Back in January, our interview with the clever Budapest-based painter Ákos Ezer amped our interest, and today we're happy to share his massive solo exhibition Ábstract Hungary currently on view at Künstlerhaus in Graz, Austria. Through bizarre, often surreal and playful portraits of mostly male characters in impossible positions, Ezer presents his vision of flawed society coping with the surrounding chaos.

Continuing with a "half-storyteller, half-deconstructionist" concept, Ezer features figurative work based on his bemused observation of everyday life, which he views with a focused lens. In work sometimes described as "ironically twisted social realist paintings," he employs body features as compositional elements, graphically stacking and folding limbs and completely abandoning anatomical structure. Portraying subjects in unenviable postures with oversized, crooked necks, the artist injects humor into the deadpan faces of his subjects.

Working within a figurative framework, abstract language flavors the portraits. With whimsy, he depicts dimension, perspective, and even light, in abstract sections filled with exaggerated, rich brushstrokes. Such elements suggest Ezer's proclivity to continue the legacy of a controversial concept known as, “bad painting.” Cleverly installing part of his work on the ceiling of the main room, Ezer envelops the viewer into the work and finds himself sharing the same universe as the subjects he paints.  ––Sasha Bogojev

Ábstract Hungary is on view at Austria's Künstlerhaus through September 5th, 2019.