Gábor Andrási art historian

Bolyai’s sex-appeal

András A. Márton’s exhibition at the Gallery of Vörösmarty Theatre, Székesfehérvár 1-25 February, 1996

András A. Márton is the first true inventor I have ever met. It was ten years ago and I went to see his pictures. Some details of his “earlier life” got revealed later. Márton, who elaborated a now world-famous operational concept of a computer assisted medical equipment in the 1960s, resembles a character, Péter Kovács inventor of sound recording, in an enchanting radio play Valencia Enigma, written by Géza Ottlik, who is always laughing when being asked about the future of his invention. András A. Márton had gone even further and changed engineering for painting. His unbroken interest in natural sciences can be seen in his artworks since the early 80s. Natural sciences as such are to be meant in quotation marks as Márton’s interest is focusing on the borderland of sciences, physics and mathematics, and art. Crossings, lively connections and interactions between the two entities are to be found in this lane.

Some weeks ago insinuatingly Márton sent me an article written by Robert S. Root-Bernstein who proved with a series of examples that scientific comprehension cannot be conceived without creative imagination, intuition and subjective recognition.

“According to indications science of greatest value is borne out of the combination of analytical thinking and aesthetic sensibility and this combination could be called sensual science.” written by Robert S. Bernstein.

Bernstein’s concept of “sensual science”, with all its virtue, is not an innovation but it is of “secondary freshness”, as Bulgakov used the expression. Géza Ottlik hadn’t been cited before by accident. Cholnoky, the experimental mathematician being the main character of Valencia Enigma, had faced the final mystery of existence what is not material, still more everlasting and true than anything else and we don’t have words to name it.

“[...] what you can see, hear and touch, all our perceptions can empirically be measured. Still each perception carries emotional components being immeasurable and imprecise even though more authentic, veritable and substantial than anything you can measure. [...] Church bells ringing at noon ‘ding-dong’ ... wavelengths of two sounds transmitted through the air as frequency can be accurately measured. Above all this bell-ringing has an immeasurable message, perceived by the listener, a tiny sex-appeal that will still last when everything else has faded away. What you feel is not a hypothesis.” (Valencia Enigma, pp. 102-103.)

I have just noticed that “sensual science”, what I have written about before seems only to be one side of the problem -- and may not be here and now the most proper aspect for us -- as Márton’s point of departure in approaching towards science is art and painting.

The question is whether or not the “sensual science” phenomena can be reversed. If “sensual science” can exist then “cognitive-scientific art” can also veritably exist? Not concept art is meant but real art built on analytical thinking and characterized by abstract structures of science.

For ancient masters like Leonardo the idea of “Science and art like left and right hand grasping reality simultaneously”(Gábor Karátson) was taken for granted. Later a gap did arise between art and science and as times had passed by the distance was expanding. Bridging the ever widening rift is the task now what is “in the air”. More and more people are getting to the conclusion that “Big existential questions are hidden behind every natural scientific problem”. (Péter Balassa)

Frivolous and witty Marcel Duchamp also turned to science from art like the Hungarian Miklós Erdély who was passionately interested in Riemann Geometry, Godel Theorem, ideas of Heisenberg and Max Born.

Images of two worlds are projected simultaneously on each other in Márton’s most recent pictures evocating shapes and magic emblems created by Paul Klee (Villa R and others) and János Bolyai’s imaginative geometry on his space interpretation with the beautiful hand-drawn constructions.

Twofold artistic method incorporating two sources will only be successful if the effects enhance each other aiming to create a new reality that is the PICTURE itself.

May 1996, Új Művészet [Art Magazine]