Early Works


Gábor Városi’s exhibition in Paris in 1987was opened by Victor Vasarely (1906-1997),the world-famous, Hungarian-born artist,a legend, the “grandfather of Op-Art”

Tachisme, Gestural Abstraction, Action Painting – at first glance, these are the terms that come to mind when I think of Gábor Városi’s early works, painted in the second half of the 1980s. Turning away from the obligatory academic training (partly under the influence of his excellent master Zoltán Tölg-Molnár), the artist clearly chose the path of abstraction, although looking at the subsequent stages of his oeuvre it becomes clear that Városi was equally committed to representational / figurative depiction.

Except that the special feature of his portrait-format, mixed-media paintings is that the young artist composed the lyrical elements by juxtaposing poles leaning into geometric abstraction. This duality is the source of the tension in his paintings, as the approaches used create the counterpoint of the compositions. Városi richly and lavishly covers the entire surface of the painting with amorphous fragments, which he counterpoints with geometric elements. In the pictorial space, formless fields of colour, patches, blobs, flowing streams of paint, winding grooves and surfaces in a variety of colours collide with geometric elements; straight lines, lines breaking at right angles, rectangles, squares, cross-formations, triangles and polygonal constructions. In counterpointing, the artist never positions the geometric details horizontally or vertically - not even enclosed in the central core – but in each case deflects and unhinges the geometrising fragment. The trouvaille occurs when, in spite of all of the above, the artworks always remain in balance. Amorphous and linear constructs occupy the entire image space. This is achieved in such a way that the surface is lightened in places and darkened in others.

Csaba Kozák Art Historian


Floating Non-Christian Cross 1987

In Floating Non-Christian Cross a transparent, pierced-worked cross shape is perspective-shifted into virtual space, embraced by a yellowish background, with a red stream of paint (the blood of Christ?) running through at the “waist”, while the art-work turns dark at the edges of the pictorial space.


The Tilted Tower 1987

The Tilted Tower is a brick-shaped tower with a dark window, which does not tip only because it is balanced by a smaller, also transparent, twin tower at the base of the building.


Tree of Soul in Red 1987

A black and red “tree” stands tall on the canvas of Tree of Soul in Red. The wax as the (back-) ground already indicates the artist’s affinity for the encaustic painting technique. The surface is pasty, heavily worked, notched and broken with sinuous lines.


Lyre with Triangle 1987

In the painting Lyre with Triangle, it is as if two human figures were in a loving embrace. (Let’s not forget that in the abstract realm the human eye is always searching for something comparable to the real world, something identifiable, something that can be decoded.) The orange- red triangle piercing from the “director’s left” into the picture highlights the couple who found each other on the picture’s wrinkled surface.


I Got You in My Dream 1987

I Got You in My Dream is probably a projection of an erotic dream onto the canvas. The erect cylindrical body is bent away from the vertical axis of the artwork, and is raised so that the artist has placed a toy cap on its “head”. This “hat” could be a symbol of a boy maturing from adolescence to manhood.


Cubist Composition 1987

The Cubist Composition is exactly what its title suggests: a tribute to the Cubist movement of the first decade of the 19th century, led by Braque and Picasso. There are bluish-grey and pink, bro- ken, ragged, splintered fragments; triangles and rectangles swimming / floating in the pictorial space of the painting.


Endre Bálint Memorial 1987 

The Endre Bálint Memorial is a tribute to one of the greatest painters of Hungarian avant-garde. The 3D cross-shape, instilled with amorphous spots and defined by thin contours appears in this painting too, but here a bluish curtain floats in the background.

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