Artist: DENIGOVA (Denisa Štefanigová)
Title: Remind me what it means to feel alive
Venue: Easttopics Gallery, Budapest
Photo: Dávid Bíró
Easttopics is proud to present DENIGOVA’s first solo exhibition in Hungary as a result of the young artist’s residency in Budapest. Featuring her most recent paintings on canvas as well as collages and a sound piece realised in collaboration with Lea Sekulić specifically for this show, the project focuses on the artist’s painterly visions of desire, seduction, pain and disappointment comprised in the dynamics of any relationship. Considering the act of painting – pressing out colours from a tube, applying them onto the canvas, brushing them around and melting them into one another – as an overtly sensual process, the artist operates with harsh colours, thick and large brushstrokes, expressive forms and constructs her compositions with a repertoire of recurring elements and scenes that act as symbols and allegories. The visions that unfold on the canvas tell the stories of painting tubes releasing different colours, usually red and blue, that meet in an armchair or a sofa to create organic, occasionally abstract forms or shapes reminiscent of the human body, circles with sharp, dry black contours.
The tension in the depicted scenes between the sensual mixture of tempera, acrylic, oil and dry pastel on one hand and chromatic aggression on the other is puzzling. With these material and visual tools, the artist investigates, concentrates and confronts the emotional amplitude and underlying, invisible violence that compose love interactions on the canvas. Therefore, not only does DENIGOVA visualise her personal relationship struggles, failures or trauma, she also tackles a phenomenon all of us can relate to; the embellishment of past experiences – physical or psychical – and the disillusive reflection, critical processing of these memories as a necessary operation to move forward.
DENIGOVA (Denisa Štefanigová, b. 1995) obtained her Bachelor Degree in painting at the University of Technology, Faculty of Fine Arts (FaVU) in Brno, Czechia in 2019. She has then pursued her studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts in the Contemporary Art Master program, from which she graduated in 2021. Denisa also studied in Facultad de Bellas Artes in Bilbao in 2017. Her artistic practice focuses mostly on painting, though recently she has been working with other media such as sound, textile, collage, video, participatory art and performance. Her work is predominantly a reflection on the themes of love, relationships and intimacy, but also the violence that transpires from such interactions. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Lay down on me at Vent Space in Tallinn (2019) and Botanical Garden of My MotherNitro at Gedok Gallery, Stuttgart (2018). She has exhibited in Estonia, Spain, Germany and Czech Republic.
Easttopics is dedicated to the promotion of the Eastern European contemporary art field. Working as a think tank for the Eastern European art communities, Easttopics is a genuinely interdisciplinary cooperative which goal is to draw the Eastern contemporary art field and the international art scene closer to each other. This cross-border project took form as an expanding on-line website and database until now. At last we have the chance to step out the online world and open our offline exhibition space. Easttopics focuses on the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.