b. 1934 Schilde, Germany - d. 1983 Hakpern, Switzerland
Often referred to as a conceptual artist, György Jovánovics has been considered one of the leading figures of Hungary’s art scene since the mid-1960s.
Jovánovics primarily uses the ‘poor’ and frail material of plaster to create, alike marble, smooth and lustrous reliefs. Cast from thin assemblages of geometrical pieces (e.g wood, laths, folded plastic) the white reliefs give the viewer, through the fine depth of the layers and the radiance of light, a permanent swap between reality and illusion. References include classical Greek sculpture, Renaissance spatial concept, the formal language of Auguste Rodin, Cézanne’s system of picture construction and El Lissitzky’s Proun Room. While seeking answers to the universal questions of vision and shaping space, he is also closely connected to Hungarian sculpture and traditions of visual architecture.
Jovánovics co-organised and took part in the avant-garde exhibitions IPARTEV and like his fellow artist, Imre Bak, received a scholarship to the Folkwang Museum, Essen, in 1971. He worked in Berlin between 1980-83. The artist is also famous for his monumental sculptures (1987 The Trojan Paper Mill built for Seoul’s Olympic Park; 1992 Memorial for the Martyrs of 1956 Revolution in Budapest).
Since 1990 he has been a Professor at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest and has represented Hungary in 1995 at the 100th Anniversary of the Venice Biennal. His 1979 plaster relief Curtain to the Ecstatic Marionette has recently entered the collection of Tate Modern, London.