SZABÓ TAMÁS - COMING UP CLOSE

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE 1970S AND 1980S

Curators
Xenia Tinca, Vécsei Hunor
Opening:
17th February 2022, 10:00
Exhibition:
17th February 2022 18th March 2022

About the exhibition

In photography, it is the details that make the overall image meaningful and expressive, and the uncompromising attention to detail is revealed to be the principle that Tamás Szabó has consciously and persistently followed in his career as a photographer. Constantly concerned with the photographic rendering of captured scenes in a way that makes the viewer aware of their ability to reveal with authenticity and sincerity the subject, the character, Szabó has approached a broad range of photographic themes and genres. Capable of a multidimensional understanding of his environment, he was to tackle – each time paying close attention, in a documentary spirit, to the story behind the image or, rather, crystallized in the image – genres such as the nude, the portrait or aerial photography.

The narrative aspect, at once documenting and revealing identity, is manifested in a peculiar way in the photographic portraits he creates. Looking at them closely, it becomes obvious that the human, emotional, personal relationship between the photographer and the portrayed subject is the primary, essential source in the image-making process.

Among the multitude of portraits in the exhibition Coming Up Close – a selection which comes from the Szabó Tamás Collection of the Quadro Archive – we find an impressive number of prominent figures of the cultural world of Cluj, friends of the photographer, whose world Szabó could freely access, immortalizing intimate, candid moments. Sometimes the characters are captured in family contexts, sometimes in a work environment (workshop, office), sometimes in contexts intended for relaxation (garden); each time, what is essential and seductive in the image is precisely the lack of the subject’s “posing attitude”, the freshness with which a personality, not a social figure, reveals itself.

The exhibition proposes precisely such photographic works, made during the 70s and 80s, which are best described conceptually by the word “closeness”, which in the context of the exhibition can be understood in a double sense: on the one hand, the works are about the closeness between the photographer and the subject, on the other, this first closeness makes possible the second, that between the viewer and the person portrayed. Exhibited as small-scale images, which enhances both their intrinsic intimacy and their power to capture attention, Tamás Szabó’s works on display discreetly and convincingly demonstrate how atmospheric photography can become photo-memory, photo-person.

Xenia Tinca


Curators: Xenia Tinca, Hunor Vécsei

PONGRÁCZ Antónia (1935–1995). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
PONGRÁCZ Antónia (1935–1995). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
INCZE János Dés (1909–1999). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
INCZE János Dés (1909–1999). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
KÓS Károly (1883–1977). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
KÓS Károly (1883–1977). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
BENCZÉDI Sándor (1912–1998). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
BENCZÉDI Sándor (1912–1998). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
BENCZE Ferenc „Liba” (1924–1990). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
BENCZE Ferenc „Liba” (1924–1990). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
Ana LUPAȘ (1940) and Mircea SPĂTARU (1937–2011). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
Ana LUPAȘ (1940) and Mircea SPĂTARU (1937–2011). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
MOHY Sándor (1902–2001). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
MOHY Sándor (1902–2001). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
T. SZŰCS Ilona (1930–1990). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
T. SZŰCS Ilona (1930–1990). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
Cornel BRUDAȘCU (1937). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
Cornel BRUDAȘCU (1937). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
ILLYÉS Kinga (1940–2004). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
ILLYÉS Kinga (1940–2004). Photo: Szabó Tamás, Quadro Archive
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