Tamás Kopasz (Szeged, Hungary, 1958)
1977-1981 Hungarian University of Fine Arts
1993-1999 The establishment and operation of the Mű-Terem Gallery
1995-2009 Teacher in the Ferenczy István Visual Workshop
1999-2005 Teacher in the Szőnyi István Summer Art School
2000-2011 Teacher of Dance- and Art High School in Győr, sculpture dep.
2009- Associate Professor of Eszterházy Károly University, painting dep.
2010-2014 Art Director of GébArt International Art Camp in Zalaegerszeg
1989-1990 Pollock-Krasner Foundation,(USA) scholarship
1990 Prize of Barcsay Foundation
1990 Budapest-scholarship, München-Feldafing (Germany)
1993 Budapest- scholarship, Salzburg, (Austria)
1995-1996 DAAD scholarship, Atelierhaus Worpswede, (Germany)
2003 Budapest- scholarship, Frankfurt am Main, (Germany)
2004 Hungart- scholarship
2006 Roman scholarship, Hungarian Academy in Rome
2015 33.Spring Exhibition in Salgotarjan, Grand Prix
2015 A Műút c. literary criticism, art and fine Art Prize
Member of: MAOE, Artists’ League, Allience of Graphic Artists,
Hungarian Painters’ Society, Hungarian Händel Society
1981 Szeged, Ifjúsági Ház
1985 A menyasszony panaszai (Laments of the Bride), Budapest, Fiatal Művészek Klubja
1986 Részletek az Aranykorból (Details from the Golden Age), Budapest, Stúdió Galéria
1986 Részletek az Aranykorból (Details from the Golden Age), Szentendre, Vajda Lajos Stúdió Pincegaléria
1987 Watercoloures, Drawings, West-Berlin, Babylonia Language Scholl, (West-Germany)
1988 Badacsonytomaj, Pandora Galéria
1992 Papírképek (Pictures on Paper), Székesfehérvár, Művelődési Központ
1992 Vác, Görög Templom Kiállítóterem
1994 Papírképek (Pictures on Paper), Budapest, Roczkov Galéria
1995 Budapest, Roczkov Galéria
1995 Papírképek (Pictures on Paper), Szeged, Impala Ház
1995 Budapest, Duna Galéria
1996 Worpswede, City Gallery, (with Tamás Gaál), (Germany)
1997 Budapest, Pandora Galéria
1998 Papírképek (Pictures on Paper), Szeged, Ifjúsági Ház
1998 Három Hold (Three Moons), Budapest, MAMŰ Pincegaléria
1999 Négypuhaujjbegy, levelek G.-nek (Four Soft Fingers, letters for G.), Vác, Arcus Galéria
1999 Már és Még (Still and Yet), Balassagyarmat, Művelődési Központ
1999 Befejezetlen sorozatok (Unfinished Series), Budapest, Mű-Terem Kiállító
1999 Titánfolyam (Flow of Titans), Pécs, Pécsi Galéria (with József Szurcsik)
1999 Magángyűjtemény (Private Collection), Budapest, Kós Károly Room, (with Ádám Bálint)
2000 Befejezhetetlen sorozatok (Unfinished Series), Budapest, Újlipótvárosi Klub-Galéria
2000 idézőjelben (quoted), Budapest, Erlin Galéria
2000 …révület… (rave),Budapest, Godot Galéria
2002 …reneszánsz…I, Budapest, Godot Galéria
2002 …reneszansz…II, Budapest, Meander Galéria
2002 Zalaegerszeg, Altamira Galéria, (with István Drabik és József Gaál)
2002 Fragmentumok (Fragments), Győr, Petőfi Sándor Művelődési Ház, on Mediawave Festival, (with Imre Tolnay)
2003 …reneszansz…I-II., (paintings, sculptures) Győr, Váczy Péter Collection
2004 …reneszansz…I-II., (paintings) Párkány/Sturovo, City Gallery (Slovakia)
2004 Papírképek (Pictures on Paper) 1994-2004, Budapest, Raiffeisen Galéria
2004 A meditáció helye (The Site of Meditation), Budapest, Várnegyed Galéria, (with József Gaál)
2006 Távol (Far Away), Budapest, Missionart Galéria
2006 Grafikák, nyomatok (Drawings, Prints), Budapest, Galéria IX., (with Imre Tolnayl)
2007 Dunaszerdahely, Art-Ma Galéria, (with Imre Tolnay), (Slovakia)
2007 Budapest, Visual Art Grand Picture Gallery, Best Western Hungaria Hotel
2007 Barokk (Baroque), Budapest, Inda Galéria
2008 Szentendre, Rodin Galéria
2009 Válogatás a Barokk c.sorozatból (Selection from Barouqe Series), Budapest, Art 9 Galéria
2009 Dialógus,párbeszéd a szobrászat nyelvén (Dialogue on the Language of Sculptures), Budapest, Ráday Képesház, (with Sibylle Burrer)
2011 Válogatás (Selecton), Balatongyörök, Bertha Bulcsu Művelődési Ház
2012 Terra, (Terra) Eger, Temple Gallery
2013 Zenit, (Zenith) Veszprém, Csikász Gallery
2014 Selection, Budapest, Flux Gallery
2015 1993/2015 Miskolc, Herman Ottó Museum, Miskolc Gallery (with Gaál József, Szurcsik József)
2016 MU, Budapest, Ateliers Pro Arts Art Center
1982 Stúdió '82, Budapest, Műcsarnok
1982 Hagyomány (Tradition), Budapest, Fényes Adolf Room
1982 Átalakulás (Transition), Budapest, FMK
1983 Realizmus (Realism), Hódmezővásárhely, Tornyai Múzeum
1983 Stúdió '83, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1984 Painters’ Biennale, Kosice (Checkoslovakia)
1984 Fiatal Kelet-Európai Művészek (Young East-European Artists), Prague, Brno, Rychnov, (Checkoslovakia)
1984 Exhibition of the Sopron Art Camp, Sopron, Liszt Ferenc Művelődési Központ
1984 Anyag (Material), Budapest, Fényes Adolf Room
1984 Painters’ Biennale, Sofia, (Bulgaria)
1984 Stúdió '84, Budapest, BNV
