Endre Tót — Endre Tót

Exhibition

Performance, photography

Endre Tót
Endre Tót

Ends in 23 days: February 20 → April 25, 2020

For the first time, the Salle Principale gallery is exhibiting artworks by the Hungarian artist Endre Tót. He is one of the most significant figures of the Hungarian neo-avant-garde generation and an emblematic figure of international conceptualism and mail art. Tót’s developed his main subjects, Nothingness, Joy, as well as his Rain series from 1971 onwards, all significant works which are signature pieces of his conceptual ideas. The first manifestation of Nothingness as an idea in Tót’s art was the use of the Zero character, appearing in various contexts and media. Tót’s so-called ’Joys’ or ’Gladnesses’ were humorous parodies of the culture of optimism, articulated via a long-term series of actions and artworks, a number of which will be presented in the exhibition.

[…] Without exhibitions, without opportunities for sharing, and without reception, what is the point of creating anything? … To avoid censorship, he went in secret to Belgrade, the capital of what was then Yugoslavia, and sent his works to the West. By embracing all the possibilities offered by Mail Art, his new works could at last circulate and be communicated, photocopied and sent on; they had an address. In 1971, the young art historian Jean-Marc Poinsot invited Tót to send contributions for his book Mail art, communication à distance, concept and to be shown in Poinsot’s exhibition “Envois” at the seventh Paris Biennale. Tót acquired international recognition and spontaneously started to write to the artists on show. The Rain series — postcards on which oblique lines symbolise artificial rain — nonetheless clearly signal a sense of separation (My Rain, your Rain, 1971-79), isolation (Isolated Rain, 1971-79) or the interiority of the artist as recluse (Inside Rain, 1971-79). He wrote to you because you were there and he was here. By sending his works outside the country, the artist appropriated their modes of circulation; his work crossed the iron curtain. In this way he powerfully asserted his individuality at a time when the totalitarian state was deliberately preventing it from expressing itself.

Sophie Lapalu art critic and curator_extract of the text Endre Tót, 2020

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28, rue de Thionville

75019 Paris

T. 33 9 72 30 98 70

www.salleprincipale.com

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Wednesday – Friday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

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