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'Inside Darkness' Not to Be Missed
Attila Richard Lukacs at the Laurentian Museum of Contemporary Art
Ilania Abileah (ilania)     Print Article 
Published 2008-08-15 04:33 (KST)   
Attila Richard Lukacs "King of Lazy" 1999, oil on canvas 284,48 x 193.04 cm, artist's collection.
©2008 Attila Richard Kovacs
"Inside Darkness" by Attila Richard Lukacs is an exhibition of some of the best paintings ever shown at the Laurentian Museum of Contemporary Art, and a collection that is not to be missed.

The exhibit begins with a few earlier works of Attila Richard Lukacs, which serve as introduction to the collection in the bigger hall. A painting in the first room, showing a single lemon plant by a window overlooking another building with multiple windows, is a good introduction to the theme that emanates from looking at the new works in the larger exhibit hall -- solitude, or rather alienation.

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The large-size paintings in the big exhibit hall display fascinating luminosity that is accentuated by obscure shadows. The clear-obscure effect highlights particular areas of focus in his paintings through the use of black and ochre. Critics have compared Lukacs' work to Rembrandt because of his use of clear-obscure and to Goya for its sometimes-grotesque penchant; curator Karl Gilbert Murray used the term "Caravesque" in the catalogue written for this show.

These masterfully painted works of art, some of which took eight to nine years to complete, virtually tower over the viewers, commanding entrance into a tormented world. The subject matter is young men, as the artist says, "쫈ertainly there is darkness in youth that is still innocent by virtue of its curiosity. As adults, that darkness, if it remains, exists on a much more malevolent level -- sexual awareness or growing awareness is at first darkness because of its taboo."

The paintings show young men with their backs to the viewer, from a side angle, walking away or partly hidden. The painting "There Is a Metaphor in All This Glory Somewhere," has some wording that was painted over but one can still read the words.

Attila Richard Lukacs "There Is a Metaphor in All This Glory Somewhere, 2000-2008, oil on canvas, 279.40 x 193.04 cm, artist's collection.
©2008 Attila Richard Lukacs

Actually, when interviewed Attila Richard Lukacs said that these paintings should be displayed in a room with a skylight. The lighting in the hall requires viewing from various angles in order to see all the details.

A painting in which the man faces the viewer is the painting entitled "Colossus" depicting a larger than life gladiator-like person with a head that gives the impression of being added on top of the body with an elongated neck, and a toy train that runs across the painting's bottom. The other front facing man, with his shadow behind him, stands in a comic position wearing suspenders over underwear and numbered stickers painted on, pointing at body parts.

The painting "Ecce Homo," in which the bottom part of the body is transparent and linear, depicts the logo and other symbols of skinheads, such as their laced boots, reminiscent of other paintings Attila Richard Lukacs made in the 1980s.

Attila Richard Lukacs, "Ecce Homo" 2000-2008, mixed media on canvas 266.70 x 194.31 cm. Artist's collection.
©2008 Attila Richard Kovacs

The painting that touches many viewers is "Here I Come" in which two boys make a pact, and toys, namely lead soldiers are shown on the windowpane. One can't help wondering whether the artist is making a statement about the different phases of a young man's life cycle, and the loneliness and detachment experienced during these years, or whether it is a criticism of the fact that boys are raised to play with military toys and guns.

In "You Know Sympathy Is the Worst of the Seven Deadly Sins," boy scouts march away from a cove, raising the question: Are they heading for a promising or a lonely bleak future?

"Precious Baby Your Mine" raises the question: Is the artist like his namesake Attila causing mayhem wherever he roams?

The curator Karl Gilbert Murray of Lachute, traveled to British Columbia to work with the artist on the preparations for this exhibit. Murray chose the paintings and wrote the catalogue.

The exhibition runs until Aug.31 at the Laurentian Museum of Contemporary Art: 101 Place du Cure Labelle, St. Jerome, Quebec, Canada 450-432-7171.

Attila Richard Lukacs with Karl Gilbert Murray, the curator of the exhibit. The photo was taken at the opening of the exhibit "Inside Darkness" on June 20.
©2008 Ilania Abileah
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ilania Abileah

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