Leopold Bloom Award

Hidden on the top floor of Budapest´s Bálna (whale) is the New Budapest Gallery which currently shows the works of the eight nominees for this year´s Leopold Bloom Award.
The prize, named after the hero in James Joyce´s „Ulysses“, aims at supporting and promoting Hungarian artists at national and international levels.

The exhibition starts with the award´s winner Anna Fabricius´ photo series „Postwork“ for which she had manual labourers pose like the aristocracy in classical paintings. It continues with Mark Fridvalszki´s prints and installation on the mining of bauxite and its visible remains. Eszter Szabó shows a watercolour animation film about „the angry, invisible people“ beginning to fight back. The exhibition´s first part ends with Andi Schmied´s installation „Noguchi Town“, a fictitious, dysfunctional city in Japan, and artist duo L?rinc Borsos´ freely associating but very dark environment.

The other part begins with Hajnal Neméth who, through small changes, transforms well-known pop songs into political statements. Representing Ferenc Gróf´s multi-faceted and playful work I picked out „Shade of States“: The artist calculated the colour averages of the National Gallery´s paintings, and out of these results calculated them again, so that one can kind of say that Hungarian painting is of a greyish green colour. And last but not least the sole exclusively pictorial position with Ákos Ezer who shows in his paintings people at war and failure with their surroundings in a style that slightly reminds of Dana Schultz.

As you can see, the exhibition includes very different attitudes and positions. But thanks to the concentrated presentation it provides a concise insight into the contemporary Hungarian art scene.


Julia Maurer




New Budapest Gallery
Fövám tér 11—12
1093 Budapest





Header: Detail of the installation of Andi Schmied „Noguchi Town“
1: Eszter Szabo „Boycotting Meekness“ (animation loops and aquarells, 2017)
2: Andi Schmied „Noguchi Town“
3: Ákos Ezer
4: Ferenc Gróf, State of Shades
5: Anna Fabricius