1985 Sopron, Festőház Galéria
1985 VIT,Budapest, Magyar Nemzeti Galéria (Hungarian National Gallery)
1985 XIII. Pencil Art Biennale, Miskolc, Miskolci Galéria
1985 Experimental Art, Budapest, Petőfi Csarnok
1985 II. Painters’ Biennale, Szeged, Móra Ferenc Múzeum
1985 Stúdió '85, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1986 Kilátó (Watchtower), Budapest, Water-tower on Margaret-island
1986 Művészet Ma (Art Today), Budapest, Hilton Hotel
1986 Stúdió '86, Budapest, Budapesti Történeti Múzeum
1987 Béke (Piece), Budapest, Vigadó Galéria
1987 Permanens Műhely (Permanent Worksshop), Budapest,FMK
1987 Festészeti kiállítás, Dunaújváros, Csók Galéria
1987 Showcase of Derkovits-fellows’, Szombathely, Szombathelyi Képtár
1987 Mágikus képek (Magical Paintings), Budapest, Budapest Galéria, Lajos utca
1987 Young Painters’ Biennale, Warsaw (Poland)
1987 Christie's Auction, Amsterdam, (Holland)
1987 Hungarian Days, Helsinki, (Finland)
1987 Hommage à Kassák Lajos, Salgótarján
1987 Művészet Ma (Art Today), Budapest, Budapest Galéria
1987 Eredendő Formák (Basic Forms), Budapest, Fészek Klub
1987 Nagykőrösi Tárlat, Nagykőrös
1987 Stúdió '87, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1988 Showcase of Derkovits-fellows’, Szombathely, Szombathelyi Képtár
1988 Young Hungarian and German Artists, Berlin, Rostock, (East-Germany)
1988 Szaft (Sauce), Budapest, Ernst Múzeum, Győr, Győr Műcsarnok, Dunaújváros, Uitz Terem
1988 Tavaszi Tárlat (Spring Exhibition), Budapest, Műcsarnok
1988 Painters’ Biennale, Salgótarján
1988 Gravitáció (Gravity), Szentendre, Vajda Lajos Stúdió Pincegaléria
1988 Új Művészeti Hadifegyverek (New Art Weapons), Budapest, Hadtörténeti Múzeum
1988 International Exhibition of Young Artists, Moskow, (USSR)
1988 Erdélyi Segélyfesztivál (Help for Transylvania Festival), Budapest, FMK
1988 Third Annual International Miniature Art Exhibition Toronto, Del Bello Gallery, (Kanada)
1989 Festészeti Tárlat, Nagykőrös
1989 Showcase of Derkovits-fellows’, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1989 Young Hungarian and German Artists, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1989 International Exhibition of Young Artists, Sçzecin, Muzeum Narodowe, (Poland)
1990 Derkovits-fellows, Vienna, Collegium Hungaricum, (Austria)
1990 Padlás 2 (Attic 2), Debrecen, (Dóró, Fátyol, Kopasz, Küchler, Sebestyén)
1990 Liblingsbilden/Jó melóm, Fiatal Képzőművészek Stúdiója kiállítása, Vienna, Galerie Kult, (Austria)
1990 Young Artists’s Studio Exhibition, Founding of Block group, Cologne, Galerie 68/ELF, (Germany)
1990 Young East European Artists, Rotterdam, De Doelen Congress Center, (Holland)
1990 oung East European Artists, (Norway)
1991 Kis képek (Little Paintings), Budapest, Small Galéria
1991 7 lét (7 Beeings), Budapest, Fiatal Művészek Klubja
1991 Aktiv-Art Galéria, Szentendre
1991 Block I. a Block Group Exhibition, Jászberény, Alkotárs Galéria
1991 Csalánleves Fesztivál, Block Group performance, Békéscsaba
1991 Exhibition of József Gaál, Tamás Kopasz, József Szurcsik, Miskolc, Miskolci Grafikai Műhely
1991 Alle-Art, Exhibition of the Block Group , Cologne, Galerie 68/ELF, (Germany)
1991 Emblematikus törekvések (Emblematic wills), Budapest, Budapest Galéria, Lajos utca
1992 Kis képek (Little pictures), Soltvadkert, MM. Galéria
1992 Acht Ungarn, Graz, Neue Galerie, (Austria)
1992 Alarm, Exhibition of the Block Group, Jászberény, Alkotárs Galéria
1992 II.Csalánleves Fesztivál, Vér (Blood), Voice Istallation, Békéscsaba
1992 Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem, Budapest, Barcsay-terem
1992 Stúdió '92, Exhibition of the Block Group, Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1992 Mélyvágás (Deep Cut), Exhibition of the Block Group, instalation, performance, Gallery by Night, Budapest, Studió Galéria
1992 Block-Endre, Exhibition of the Block Group, Szentendre, Szentendrei Képtár
1993 Kívül-Belül (In-Out), Exhibition of the Block Group, instalation, Budapest, Műcsarnok
1993 Aritmia 2, Dunaújváros, Csók István Galéria
1993 Exhibition of József Gaál, Tamás Kopasz, József Szurcsik, Miskolc, Miskolci Galéria
1993 Oraculo, Gallery by Night, Budapest, Studió Galéria
1993 124, Art Camp, a Jászberényi Art Camp, Budapest, Vigadó Galéria
1993 Exhibition of Paks Art Camp, Paks, Modern Képtár
1993 Crystal Cabinet, Budapest, Water-tower on Margaret-island
1993 International Pencil Art Biennale, Ljubljana, (Slovenia)
1993 Hungarian Pencil Art Exhibition, Nagoya, (Japan)
1994 Baksai, Kopasz, Szurcsik, Kircharten-Freiburg, (Germany)
1994 József Gaál, Tamás Kopasz, József Szurcsik, Pécs, Pécsi Galéria
1994 a '80-as évek művészete (Art of the ’80s), Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1995 City Gallery,Turku, (Finland)
