Zsolt Bodoni's first solo exhibition in the UK.
Bodoni was born in Elesd, in the Transylvanian part of Romania. It is a territory whose ownership has been claimed both by Romania and by Hungary since the Fi rst World War, and which has been repeatedly transferred between the two nations. Ethnically Bodoni is Hungarian, and he now lives and works in Budapest, where he attended the Art Academy. But his Transylvanian roots give rise to a tension of cultural identity, the traces of which can be seen in this new body of paintings.
The paintings represent monuments to saints and the Virgin Mary and statues of the Turul, a mythical eagle-like protector of the Hungarian race. Bodoni embarked on this series after a trip made to a town in a part of Serbia which, like Transylvania, had once been Hungarian. Now derelict, the Hungarian monuments were among the few structures still standing in the war-torn town. It began for him a series of paintings of these monuments, both actual and imagined. For the artist they are images which speak of the cultural and political tensions of the region and of his own personal history.
Since graduating in 2000 from the Hungarian Acad! emy of Fine Arts in Budapest, Bodoni has exhibited extensively in Hungary. He was the recipient of the NKA award for artists in 2004 and 2005. In spring 2008 he was included in the exhibition Portraits of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, curated by Jane Neal at f a projects.