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The anniversary exhibition of Ottó Szabó

written by Kovács Ágnes
translated by Zoltán Bartko 2015-03-31

 

The anniversary exhibition of Ottó Szabó

 

(Excerpt from the opening speech of the Ottó Szabó′s anniversary exhibition held on 10th March 2015). 

 

     Before I start the laudation of the artist standing next to me, I would like to answer the question asked by many of you: why is Ottó Szabó′s anniversary exhibition being held in Rožňava, Slovakia, at the Gallery of the Mining Museum in Rožňava. 

 

     Well, the answer is easy: Ottó "Oti" Szabó was born in this town. Moreover, he and Rovás, the organisation led by him have fantastic contacts with this Museum, so venue selection was not an issue. Other than that, we managed to spend 5 nice years in the town after the millennium and we made our marriage vow in the Calvinist church of the town - I believe, you allow me a justification of personal nature at this 50th anniversary, too; I believe, Oti won′t get offended, either (anyway, it is the first time he hears this speech). 

 

     It is very difficult to be terse when summarizing Oti′s fruitful career. He is not the kind of artist, who stopped development at his works created at the College of Fine Arts or repeated the same dull thing for ages. 

He has the IDEA. He has never had an authors′ crisis, he has never burned out and he has never felt void. He has always had goals and plans, he keeps on painting even in his thoughts. There was even a period, when he painted only in his thoughts, until the PICTURE assembled in his mind. And then he put it on the canvas.

 

     Anyway, let me briefly present a bird′s-eye view of his career.  

Ottó Szabó is a painter. He deals with free arts, he paints sacred and monumental works, he produces industrial designs, he works with classic and computer-aided graphics, he illustrates books, he deals with typography, pre-press processes and the logistics of art.

 

    I believe, it is not an overstatement to say that he is the court painter of the Lord, since he is one of the most often commissioned artists, as far as sacred subjects are concerned. 

In many Slovakian churches (in Orechová Potôň, Budulov, Moldava nad Bodvou and Rešica) people pray under the stations of the cross painted by him; he was the one, who designed the vestry, the chandeliers, the processional cross and the furnishings of the Roman Catholic church in Moldava nad Bodvou – i.e. the altar, the throne, the sedes and the ambo. All furnishings of the church in Rešica (including the organ) and the interior was made according to his design, thus the church is a compact work of art. 

 

   In the fall of 2004 he was awarded the award of excellence of the Ethnic Hungarian Artists′ Association of Slovakia. 

He co-founded Rovás and Rovás Academy, which deals with contemporary art initiatives, film, photography, intermedia activities, computer-aided and applied graphics; organizes exhibitions, international, national and regional workshops, various courses; supports young talents, educates classic fine art technology, organizes industrial design, craft and cultural workshops and camps. 

 

In 2005, he co-initiated the birth and operation of the first Slovakian trilingual art portal, Rovart (www.rovart.sk). 

In 2010, he was awarded the Pro Cultura Hungarica award. 

In 2012, he established the International Creative Community of Rovás - the eNRA.

In 2014, Rovás, the organisation led by him, was awarded the plaque of the Košice County Administration. In the same year, he received a high state honour, too:  as an appreciation of the outstanding artistic career contributing to the culture of the Hungarian nation, he was awarded the Knight of Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary by János Áder, President of Hungary. 

 

    Ottó Szabó produces new works for each of his exhibitions. Among the paintings and graphics exhibited here are 25 brand new ones, just finished yesterday.    

 

    This is the start of the second, similarly active and creative half of his life, hopefully lasting at least 50 years, with its first phases visible right away. Currently, he is working on the design of the full interior of the church in Vinica, Slovakia, another great challenge: he was commissioned to paint a fresco there; he was also requested to design the vitrage of the synagogue in Lučenec, Slovakia.

 

    Dear Oti, allow me and our friends to wish you undiminished élan and a lot of well-paid work. 

 


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