1995 Chappel Art Galéria, Hamburg, (Germany)
1996 HÓ-TÁR, Budapest, Vízivárosi Galéria
1997 Rejtőzködő (In Hiding), Budapest, Ernst Múzeum
1997 Olaj-Vászon (Oil-Canvas), Budapest, Műcsarnok
1998 Antik, Budapest, Újlipótvárosi Galéria, (Gaál J., Kopasz T., Majoros Gy., Szurcsik J.)
1998 Ornamentika, Szombathely, Szombathelyi Képtár
1998 Lélektakaró (Soul Blanket), Vác, Greek Church
1998 Rögeszme (Maniac), Budapest, Budapest Galéria, Lajos street
1999 Zenélő szobrok (Sounding Statues), Székesfehérvár, Pelikán Galéria
1999 Gyönyörök kertje (Garden of Joy), Budapest, Pest Center
1999 Zene szemeimnek (Music for my Eyes), series, Pécs, Győr, Miskolc, Debrecen, Budapest
1999 Fém-Jelzés (Steel-sign), Budapest, Műcsarnok
1999 Áttűnések (Fade-out, fade-in), Szentendre, MűvészetMalom
1999 Ajándéktár (Stock of Presents), Budapest, Godot Galéria
1999 Megismerhetetlen Tárgy (Undiscoverable Subject), Vác, Greek Church
1999 Gesellschaft, Berlin, Hungarian Institut (Germany)
1999 Oil-Canvas, Ljubljana, Mestna Galerija, (Slovenia)
2000 Légből Kapott Képek (Pictures from the Blue), Eger, Keresztény Ifjúsági Klub
2000 Máskor-Máshol (Other Time, Eslewhere), Szeged, Móra Ferenc Múzeum
2000 Pára (Steam), Budapest, Vízivárosi Galéria
2000 Annual Exhibition of the Hungarian Sculpture Society, Budafok, Jazz Galéria
2000 Baggage, New York, Hungarian Embassy (USA)
2001 Milleneum Art Show, Budapest, Műcsarnok
2001 Feketén-Fehéren (Black and White), Budapest, Műcsarnok
2001 Misztikum (Mistical), Budapest, Vigadó Galéria
2001 Denaturáció (Denaturalisation), Kecskemét, Cifra Palace
2001 Orbis Pictus, A látható világ, A megfestett város (Visible Word, The Painted City) Veszprém, House of Arts
2001 Minden Más (All the Rest), Budapest, Magyarok Háza
2002 Exhibition of MA-MÜ Society, Kecskemét, Kecskeméti Képtár
2002 Looking over the Border I+II, Kunstverein Baden - Frauenbad, (Austria)
2002 In memoriam Lajos Gulácsy, III. Painters’ Triennale, Szekszárd, House of Arts
2003 Annual Exhibition of the Hungarian Sculpture Society, 2002, Budapest, Vigadó Galéria
2003 '90-es évek művészete (Art of the ’90s), Győr, Council Art Museum
2003 XVIII. Scuplture Biennale, Pécs, Janus Pannonius Múzeum
2003 Szabad –Tér (Free Space), Contemporary Hungarian Sculptures, Kecskemét, City Hall
2003 Európa Fríz (European Frieze), Budapest, MEO
2003 Maszk (Mask), MissionArt Galery, Budapest, Budapest Galéria, Lajos street
2003 Color, Komarno, Limes Galéria, (Slovakia)
2004 Szabad -Tér 2 (Free Space 2), Contemporary Hungarian Sculptures, Kecskemét, City Hall
2004 Exhibition of MAOE Fellows, Budapest, Palme Ház,
2004 Exhibition of the 1st Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, KÉSZ kft.Csőhengerítő
2004 Európa Fríz (European Frieze), Vienna, Collegium Hungaricum, (Austria)
2004 Európa Fríz (European Frieze), Bratislava, Hungarian Institute, (Slovakia)
2004 Exhibition of the 1st Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Bozsó Collection
2004 Áramlások-Flow,Hommage a Gruber József, Budapest, BME Aula
2004 Kogart Salon 2004, Contemporary Art Fair, Budapest, Kogart
2004 András Feuer’s Private Collection, Budapest, Godot Galéria
2004 Labirintus, Budapest, Újpest Galéria
2005 Azok a 80-as évek (Those ’80s), (FMK) Budapest, Kogart
2005 Exhibition of the 1st Steel Sculpture Symposion, Budapest, Újlipótvárosi Galéria
2005 Mission Art Galéria is 15 years old, Budapest, Tóth Pub
2005 Áldozat-Engesztelés (Sacrifice), Budapest, Hungarian Jewish Museum
2005 Exhibition of the periodical Élet és Irodalom, Moskow, Journalists’ House, (Russia)
2005 19th Hungarian Sculpture Biennale, Pécs, Janus Pannonius Múzeum
2005 Csak bronzból (Just of Bronze), Budapest, Kispesti Vigadó Galéria
2005 Európa Fríz (European Frieze), Hungarian Insitutes, Stuttgart, Paris, Berlin,(Germany, France)
2005 Exhibition of the periodical Élet és Irodalom, Budapest, Galéria'13
2005 100 nyomat-100 művész (100 Artist – 100 Prints), Stuttgart, Inter-Art, (Germany)
2005 X.Socha a Objekt, Bratislava, Galeria Z., (Slovakia)
2005 2nd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, KÉSZ kft. Csőhengerítő
2005 Tér-Film-Zene-Fesztivál (Space-Film-Music Festival), 2nd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Budapest, Kossuth Square
2005 Neofoton, fotoprints, MűvészetMalom, Szentendre
2005 13 művész a XIII.kerületből (13 Artist from the 13th Distict), Budapest, AL Galéria
2005 Exhibition of KIPE 13, Szombathely, Médium Galéria
2005 Magyar Festészet Napja (Hungarian Painter’s Day), Budapest, MS Mester Kör
2005 2nd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Nemzetközi Kerámia Stúdió Galériája
2005 Alternatívák (Alternatives), KIPE 13 Exhibition, Budapest
2005 Kogart Salon 2005, Contemporary Art Fair, Budapest, Kogart House
2005 A Láthatatlan Művészet (Invisible Art), Budapest, Hungarian Writers’ Association
2006 Exhibition of the periodical Élet és Irodalom, Szombathely, Médium Galéria
2006 2nd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Budapest, Újlipótvárosi Galéria
2006 Galéria IX is 5 year old, Budapest, Galéria IX.
2006 Gyűjtemény (Collection), Dunaújváros, Contemporary Art Institute
2006 Mediawave, Open Air Sculpture Exhibition, Győr
2006 Tisztelet Arnulf Rainernek (Hommage a Arnulf Rainer), (Gaál, Kopasz, Nádler, Szikszai, Vienna, Collegium Hungaricum, (Austria)
2006 Art Camp 2005, Szolnok, Budapest, MA-MÜ Pincegaléria
2006 Leopold Bloom in Újlipótváros,XX. International James Joyce Symposium, Budapest, Újlipótvárosi Galéria
2006 Exhibition of Hungarian Litography Association, Gooi, GAG Galeria, (Holland)
2006 Európa Fríz (Europe Frieze), Exhibition of MissionArt Galéria, Roma, Hungarian Academy, (Italy)
2006 Európa Fríz (Europe Frieze), Exhibition of MissionArt Galéria, Moskow, Hungarian Center (Russia)
2006 3rd 2nd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, KÉSZ Kft, 11. Hall
