07. 10. 2021. – 01. 09. 2022.


Vajda Museum


Brigitta Muladi

István Nádler’s exhibition on the upper floor of Szentendre’s Vajda Museum showcases his new graphic works from 2020/21, ten of which, as has now become our tradition, are included in a purchasable serigraphy album published by the Ferenczy Museum Centre.
As we have already observed in the artist’s unique philosophical system, the cycle of prints entitled Freely – which also comprises the material presented in the 10 sheet album – constantly refers back to the artist’s prior ambitions, while also pointing beyond them. In 2018, for Péter Esterházy’s (2016†)’s volume entitled Seven Last Words, Nádler completed his visual articulation of the text. The Haydn piece taken together with Esterházy’s writing had already had an elemental impact on the artist, and it was at that time that, while creating the inspirations, he recognised the core of his own ambitions.

One of the essential events of the Passion story, occurring “somewhere between the fifth and sixth stations”, is Christ’s liberation from his earthly bonds, that is, from the horizontally oriented, swirling world of reality. In Nádler’s case, the departure from this sphere is facilitated by meditation, which deepens with the vertical movement of his brushes, leading the artist into the world of transcendence. Vertical gestures thus come to represent the coveted state in which, in the empty space symbolized by the white paper, the artist breaks free and is able to keep the paint, as material, in the domain of the “centre” during the painting process.

“The centre is the harmony that dissolves opposing forces with a unifying intention. The centre is nothing other than the harmony of the soul, that rare moment when the ego is not paying attention, not wanting. The human being is always on one or the other opposing side of this centre. My entire career as an artist has been about knowing and working with these two sides.” (István Nádler) In the graphic sheets now on display, the artist unites the territories of up and down, while aiming to maintain the “centre” at all times. Following his movements, the material, which behaves in various ways, tends to move densely upwards, spiralling, splashing into a cross shape, then loosening and disappearing. While working freely, dissolved in meditation, the gesture, flowing upwards like a black beam of energy, marks the direction of progress – the spiritual path to infinity.