The Essence of Music / Gábor Winker-Nemes
Katrine Levin Galleries presents the work of Gábor Winkler-Nemes in his inaugural London exhibition.
Gábor Winkler-Nemes’ portraits capture the essence of genius musicians such as Menuhin, Rostrapovich, Karajan, Richter, Gould, Oistrakh. Their power is palpable even if you are not close to classical music, their personalities transcend the confines of the canvas.
A formally trained artist and amateur musician, Nemes sees music - literally. As a synesthet, he has the gift of seeing music as colour. A man of broad interests, Nemes’ exploration of light and colour is influenced by his extensive studies of art, traditional stained-glass techniques, music, and ancient cultures. His brilliantly innovative compositions, rendered in mixed media in a style somewhere between pointillism and stained-glass, bring us face to face with each Maestro – from Béla Bartók to Amy Winehouse - with uncanny immediacy that feels like access to their inner sanctum.
The essence of music permeates Nemes’ art. Under the watchful gaze of music’s greats, Nemes’ triptychs – “Reflections on the Water”, “Lost Treasure”, and “Trees Dancing in the Dusk” – explore the translucency of light and the synergy with music, capturing the interplay of colour across several dimensions like a musical score which brings together multiple layers of instruments, melodies, rhythms and harmonies. From portraiture to lyrical pieces interspersed with recurring ancient symbols of life and wisdom –the sun, the moon, water, trees - each work has a story. Nemes’ “Cantata Prelude” captures the essence of Bartók’s “Cantata Profana”, itself based on two Romanian colinde (Christmas carols) about nine brothers turned into deer, a parable about a return to the purity of nature. The moving “Farewell” tells of letting go along life’s journey. The enigmatic “Bull of the Sky” asks in the background “Hai paura?’ (Are you afraid?), answered by a resounding “Si!” at the front. Who is not afraid of change and does it not sometimes feel like falling blindly from the sky? Gábor Winkler-Nemes (b. 1981, Budapest) lives and works in Hungary. The exhibition includes works in mixed media and giclee prints.
INTRODUCTION by BRUNO MONSAINGEON
Compared with a citizen of the United States or Britain, what are one’s chances of being awarded a Nobel Prize when one is the resident of a small, not exactly mainstream, Eastern-European country like Hungary? To ask the question is to answer it. Yet, come to think of it, with men like Edward Teller, André and Imre Kertesz, Istvan Szabo, Béla Bartok, Hungary, with its 9 million population, and its seemingly exotic language, has produced some of the 20th century most distinguished figures in the various fields of science and the arts, whether it be nuclear physics, literature, cinema, photography, or music.
In our present day, I think it is high time that the works of the great contemporary master painter, Gabor Winkler-Nemes, reached beyond the confines of that extraordinarily creative country, and became known to the world at large. Gabor Winkler Nemes is first of all a master technician of drawing and colour. But beyond that indisputable fact, he has been exposed on the one hand to an unbelievably broad pictorial, literary and musical spectre of cultures. And on another, he has indefatigably explored Hungarian, English, German, French, Christian, Jewish and ancient Egyptian traditions. All of these are reflected in his painting style, both intensely personal and eclectic.
I have the innermost conviction that Gabor Winkler Nemes is one of the really original artists of our time.
Bruno Monsaingeon is a French violinist and an award-winning film director and author whose work about virtuoso 20th century musicians - many of whom he knew personally – gained worldwide acclaim and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
7-19 March 2022 Open 10:00 – 18:30 Monday – Saturday; Sunday by appointment www.katrinelevin.com +44 (0) 7789 001 378