2006 Sculpture Symposion and Exhibition, Dunajska Streda, (Slovakia)
2006 Kiwanis Moving Exhibition, Klagenfurt, Fugger Palace, (Austria)
2006 In memoriam Bada Dada, Budapest, Galéria IX.
2006 Körkép (Panoramic view), Exhibition in the Art Camp, Gyergyószárhegy, Lázár Castle, (Romania)
2006 Művészek, Művek, Műgyűjtők (Artists, Pieces of Art, Collectors), Miskolc, MissionArt Galéria
2006 Segment III,Taipei, Fine Art University Gallery, (Taiwan)
2006 Exhibition of Hungart-fellows, Budapest, Palme Ház
2007 Neofoton, fotoprints, Budapest, Gödör Klub
2007 Exhibition of the 3rd Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Gallery of International Ceramic Studio
2007 Tavasz a művészetben (Spring in Art), Szentendre, MűvészetMalom
2007 Hommage a Ungvári Károly, Exhibition of Kapos Art Gallery, Kaposvár, Vaszary Képtár
2007 A Független Festmény (The Independent Painting), Budapest, Virág Judit Galéria
2007 20th Sculpture Biennale, Pécs, Vasarely Múzeum
2007 Kelj fel,Laci, (Laci, get up) exhibition, performance, Budapest, Műcsarnok
2007 Akkor és Most (Then and Now), Budapest, Millenáris Teátrum
2007 Kiwanis, Moving Exhibition, Győr-Ménfőcsanak, Bezerédi-castle
2007 Mágia (Magic), Szentendre, MűvészetMalom,
2007 Exhibition of 4th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, KÉSZ Kft,11. Hall
2007 Segment IV, YIAN Gallery, Daejeon, (South-Korea)
2007 Collected works from the Kecskemét Steel Sculpture Symposion, Szeged, Summer Open Air Festival
2007 „2in1”, Musicians’s Exhibition, Padlás Galéria,Budapes, Millenáris Fogadó
2007 Abszolút Fal (Absolute Wall), Szentendre, MűvészetMalom
2007 Designerek és képzőművészek (Designers and Fine-artists),Budapest, Inda Galéria
2007 Acél, alumínium, bronz, szobrászrajz (Steel, aluminium, broze, drawings) Kaposvár, Kaposfüredi Galéria/Statue Park
2007 VI. Encounter with Central European Art, Multiseum di Città Fiera, Udine, (Italy)
2007 Látomás és indulat (Vision and anger), Living Hungarian Art VI., Szeged, REÖK Palace
2007 Living Classicals of Hungarian Pencil Art, Stuttgart, Hungarian Institute, (Germany)
2007 Nyomkereső (Pathfinder), Budapest, Pintér Sonja Kortárs Galéria
2008 Gondolatok a Műhelyből (Thoughts from the Workshop),Budapest, Vízivárosi Galéria
2008 Segment 4, Tirgu Mures, Culture Palace, (Romania)
2008 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming),Budapest, VAM Design Center
2008 Tisztelet Arnulf Rainernek (Hommage a Rainer), Budapest, Virág Judit Galéria, (A. Rainer, Gaál J.,Kopasz T.,Nádler I.,Szikszai K.)
2008 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming), Kecskemét, Gallery of International Ceramic Studio
2008 Szobrok, rajzok, tervek (Statues, Drawings, Plans) Budapest, Vízivárosi Galéria
2008 Hommage á El Kazovszkij, Budapest, Galéria IX.
2008 Exhibition of the 5th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Kész Kft, Hall
2008 Exhibition of the 5th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Szeged, REÖK Palace
2008 10th Art Flexum International Art Camp, Mosonmagyaróvár, Hansági Múzeum
2008 The 6th International NET WORK 21c. Festival, Daejon, (South-Korea)
2008 Korkép,34. (Panoramic View 34.) International Art Camp,Gyergyószárhegy, Lázár Castle, (Romania)
2008 Budapest-Amsterdam, Budapest, Amsterdam, (Holland)
2008 Útjaink (Our Ways), Dunaújváros
2008 Gyűjteni művészet (Collecting Art), Budapest, Pintér Sonja Galéria
2009 A(bsz)ttrakció a Vérmezőn – Abstact Art, Budapest, Huba Galéria
2009 Segment V., Vyom Art Gallery, Jaipur, (India)
2009 Mati-Manas, International Art Camp, Jaipur, (India)
2009 Indian and Hungarian Artists, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur, (India)
2009 Meglátni (Got to See), Hoffmann-collection, Budapest, French Institute
2009 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming),Eger, Dobó István Vármúzeum
2009 Emlékmű (Monument, I. M., ErnőTolvaly), Pécs, eMKá Galéria
2009 Acélba ágyazottan (In Steel), Győr, MEDIAWAVE Fesztivál
2009 Absztrakt és Erotika '69 (Abstact and Erotic ’69), Budapest, B55 Kortárs Galéria
2009 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming), Miskolc, Herman Ottó Múzeum
2009 Rések az időben - Rések a térben,Anne Frank 80 éves… (Holes in Space, Holes in Space, Anne Frank 80 Years Olad), Budapest, Galéria IX.
2009 Exhibition of the 6th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Kész Kft, Csőhengerítő
2009 Exhibition of the 6th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Szeged, Dómtér
2009 Godot arca (Godot’s Face), Budapest, Godot Galéria
2009 III. pARTicum Biennale Open Air Sculpture Exhibition, Szolnok
2009 Fémszövet (Iron-textual) Kecskemét, Bozsó Gyüjtemény
2009 Remix 1., Dunaújváros, Kortárs Művészeti Intézet
2009 Art Flexum International Arc Camp, Komárom, Komáromi Kisgaléria
2010 Műgyűjtő, objektívvel (Collector with Objective), Collection of dr. Miklós Nagy, Győr, Napoleon-ház
2010 ART FANATICS, Contemporary Private Collections, 2. Budapest, Műcsarnok
2010 Jobb, mint készen (Better, than Ready), Budapest, Inda Galéria
2010 Exhibition of the 6th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Szombathely, Main Square, MEDIAWAVE Fesztivál
2010 13th Painters’ Biennale, Szeged, Reök Palace
2010 Collection of the Kecskemét Steel Sculpture Symposions, Eger, Little Synagoge
2010 Exhibition of the a 19th GébArt Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg, Craft’s House, Gébárti-tó
2010 Köret (Side-dish), Budapest, Prestige Galéria
2010 ZOOart, Budapest, Cave Hall of Budapest Zoo
2010 Szentendre a Gödörben (Szentendre in the Hole) Budapest, Erzsébet téri Gödör Klub
2010 Exhibition of AMGA, Moskow, House of Hungarian Culture (Russia)
2011 Zacc?, Budapest, Godot Galéria
2011 Segment VI., Yogyakarta, Campus Gallery, ISI, (Indonesia)
2011 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming), Kaposvár, Vaszary Képtár
2011 Art Exhibition, Budapest, RAM Colosseum
2011 1st Kiwanis Club Moving Exhibition in Győr, Hotel Kálvária, Kamillus room
2011 31st Spring Exhibition in Salgótarjáni, Nógrádi Történeti Múzeum
2011 GébArt is 20 years old, Zalaegerszeg, Keresztury ÁMK, Gönczi Galéria
2011 Collection of Csaba Hetényi, Budapest, Godot Galéria
2011 Exhibition of the 7th Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét, Kész Kft, Csőhengerítő
2011 Exhibition of 20th GébArt International Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg, Kézművesek Háza, Gébárti-tó
2011 Exhibition of the 8th Steel Sculpture Symposion, (Wu Chuan, Sipos, Kopasz, Gergely, Majoros),
2011 Missionart Galery Collection, 11st Falk Art Forum, Budapest, MissionArt Galéria
