Istvan Eröss

»Redescovering Nature in Eastern European Art«


With respect to nature art, Eastern Europe cannot be compared to either the creative gestures of the American land art, where man’s desire to dominate nature prevails, or to the Western European attitude that can rather be characterized by the heroic creator’s myth. Eastern European artists can be described by the creative behavior of the „little gesture” (Ulrich Bischoff) that does not cause a fundamental change in the environment, it only comments and interprets it providing an opportunity for us to see it from a different perspective. This can be explained, in addition to the limited financial means and the lack of gallery networks, by the suffocating political atmosphere and the escape from the official culture politics.

In the seventies art groups such as Pécsi Műhely (Pécs Workshop) in Hungary, Sigma in Timisiora, Rumania, Bosch+Bosch in Subotica and Novi Sad in Yugoslavia were motivated by finding the new forms of expression and by being in sync with Westkunst. Another route to nature art was laid down by sculpture and installation as trying to find the answer to the question of the „sculpture of space or the space of sculpture” (Magdalena Abakanowicz, Wanda Mihuleac, Petre Nikolovski).

From the seventies onwards the forms of expression of nature art was enriched by an important, typically Eastern European element. Here the relatively underdeveloped agriculture, manual tilling of the land, family stockbreeding ensured the continuous contact with nature. That time the so-called modern neo-avantgarde movements and the expansionist trends breaking with the accepted modes of expression could still meet the traditions of living folk art (Władysław Hasior, MAMŰ).

In the eighties some Rumanian artists moved to rural environment in the spirit of the thought „agriculture is art and art is agriculture” (Gheorghe Ilea, Alexandru Chira). They interpreted the courtyard of the farm as „the church of remembrance” whose priests are the farmers, the actual artists of nature. Living folkart had different presence, if any, in the Eastern European art and countries.


Akdemische Bildung 1983 Abschlussprüfung an der Höheren Schule für Bildende Kunst   Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş), Rumänien, 1993 Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Wien, 1994 Königliche Kunstakademie in Den Haag, 1995 Abschluss an der Ungarischen Universität der Bildenden Künste in Budapest, 1995-96 Master-Studiengang an der Ungarischen Akademie der Bildenden Künste, 1996 Post-Diplôme an der Universität der Bildenden Künste in Marseille, 2006 beginn des DLA Programms am Lehrstuhl für Musik und Visuelle Kunst an der Universität von  Pécs, Ungarn, 2009 Verteidigung der DLA Dissertation und Abschluss des DLA Diploms (summa cum laude), Universität von Pécs, Hungary

Mitgliedschaften: 1991 Studio of Young Artists Association, 1992-2002 Túlsó P’Art Art Group,seit 1992 MAMÜ Society, seit 1996 Verband der Ungarischen kreativen Künstler (MAOE), Verband der Ungarischen Grafischen Künstler
Auszeichnungen: 1993 Stipendium des Kulturkomitees der Stadt Budapest
1994 "Stúdió" Preis, 1995 Barcsay Preis, 2012 Munkácsy Preis

Lehrtätigkeiten seit 2003, Tutor an der Moholy-Nagy Universität für Kunst und Design in Budapest, seit 2008 Leitung des Fakultät für Visuelle Kunst der Eszterházy Károly Hochschule Eger, Ungarn