Dóra Maurer´s Changing Structures of Reality

11 April 2021

Dóra Maurer´s Changing Structures of Reality

Tate Modern presented the year-long largest UK retrospective of Hungarian artist Dóra Maurer. This can be considered a milestone – not only for the life oeuvre of the influential artist, teacher and curator, but also for the international reception of Hungarian art. The exhibition brought together some 35 works spanning more than five decades and revealing the diversity of her output, including graphic works, photographs, films and paintings.

Dávid Fehér, Director of Central European Research Institute of Art History and Curator of 20th Century and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, explains the importance of Dóra Maurer´s work.

Dóra Maurer is one of the leading artists of the Hungarian Neo-Avantgarde, which emerged in the 1960s. At the beginning of her career she created surrealistic graphic works, experimenting with “automatic” methods of creative production. From the 1970s the process of “leaving traces” became more and more central to Maurer’s art. She investigated these modifications in her serial compositions, confronting the rigid structure of geometric forms with the shapes of organic materials.

Maurer documents the phases of displacement in several photographs. She takes pictures of the phases of everyday movements and then changes their order, thus investigating the syntax of human motion. These playful epistemological experiments lead to the basic questions of filmic montage. Her films addressed the possibilities of measuring time and the relativity of human perception.

Maurer’s artworks, created in various media, are based on defined systems and structures, which the artist shifts and slides apart, step by step, and in this way creates new forms and combinations of colour. The recurring motifs and objects of Maurer’s paintings are illusorily inclined planes and fields of colour, intersecting each other, which over the years have increasingly diverged from the system linked to compositions of the artist from the 1970s.

In the insightful words of Dieter Honisch, director of the New National Gallery in Berlin, what interests Dóra Maurer “is not art, but reality and the perpetually changing manifestation of reality.” Maurer’s works have been acquired by such defining public collections as the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Read more about Dóra Maurer on the website or in the recently published book by Vintage Gallery MAURER DÓRA: QUOD LIBET.

Dóra Maurer
STAGE II, 2016
Acrylic on PVC panels
200×600 cm

Tate, Presented by anonymous donors 2018