2011 Exhibition of the 8th Steel Sculpture Symposion, IV.pARTicum Biennale, Szolnoki Art Camp
2011 Painters of the Carpat-basin, Szentendre, Művészetmalom
2011 K-ARTS KÉSZ Collection, Budapest, Art Moments, Balassi Intézet
2011 K-ARTS KÉSZ Collection, Budapest, Art Market, Millenáris Park
2011 Gátlások nélkül – Komolyan (No Fears), Budapest, B55 Galéria
2011 Exhibition of the GébArt International Art Camp 2010-11, Zalaegerszeg, Hevesi Sándor Theater
2012 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming), Dunaszerdahelyi Kortárs Magyar Galéria, Dunajska Streda, (Slovakia)
2012 Segment VII., Teheran, Elahe Gallery, Fravahr Gallery, (Iran)
2012 Triton, Zalaegerszeg, Gönczi Galéria, (Gaál, Kopasz, Szurcsik)
2012 Kis-Nagy-Képmajális (Little-big Picture Feast), Budapest, Hungarian Science Academy
2012 Kortársak (Contemporaries), Kaposvár, Rippl-Rónai Room
2012 Exhibition of 21st GébArt International Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg, Crafts’ House, Gébárti-lake
2012 K-Arts, Szeged, REÖK
2012 Acélszobor sétány (Steel Statue Promende), (KÉSZ Art Collection), Café Budapest Art Festival, Budapest, Erzsébet Square
2013 Segment VIII., Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Galeria Amarte Maroma, (Mexico)
2013 Fazonigazítás (Face-forming), Limes Galéria, Komarno, (Slovakia)
2013 Visszapillantás (Rearviewmirror), Kortárs Művészeti Intézet, Dunaújváros
2013 black&white, Godot Galéria, Budapest
2013 32. Spring Exhibition, Dornyay Béla Múzeum, Salgótarján
2013 Hangszínhely I. (Sound-place I.), Arany János Culture House and City Library, Gyál
2013 Segment IX., 53Art Museum, Guangzhou, (China)
2014 Kép-Tár-Ház, Szombathely Art House, Szombathely
2014 2. Sculpture Garden, Pavillon de Paris, Budapest
2104 VAStagok, selection from the K-ARTS KÉSZ Art Collection, Vértes Agórája, Tatabánya
2014 GébArt 2010-2013, selection from the GébArt International Art Symposion collection, Hangverseny és Kiállítóterem, Zalaegerszeg
2014 realtime, Museums of the Night, Dobó-bástya, Castle in Eger, Eger
2014 The Varsányi Collection, REÖK Castle, Szeged
2014 Fetish, Taboo, Relic, Vajda Lajos Studio, Szentendre
2014 The NKA Scholarship2013 Exhibition, Várkert Bazár, Budapest
2014 Barcsay 25, Exhibition from the 25 years of Barcsay-Prizes, MűvészetMalom, Szentendre
2014 Színek-Formák, BalnArt project, Bálna, Budapest
2015 Koncentrált Egetverés, a Tapasztalt Ecsetek exhibition, Symbol Gallery, Budapest
2015 Japan-Hungary , Yuko Sakurai (Jp), Bernát András, Erdélyi Gábor, and Kopasz Tamás exhibition, Flux Galllery, Budapest
2015 Észlelés és érzékelés, selection from Kozák Gábor collection, MűvészetMalom, Szentendre
2015 Csillag és Kő, artists from Eger , Temple Gallery, Eger
2015 Penhtamorph, Paolo Assenza, Gaál József, Leonardo Galliano, K.T., Szurcsik József exhibition, Accademia D'Ungheria in Roma, Roma, Italy
2015 Szárhegy 40, selection from the Gyergyószárhegy Art Sympozion collection, Csíki Székely Museum, Csíkszereda, Romania
2015 33.Salgótarjáni Tavaszi Tárlat, (Salgótarján Megyei Jogú Város nagydíja), Dornyay Béla Museum, Salgótarján
2015 Rima (p)art, artists from Mezőszemere (Bukta Imre, Gulyás Andrea, Kopasz Tamás, Kótai Tamás, Szelley Lellé, Szurcsik József, Töttös Kata, Wahorn András), Village house, Mezőszemere
2015 Fazonigazítás, Gallery Szolnok, Szolnok
2015 Mélyponton a viszony, Vajda Lajos Studio Gallery, Szentendre
2015 Ringli.Spíl. /Carusel/ Merry-Go-Round, New York Hotel, Cluj Napoca, Romania
2015 Map of the New Art , Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy
2015 Live Hungarian painting, The Day Of Hungarian Painting, Bálna Budapest, Budapest
2016 Tapasztalt Ecsetek exhibition, Bozsó Collection, Kecskemét
Symposions, Art Camps:
1984 Sopron Art Camp
1986 Dombóvár Art Camp
1986 Nagykőrös Art Camp
1986 Mór Art Camp
1987 Nagykőrös Art Camp
1988 Festival of Young East-European Artists, Moskow
1989 Kamien Pomorski, International Art Camp (Poland)
1991 Cologne, Block group, Art Camp, (Germany)
1991 Art-Camp, Jászberény Art Camp
1991 Miskolc Graphic Workshop
1992 Art-Camp, Jászberény
1992 Paks Art Camp
1993 Paks Art Camp
1994 Kircharten-Freiburg (Germany)
1995 Turku-Ulappa, (Finland)
1997 Tatabánya, Steel Sculpture Art Camp
1998 Tatabánya, Steel Sculpture Art Camp
2004 I.VárgesztesArt Camp
2004 I. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2005 Art-Camp, Szolnok
2005 II. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2006 Miskolc Graphic Workshop
2006 II.Várgesztes Art Camp
2006 III. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2006 National Ceramic Studio
2006 Zsennye Art Camp
2006 Sculpture Symposion, Dunajska Streda, (Slovakia)
2006 International Art Camp, Gyergyószárhegy, (Romania)
2007 III.Várgesztes Art Camp
2007 IV. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2008 IV. Várgesztes Art Camp
2008 V. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2008 10.Art Flexum International Art Camp, Mosonmagyaróvár
2008 KorkéP, 34. International Art Camp, Gyergyószárhegy, (Romania)
2009 Segment V., Mati-Manas, International Art Camp, Jaipur, (India)
2009 VI. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2010 XIX. GébArt Zalaegerszeg International Art Camp , Zalaegerszeg
2011 VIII. Steel Sculpture Symposion, Kecskemét
2011 XX. GébArt Zalaegerszeg International Art Camp , Zalaegerszeg, (film of Balázs Monok)
2012 XXI. GébArt Zalaegerszeg International Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg
2013 XXII. GébArt Zalaegerszeg International Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg
2013 Nyílt Tér (Open Space), Mezőszemere International Art Camp
2014 Paks Art Camp, Paks
2014 XXIII. GébArt International Art Camp, Zalaegerszeg
2015 Paks Art Camp, Paks
2016 Dunart.com6, International Art Camp, Somorja, (Slovakia)
Works in public collections:
Békéscsaba, County Library
Szczecin, (Poland), Muzeum Narodowe
München, (Germany), City Collection in Mayor’s Office
Budapest, Magyar Nemzeti Galéria (Hungarian National Gallery)
Budapest, Stúdió Archívum
Dunajska Streda, (Slovakia) Collection of Kortárs Magyar Galéria
Paks, Paksi Képtár
Dunaújváros, Art-Ma Foundation
Salzburg, (Austria) City Collection
Kisújszállás, City Collection
Turku (Finland), City Collection
Szentendre, Ferenczy Múzeum
Tatabánya, City Collection
Vác, Tragor Ignác Múzeum
Győr, Városi Művészeti Múzeum
Sturovo/Párkány, (Slovakia) City Collection
Szombathely, Szombathelyi Képtár
Budapest, Foreing Affairs’ Ministry
Kecskemét, K-ARTS KÉSZ Art Collection
Olaszliszka, Kossuth House
Veszprém, Europe Sculpture Park
