in 1988, in Pécs. He studied at the University of Pécs and in the Photography BA Program of the University of Kaposvár. His works have earned him numerous awards and scholarships: in 2015-2016, he received the Fellowship of the Republic of was a semi-finalist of the 2015 Leopold Bloom Art Award and, in 2017, of the Esterházy Art Award. In 2014, he was a member of the winning team of OFF_Festival of Bratislava and was also nominated for the Lucien & Rodolf Hervé Prize. In 2018, he was one of the two artists to win the first MODEM Prize in Debrecen. Since 2012, he has regularly exhibited his works in such venues as the Ludwig Museum, the Vasarely Museum, the MODEM, and the New Budapest Gallery. He has also participated in numerous European shows. He debuted as the youngest artist at the exhibition IMPACT: Abstraction & Experiment in Hungarian Photography in New York. Between 2014 and 2017, he was a member, and from 2015–2017 an executive member of the Studio of Young Photographers (FFS). Since 2015, he has been a member of the Studio of Young Artists Association (FKSE).
The exhibition was supported by NKA.