Szilveszter E. Vizi

Science and Art

Exhibition of painter András A. Márton at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Vernissage by Szilveszter E. Vizi, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Opening a fine art exhibition is not an ordinary task for a scientist. However in case of András A. Márton this may be a reasonable role to be taken as science and art shows up simultaneously in Márton’s pictures, in other words an aspiration of being exact appears along with metaphoric presentation of abstract ideas and emotions. This exhibition is opened on the Day of Hungarian Science in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of János Bolyai’s birth. The historic building of the Academy backgrounds and emphasises the painter’s effort of showing human’s heroic struggle with nature and his eternal desire to conquer infinity.

Figures of Appendix written by Hungarian genius, János Bolyai, (Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens, Maros-Vásárhely, 1833) appear in some of Márton’s pictures as paraphrases and objects of artistic interpretation. I think the artist’s aim in using these figures is to raise the spectator’s demand to diverge from the generally accepted laws what is a claim of continuous renewal and development. Bolyai in his above mentioned Appendix had disclosed the 2000-year-old argument on the fifth postulate of Euclidean geometry. András A. Márton warns us by evoking Bolyai’s spirit saying that Human wants to create a new world what Bolyai had also wanted by denying Euclidean geometry and thus laying the foundation of modern physics represented by Einstein, Max Planck, Bohr and Heisenberg.

The paintings are dominated by two colours: black and white. For me it means bad and evil contrasts truth and purity, two antagonistic points of existence represented by the artist. Two inseparable contrasting and at the same time inherent extremities that are presented by the artist. Grey colour stands for average men out of whom somebody, an eccentric, a genius, like Bolyai, who wants to do things differently, will always emerge supporting human development in his own special way. Human effort and will is symbolised by the little man standing on the Globe staring at the sky or by other persons trying to roll the huge rock uphill. The little figures drawn by simple lines resemble cave paintings or children’s drawings on one hand and stand for Sisyphean devotion symbolizing never ending human discontent on the other hand. Spectators of the exhibition cannot help realizing that the little figures are standing for the lightness of Homo sapiens and for our ephemeral presence in the immense universe.

Asymptotic parallels of Bolyai’s geometry converge but never meet the crossing point only exists in human imagination. Lines inspired by Bolyai show that the artist believes there are no axiomatic theories of natural law. However Márton’s figures have similar appearance – as if they were monozygotic twins – different reactions will be evoked in each spectator.

An artist never forces his ideas and emotions on the spectators. Márton simply shows up a specially articulated part of the universe and freedom is given to the viewers to interpret and finish the artworks on their own. Emotions and ideas are painted on the canvas by the artist while the spectator adds his own world of conscious, subconscious, emotions and thoughts thus a new virtual reality is created.

An artist’s mission is to give rise to this new reality and to show us what we have already presumed, perceived, possessed -- just haven’t had the knowledge about yet.

November 2002, Élet és Irodalom [Literary Magazine]