Gyergyószárhegy, (Romania) International Art Camp Collection
Mosonmagyaróvár, Hansági Múzeum
Mati-Manas Collection, Jaipur, (India)
GébArt International Art Camp Collection
53Art Museum, Guangzhou (China)
Somorja, City Collection, (Slovakia)
Works made for communal and private commission:
2003 Crossroad Project, Győr, Bratislava, Graz, bronze relief 30x30 cm
2005 Győr, Gyárváros, Puskás Tivadar utca, Emlékmű - Gyárvárosi reneszánsz) (Monument – Factory Borough Reneissance) steel, bronze, 160x90x90 cm
2007 Baja, Eötvös József Főiskola, Szegedi út 2. Térgesztusok I.-II. (Space Gestures I-II.)– coloured steel, 1200x150x100cm, 450x150x140 cm
2009 Budapest III. Kunigunda utca, MTV-headquaters, Csodabokor (Magic Bush) – coloured steel, 320x240x200 cm
Elevated Pictures, The Painting of Tamás Kopasz (Endre Lisanyi) word, pdf
The painting of Tamás Kopasz is interpreted by many people and in many ways–as normally the artworks of famous artists. Analytical, systematic, synoptic, funny writings or essays written in friendly ways deal with his artworks and creative activity. In the field of the growing oeuvre the fast multiplying texts create a more and more consistent structure, a kind of text-packing. The following writing can be determined as a typographical co-note, lingering beside the pattern of the spectacular “packaging”, the decorative rule of which is not so important, rather it attracts the attention on several directions.
Fortunately, Tamás Kopasz is more interested in the experience of the act of painting and in the strange painting procedure of a canvas than the current and fashionable art topics and trends. “I create not because somebody needs it” – the artist says. It means that he doesn’t seek for professional recognition. Tamás Kopasz concentrates on painting. Moreover, the latter quotation can be misunderstood if it is compared with his paintings which have only been skimmed. In this case one can draw a false conclusion: “Only the paint meets your will [...] the painter himself does not have any say”. However, Kopasz’s art is not the interesting re-enactment of abstract expressionism, nor he focuses on spontaneity nor on consummation of the paint’s own will. For him the canvas is not an “arena-battlefield” yet (Rosenberg), where the picture is becoming an action, rather –playing with words– turning back, or re-interpreting the process, he turns the action into picture. Perfect timing is a crucial part of this process.
Kopasz creates his artworks during “ecstatically” experienced act of painting, with other words, the painting born between the starting and finishing moments of a unique state of creating. The painter should recognize these two moments and should allow to “get carried away”, i. e. the mental awareness of recognition combines with passivity of self-giving. The artist however is not only a passive “user” of that ecstatic statehe is rather its transformator as he has to harmonize the external force of rapture with the inner force of consciousness and the inherent possibilities in spontaneity. The state of ecstasy lasts until then, it should be upheld until the picture is not ready and it has to be ready while the ecstatic state holds, i. e. it is sustainable. The “floating interest…,” allows joining and seeing through all of them. This floating interest isn’t the effect of harmonizing the self-conscious and the nonconscious, rather attached to the focused ecstasy. Thanks to this interest, Ventos says, we are able to listen out and inner simultaneously, excluding the codes and symbols of our convictions and belief. “…”.
Kopasz does not prepare any precise plan, he does not work out his paintings with the help of sketches. When the process of painting starts, he would not know yet, what will happen. He cannot foresee, because he could not foresee, how the painting will develop, or, thinking it further, he could not know whether there will be a (“ready”) painting as there is no visible, planned aim or assurance that the process of creation ends successfully. We can only hope that!
Fear and stress of blind flying, for Kopasz, is not a paralyzing feeling, rather it is a psychical tuning. We can say that the fear takes part in controlling the artist. In the midst of work –as a unique “self-controlled signal transmitter”– it reminds him incessantly that there is a risk of interrupting the blessedness in any time. So then, at the end, it helps him to concentrate more and more on the intensive and attentive empathy of ecstatic state. The strangling excitement of the not planned, not known development of the image and the precise finishing, in other words, induces psychical and emotional tension between the euphoric happiness of the birth of the picture. If the two end values come closer to each other, thus, the process of equalization would start up, the quick heart-beat of the paintings would slow down and turn into mechanical and monotonous knocking. It is important to emphasize all of these because the art of Kopasz should be defined in contrast to the art, giving meaning to the applying sign of motoric movement as critical painting.
The art of Kopasz underlines the idea, which seems to be not too important for contemporary art, or, often directly unnecessary, thematizing the relation between picture size, mode of representation and topic. In the case of gesture paintings, due to the fact that they do not open windows to another illusory reality, and because of the paint traces refer to non- recognizable elements of reality, the quality of gestures (their intensity, direction, colour, dimension) and proportion is perceived and appreciated mainly – disproportion between gesture and painting surface. The dimension of the painting table – and sometimes its form – controls the gesture. The gesture, either uses up the available surface, or leaves it untouched, acts on the size of painting surface, but the gesture can be realized because of the so called overgrowing on the surface essentially. Between gesture and surface exits a strong connection. In most cases the surface size has meaning, when the canvas choice i. e. the exact setting of the playing field of the gesture-gestures, anticipates the painting. The dominancy of the canvas size can be unmade so that the painter does not consider the size of the painting surface as fixed size, he rather marks afterwards, then he underlines a detail and it will be named as a completed artwork. The dimensions do not belong to the ambitious post-works, completing the ecstatic works, but, incontestably, it is a conscious, closing intervention.
