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Metamorphosis of the transparent layers
New catalog introductory - Kriszta Dékei - 2013/04

Metamorphosis of the transparent layers


 Robert Pobi wrote a not very exciting novel titled Bloodman in 2012 about a fictional American painter, who became renowned by covering his realistic works with a thick layer of paint and abstract forms just to cloak the pictorial reality – thereby forcing his collectors to use X-ray in order to see through the covering layer. The same way as the author stressed the unique personality of his fictional character, it can be said about the oeuvre of Nóra Soós that it is an autonomous whole built up with unusual consistency. It is a sovereign and unique world which fits, while clearly standing apart, into several trends of contemporary art (in its treatment of social-political issues, communal/personal memories, simultaneous application of realistic and abstract „portrayal”, art-historical, mass-cultural and self-quotations, use of wandering motives or adaptation of gender topics as a starting point). On the other hand, unlike the fictional character of the novel, Nóra Soós does not hide anything from the viewers’ eyes, although at first sight, her paintings look like a complicated matrix of various elements and meanings.




We have to go back in time a little in order to be able to delve into the network of picture planes that intertwine and run into each other in a kind of osmosis. The first batch of the paintings comes from the Bubble series, made around 2007–2008; earlier the circular, sometimes amorphous color patches were painted on a white base, following the automatic mark-leaving technique, but this time the base is predominantly black, creating a somber atmosphere. Novel techniques were added, alien to traditional painting: bright-colored flitters, corpulent letters, colored matchsticks were „pressed” into the oil. The artist also uses stencil and spray-gun print techniques, which can be linked to graffiti-making, adding to these an imitation of the use of molds. To this basic layer, additional planes – so characteristic in earlier works – are added, which jut out towards the viewer, creating the illusion of a third dimension. These do not conceal the world hinted behind them, rather make it visible.




In recent times, however, this world of hers has undergone significant changes. Although certain motives (toys for children and adults, little child, self-portray, sports, shoes) regularly reappear, their meaning gets radically modified. The Matrioshka doll is not simply an object made up of painted figurines that can be slid into each other: they denote the interwoven strata, so typical to the artist’s pictorial representation. The chess pieces are not toys, either: they are the symbols of a western society that prefers the patriarchal and hierarchical order, the use of belligerent power techniques. On the other hand, the self-portrait practicing yoga, which counter-points the chess pieces, is not really a reference to the female gender, but rather to the oriental philosophies, the ability to live in peace with ourselves, the yearning for reconciliation and stability instead of the will to keep up tensions. Wind-up mechanical toys, cartoon characters (Lolka and Bolka), computer-animated robots (Mikrobi), plastic dolls, tiny soldier figures are not objects taken from the everyday lives of families, either: actually, they are the enigmatic figures of a common central-east European cultural memory. In addition, Nóra Soós also evokes – with a certain criticism – the iconic imagery of universal culture, so familiar from the off- and online press and famous movies. Thus we can see among the hurricanes, which always wear female names, Sandy (now represented by Olivia Newton-John from Grease, whose partner is, who else, John Travolta, and we see in the „background” a house ready to collapse) and the head-scarf wearing women of the Arab Spring in the „shadow” of a huge men’s shoe.




The dominant protagonists of the present series are R2D2 from Star Wars, astronauts, spaceships and rockets hovering in the darkness of the cosmos, airplanes and soldiers/policemen. These motives recall, on an interpretational level, the contrast between fiction (movies) and „reality” (documentaries and crime stories built on photos and TV clips of the period) and the fading of borders in between, on the one hand, and the interlacing of past (on the paintings, pilots wear head-covers and goggles made at the beginning of the 20th century) and present (or future), on the other hand.




If we see in these works an enthusiasm over the magnificence of the conquest of space or the faith in the technical progress of humanity, we are mistaken. These works rather reflect the political (and culture-political) situation of Hungary today, where the operating mechanisms of a fluidly changing political direction are totally unpredictable, when the artists’ „free self-expression” is judged on the basis of an ideology that is difficult to fathom, but is all the more assertive. In this refraction of light, the maimed, broken limbs (legs) that appear on the paintings are pendants of the infinite space that symbolizes escape to freedom.




Maybe this is a sad acknowledgement of this numbed political condition, the „duplicity” of the masses that is partly resolute, but clueless and partly expecting a miracle. This condition is „represented” by the demonstrators’ billboards with the inscription What should be done? – Something should be!, which is also the title of the series. This is the reason why in these works there is less humor and irony – although in some cases the puns and double-entendres used in the titles remain (for example: Hard work). A good painting does not have to communicate any concrete political standpoint. The works of Nóra Soós are, however, filtered through such a fine semi-permeable membrane, that in order to recognize their rich scope of meanings and their pictorial play, no X-ray machine is needed, „merely” a pair of inquiring eyes.





Magyar Narancs - Dékei Kriszta - Mancs - 2015.05.21
INDEX - Klág Dávid - index - 2015.06.10

Új Művészet online - 2015.06.14.

