József Csató: Pocket Volcano

When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave. – John Cage

Pocket Volcano–An exhibition byJózsef Csató

Titled asPocket Volcano, József Csató presents his works created last year. A decided difference is the measure of abstraction thanks to the experimental surfaces of his newest works. While Csató unconsciously preoccupied with the foiled, paper collages with pieces of the palette colors, smoke and the volcanic forms slowly seeped through into his pictures. Despite the rich and Baroquefactures, colors and forms what really matter to Csató.

„I don’t hesitate much at painting. When a subject comes up I follow it, and don’t bother with the other thousands I could work on. I aim to bear the responsibility for my decisions, even if that is to repaint the work. The exhibition Pocket Volcano shows the different elements of last year’s experimental world. It is a conceptual shashlik, where various ingredients are on the same base. I have made collages during this period, which affected the paintings in colors and as well as in formal designs. You could find eddying wreath on the paintings, earth-sounds, and clouds of dust, ashes and steam with the calm before explosion or the thousand-year-old silence. Volcanos are there, but only in the pockets.” (Csató József on Pocket Volcano, 2016)

The exhibition carries an interesting play between flat and dimensional surfaces. Although we don’t see the well-known head and memberless figures anymore, we find some of Csató’s trade-mark two-dimensional, drawling or figureless forms now complete with the fine solutions of paint. There is Csató’s straight-out honesty, and playful stolidity within the spontaneous details. His vivid color usage and abounding surfaces not only serve with an aesthetic pleasure, but motivate the viewer to think about the technical solutions.

This time again, his genderless characters are wrapped-around smoke. Here we could find the heritage of his 2013 Vomaeronasale series. It is very intriguing though that he clearly borrows some tools of Street Art on his cheeky portrait (Lady from Hamburg) or on his visual roamings leaning towards abstraction. Up to this time, the complete oeuvre by Csató is defined by humor and irony or the delicate presence of unrealistic burlesque elements. Luckily these are all characteristics of Pocket Volcano as well.

Magdolna Hársfalvi

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