From 19 April 2024
One could speak of an encounter between beauty and horror, or of how the fantastic has married the dreadful in the artworks of Eva Beresin. Moving through the painterly and graphic worlds of this Hungarian artist, who has lived and worked in Vienna since 1976, one comes across hybrid creatures, grotesque figures, and curiously fantastical beings. The artist’s broad thematic palette, rife with bizarre whimsy as well as the tragic and existential, ranges from medieval-style cruelties to everyday banalities and even humorous episodes.
Beresin challenges the idea of the one-dimensional human being in defiance of any totality. She frequently endows her subjects with animalistic behaviors, while the numerous bona fide animals populating Beresin’s paintings exhibit human traits. There unfolds an artistic universe of sly humor and shenanigans that celebrate just clearly it has gone off the rails. Moments of nonsense coalesce in a veritable apotheosis of the marginalized. Her distortion of ordinary perspectives, true perspectival breaks, and reversals of circumstances suggest carnivalesque situations or recall escapades of mannerist exaggeration. Nothing is unworthy of being depicted. To Beresin, there are no wrong gestures, is no wrong painting, and the speed of her working process along with the eloquent force of her artistic expression underline the autonomy of the painterly act.
Beresin’s works contain repeated instances of exposure where boundaries of shame between the intimate and the public are stretched, with rarely formulated but indeed dominant laws of decency understood by the artist as hers to enthusiastically unhinge. The evident interplay between concealing and revealing is also reflected in her imagery’s oscillation between abstraction and figuration, with its murky figures emerging ghostlike from the background, raucous menagerie of critters, and outsized naked feet evoking hearty laughter in more than a few
On view from 19 April until 15 September 2024 at the ALBERTINA museum in Vienna.
Eva Beresin: Under My Skin, 2022
255 × 319.5 cm Acryl auf Leinwand
(ALBERTINA Wien – Erwerbung aus Mitteln der Galerienförderung des BMKÖS 2022 © Eva Beresin)
Photo: Peter M. Mayer
Eva Beresin: The joys of physical and mental pain, 2022
Öl auf Leinwand
(ALBERTINA, Wien – Familiensammlung Haselsteiner © Eva Beresin)
Photo: Peter M. Mayer
Eva Beresin: Thick Air, 2019
200 × 310 cm Acryl und Öl auf Leinwand
(ALBERTINA Museum Vienna)