Népszava - Mészáros Márton - Népszava - 2015.06.06

Art7 - Almási Miklós - 2015.05.25

Librarius - Réka Barcza - 2015.05.24

- 2013.június. XXIV. évf.6.szám
Népszabdság - Márta Török - 2013. április 12.
168 Óra - András Jolsvai - 2013. (XXV. évfolyam) - 15. lapszám
Magyar Narancs - Kriszta Dékei - 2013.április 4.
Metamorphosis of the transparent layers
New catalog introductory - Kriszta Dékei - 2013/04

- 2012/2

- 2010.november.XXI.évf.11.szám

- 2010.okt.3

- 2009. 10. 17.
Painters Just Like Ordinary People - sisso - 2010.jan.2.

- LIII. Évf. 43. szám, 2009. okt.22
NEPSZABADSAG - Bacher Iván - 07. 10 2009. - 2009. okt.17.

- XXI. Évf. 43. szám, 2009. okt. 22.

- 2009/01. VII. évfolyam

- 2008.09.11

- 2008.09.10.
Non existant worlds
Uj Muveszet - Katalin Keseru
Colours and Pictures
Nepszabadsag - Gyula Rózsa - 2006.12. 20.
168 Ora - Andras Jolsvai - 2006.12.22.
Orbis Pictus
Mozgo Vilag - Gyorgy Varkonyi - 2006.12.
Need one Kinf of Order (Interview)
Magyar Narancs - Sisso - 2006. 18.évf. 46.szám
hamu es gyemant fine arts special issue
Nora and the Others
168 ora - Andras Jolsvai - 2006.11.14. 45.szám
The New World of Nora Soos
Elet es Irodalom - Csaba Kozak - 2006. 50.évf. 44.szám
Muerto - Bozockfy Virag - 2006. 9.évf. 11.szám
Playfullness and responsibility
Diploma magazine - 2006. 7.évf. 10.szám
Self Search, Self Finding
Elet es Irodalom - Andrea Bordacs - 2006. 50.évf. 2.szám.
Open Book
Vas Nepe - Livia Olbei - 2005.12.24.
Review of Strabag
Uj Muveszet - Gabor Reider - 2005. 16.évf. 12.szám
Artist is colourfull light shoe
Vas Nepe - 2005. 50.évf. 289.szám
Art exhibition recommendatory
168 Ora - Andras Jolsvai - 2005. 17.évf. 12.15.
Interior - Edina Nagy - 2005.12.-2006.01
Popular Paintings
Uj Muveszet - Jozsef Keszman - 2005. 16.évf. 11.szám
Five Young Artists
Nepszabadsag - Gyula Rozsa - 2005.10.26.
two heads are better than one
Muerto - Katalin Spengler - 2005. 11.
Ballasts and Reliefs
Elet es Irodalom - Istvan Simko - 2005. 49.évf. 44.szám
Fresh Colourharmonies
Elite magazine - Katalin Spengler - 2005. 06.
Colours and Gestures
Uj Muveszet - Brigittal Muladi - 2004. 15.évf. 11.szám
Today's Wild and today's Mild
Elet es Irodalom - Istvan Antall - 2004. 47.évf. 45.szám
Expressives in der Martino-Galerie
Budapester Zeitung - 2004. 6.évf. 43.szám
Inventory (Diploma 2004)
Uj Muveszet - Zsofia Somogyi - 2004. 15.évf. 9.szám
Todays brain teaser
Balkon - Kriszta Dekei - 2004. 5.évf. 5.szám
Art Press Cover
Art Press Magazine - 2004. 2.évf. 5.szám
Who bring me trough...? we would like to...
2 Giraffe magazine - 2004.05
Vas Nepe - Livia Olbei - 2004. 49.évf. 29.szám
Colours, pictures
Uj Muveszet - Lajos Loska - 2003. 14.évf. 12.szám
Feamale artists of Vas County
Vincent's shoe
Vas Nepe - Livia Olbei - 2002.10.19
A Concrete Mark of a Foot: Shoes
Uj Muveszet - Tibor Wehner - 2002. 13.évf. 10.szám
Pairless pairs
Uj Muveszet - Klara Hudra - 2002. 12.évf. 09.szám
Snoblesse Oblige
Magyar Narancs - 2002. 14.évf. 22.szám
First steps
Vas Nepe - Livia Olbei - 2002. 47.évf. 126.szám
Game, experience, artist
Vas Nepe - 2002. 47.évf. 124.szám
Shoes of Nora Soos
168 Ora - Andras Jolsvai - 2002. 16.évf. 22.szám
Seen 1
Muerto - 2002. 5.évf. 2.szám
The artists of Vas County
Vas Nepe - 2001.11.09.
Kumulusz Group
Collectors and Collections - Bogdándy Zoltán Szultán - 2001. 5-6.
Balkon - Eszter Radak - 2001. 2.évf. 5.szám