On the canvases of Kopasz carefully chosen details of endless diffusing, colour and stripe structures with immeasurable size can be seen. On the picture cuts fragment images of the chaos of dissipation exist, which is capable to work as ”leading field”, able to ” Show the man and the sensible phenomena taking place in the soul of the conflict; and thus into the generation and demonstrate a change”. Therefore the underlined details (the paintings) do not carry the spontaneous action’s sign of rugged self-expression and they do not show the coloured fragmented trails of wandering, but, instead, they became elevated detail-pictures of reality, which could be experienced through disciplined ecstasy.
The essence of “elevation” is that it does not interpret, it “does not tell the story, nor describe, it simply shows off […] the elevated […] stands instead of other thing: on the first level it interprets the subjective atmosphere, on the second level the cosmic approach, the presentiment of ……..”. It is worth noting and correlating Kopasz’s art to the artistic approach and process of Middle Eastern painting and poetry because with help of these can be the specific characteristic of his paintings and their metaphoric character understood. As the above mentioned poetic and visual representations due to the elevating character, the metaphoric feature is rather implied than conscious. The “implied metaphor” does not want to be a (real) metaphor and “behave” as a metaphor, the passivity belongs to its essence. But all of these can be noticed not only in the Middle Eastern art. Similar “elevated pictures” can be found over the revealing, behind in the Western art, e. g. in a Bach’s motet or in a Zurbarán’s painting and, of course, many other earlier and older artwork could be mentioned.
Kopasz, without any comment, elevates the revealed pictures. While he adheres to the meaning, he gives up the representation of those objects, which could mediate them, more precisely, he puts the “elevated” unconscious metaphors created during the ecstatic painting in place of the objects which are able to function as object’s residuums. He presumes, that he can assign to a concrete painting adherent strongly to the meaning, an artistic atmosphere and sense which “not only to stand in the imaging of the subjective imagination of it.” To harmonize all these means and create a painting is a true success!
Nagy T. Katalin / TAMÁS KOPASZ
THE HARMONY OF PASSION
Recent years have seen an increase in the interest of practitioners and the public in abstract art. There has been a series of retrospective exhibitions of the most influential exponents – Jackson Pollock, Cy Twombly (Tate Modern, London, 2008), Joseph Albers and László Moholy‑Nagy (Tate Modern, London, 2006, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2007) – and paintings are fetching astronomical prices at auctions. Many young artists work in the spirituality of abstract art, in spite of the upward trend of new figurativeness. The 2007 exhibition entitled Big Bang! Abstract art for the 21st century showed works by a group of young abstractionists, whilst in 2006 the Turner Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in art, was won by the abstractionist Tomma Abst.
Tamás Kopasz (1958) was not, however, flung into this arena by the current artistic boom; his work has been faithful to the spirit of abstract art for more than two decades. After repeatedly faltering in its development, Hungarian nonfigurative art gained real momentum in the 60s and 70s. The Hungarian practitioners of art informel (Dezső Korniss, Lajos Szabó, Krisztián Frey, Endre Tót and Gyula Konkoly) and of hard‑edge (Sándor Molnár, István Nádler, Tamás Hencze, János Fajó and Ilona Keserü) endeavoured to make up for lost time. Then, at the beginning of the Eighties, Lóránd Hegyi developed the typologies and ideas of New Sensibility, with which numerous artists from the older and younger generations identified themselves and continue to do so. This spiritual transplantation gave a framework to a number of Hungarian artists, with gesture and automatism becoming significant in the work of many of them. Kopasz remained outside this and went his own way, unfazed by the danger that his works might sometimes go unnoticed; indeed, only a retrospective exhibition to be held in the future will be able to do him justice. There are few Hungarian artists whose work is constructed so consistently as that of Tamás Kopasz. Whilst there are close ties between his pictures and abstract expressionism, the Golden Age series saw the beginning of a style which, devoid of all ornamentation and with a powerful emotional basis, was not typical of contemporary Hungarian painting and has now become spiritual, lyrical abstraction incorporating gesture. The other characteristic feature of his art is the unusual symbiosis of painting and sculpture, with gesture – the DNA of his art – present with equal intensity in two and three dimensions as they feed on each other.
In the eighties there was a palpable running down of Neo-avantgarde trends and a powerful expansion of the postmodern. It was during this period that Kopasz found his place as a painter. One particular feature of the Neo-avantgarde was making happenings come to life and articulating the validity of Actionism. European and Far Eastern precedents for all these already existed, but their rise to prominence was a result of both the Neo-avantgarde and the Postmodern. At the beginning of his career, Kopasz was influenced by both trends. One feature of the Postmodern is the calling up of the past; sentimental or ironic, the semiotic intention is always there. In the Eighties, references to remembrances from the history of art could be found in the work of many artists of different generations who were following paths vastly different from each other. To take just a few examples at random: Gyula Konkoly (Georges de la Tour), Ildikó Bakos (paraphrase of Rembrandt: The Jewish Bride) and János Szirtes (treasures of Berlin in his prints).
The artistic past, the frequently depressing legacy often crops up in Kopasz’s early works (1982–1983). In memory of P. F. portrays Pietro della Francesca’s magical female face from The Legend of the True Cross on a decaying cupboard door. In Study, Kopasz renders the unshakeable memorial to female beauty, the Venus de Milo. In Hair and feathers he conjures up yet another familiar female face, Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks. Painted in 1983 on a village toilet seat, Kopasz created a reproduction of a Russian icon of Saint George. There is something of a final reckoning about this evocation of classical masterpieces; Kopasz confronts and breaks with the great idioms of art, which does not lack elements of self-destruction. Rauschenberg was driven by the same intention when erasing a drawing by Willem de Kooning, the wish to rid himself of the depressing burden of Abstract Expressionism, to distance himself from the past and finally take his own course. Kopasz evokes the great masters to destroy them and start from a tabula rasa. This creative attitude has remained unchanged to this day. As he once put it, “mangling is the trauma of birth” (quoted by Csaba Kozák, “Kopasz zenét fest” [Kopasz paints music] in Élet és Irodalom, 29 September 2006). Pitched against the concrete sensual – evoked by means of a drawing, a reproduction or a photo – are the unusual materials of the Neo-avantgarde (hair, feather, pieces of fabric, seeds) and rough surfaces (plastered or burnt layers). The series The bride’s complaint brings an end to aestheticising citations, and every square inch of the pictures betray signs of struggle. Kopasz was out to present an image of the “arena” (to quote Pollock’s term for the surface of a painting) as repulsive as possible. The Actionist pictures created over these years are related to the works of the Viennese Actionists and the art of Tibor Hajas, but the title evokes the French poet Villon.
The struggle seems to have abated in the latter half of the 1980s. By 1986, Kopasz had done away with narratives drawing on applications and portraitive drawing, anecdote and verbally utterable objects. The change of artistic attitude, the artist's inner struggle is apparent in his new works. The gesture of depicting the process of creation continues to be a feature of his canvases. Passion seeks materials and satisfaction.
Kopasz’s works dating from the Eighties drew not only on the spirit of the age, but also his readings at the time, especially French Symbolist poetry. In an exhibition opening a colleague and friend of his, József Gaál, recalls, “I clearly remember the very beginning of the Eighties when we were at college, and whilst pub crawling, Tamás would flash a collection of poetry by Rimbaud or Mallarmé […] In addition to painting and music-making, Kopasz tried a hand at automatic writing. When the real connotations of words were blurred by the unspeakableness of passions and emotions, he gave up writing for good.”
While Kopasz admits that his all-time favourite is Rimbaud, the works of The bride’s complaint cycle, his so-called amorous pictures, instantly bring to mind Baudelaire’s famous love poem “The carcass” from the cycle Les fleurs du mal, in particular the last verses:
— And yet you will be like this corruption,
Like this horrible infection,
Star of my eyes, sunlight of my being,
You, my angel and my passion!
Yes! thus will you be, queen of the Graces,
After the last sacraments,
When you go beneath grass and luxuriant flowers,
To moulder among the bones of the dead.
Then, O my beauty! say to the worms who will
Devour you with kisses,
That I have kept the form and the divine essence
Of my decomposed love!
(Translated by William Aggeler)
For the first time in The bride’s complaint the process of creating the work is in focus. Actions, incidental and voluntary, spontaneous gestures become apparent in Kopasz’s works in a concealed or straightforward way. Materials become Kopasz’s creative partners which now confront, then cooperate. The themes are taken from the most instinctive sphere of human life, sexuality. Kopasz’s canvasses become spontaneously arranged arenas in which accidental and deliberate actions leave their traces and where visible and invisible layers are superimposed. The artist takes the rite of creating a painting to be a love rite, and artistic and sexual potency are unified in a single joint ritual. His pictures continue to be borne from a destructive fervour, making them the icons of the discharge of pent-up 1980s tension, of disgust, decay and annihilation. Burning, spreading, applying various dirty materials produces a curious blend of creative and destructive energies. His is not gesture painting, but “disgustingism,” as Kopasz himself termed his method. (Csaba Kozák, “Who dares to paint…,” exhibition opening, Young Artists’ Studio, 1985)
The remythisation of painting
Excerpts from the Golden Age (1985–1986) marks the beginning of a new era, and the “primeval” life-and-death struggle is supplanted by myth. The crude wildness of the “primeval” ritual is replaced by the more poetical choreography of the Antique mystery play. The picture-creating process remains a rite, a trace of whose every moment is preserved in the work itself. Kopasz continues to drip, smear, stick and burn. The automatic gesture and intentionality are mingled. Kopasz always thinks in terms of series, and puts much effort into each theme. His concepts take shape in the form of cycles. The three series Excerpts from the Golden Age, Bronze Age and Copper Age were created in succession in 1985 and 1986.
Excerpts from the Golden Age is on of the zeniths of his career. Destruction is replaced by construction, mauled canvas and the rough application of materials become a thing of the past. The pictures are divided into vertical fields of force, drippings are top down, making the superimposed layers thicker at the top and thinner at the bottom; the arena has become clearer and the light foundation colour comes through in places. Gravity ceases to exist in this new world. Like the paint poured from the top becomes thin at the bottom, it is as if everything that was sinking were in fact rising to the top. Smoke and fog are like that in the real world; their untransparent, whirling matter rises, dispelling darkness. Trickled down from the top and running out towards the bottom, the veins of paint are calligraphically pressed against another, disturbing our senses by appearing to be floating in the picture space. This is perhaps the first instance of Kopasz’ ability to transubstantiate matter. Some of the works have magical powers, are gaze is transfixed, we are dazed by watching, as if we were receiving radiation. The tense fabric of veins is dotted with reddish brown patches of jam, dark clots of hair, applications of copper plate.
Alongside the two main materials, gold dust and hair, there are mustard seeds, grains of rice, jam and copper plates. Kopasz’ workshop is like a witch’s kitchen where the “modern ritual” is held. The various materials intertwine organically on the canvas laid on the floor, in the course of trickling, blowing, gluing and milling, only to multiply their magical force fields.
The yearning for rite, myth and magic erupted with elementary force in the Eighties. Archaic forms and ancient symbols became widely used. Kopasz, too, was influenced by this approach, but, drawing on the lore of Informel, Abstract Expressionism, Expressionism and Tachism, he re-mythicised painting, destructed, burntm trickled and abused materials in every possible way in an effort to re-live the mystery of form-creation.
On the surfaces, kneaded and smeared with gold dust, clots of hair, trickled paint, inscriptions occasionally appear. One of them reads as follows: “Personal identification is dactyloscopy, meaning the scientific examination of the markings in prints made from the fingertips employed as a method of personal identification.” The sentence confronts the viewer of the picture with subtle self-irony. To the gesture painter the tool-less means of painting, the use of fingers assumes great importance, since it affords a more direct expression of emotions and passions in the works. Without an intermediary tool, thoughts are able to issue from the artist’s body into the body of the work, “body to body.” And another text in the same picture: “”not entirely common, but that is how babies are made.” The two cryptic texts are inbuilt riddles: magical touch and birth. What was the painter thinking about?
At this point, a short detour is warranted. Answering this enigmatic work not only brings the viewer closer to the work, but also gives an insight into Kopasz’ way of mind. The tenth canto of Ovid’s Metamorphosis relates the story of Pygmalion. This familiar myth (versions of which were written by George Bernard Shaw, among others) concerns in reality the meaning of art, the question of mimesis. Pygmalion the sculptor creates a statue he names Galatea. At the festival of Venus Aphrodite makes his secret wish – for the sculpted female figure to come to life – come true. The message of the story, in Ovid’s interpretation, is that it is not art that imitates nature, but on the contrary, nature imitates the sculpture and becomes a living girl. Thus the sculpture of Galatea is not an image or a mimetic formation, but an independent entity – independent from its creator – that is not a mirror-reflection of reality, but part of it.
While Kopasz’ early works abounded in mimetic motifs, the pictures of Golden Age were conceived in the Pygmalionian spirit. The works of the gesture painter are independent creations borne out of rites of automatic writing, under the guidance of the artist’s creative imagination. In creating the picture, painterly and masculine energies were united, suppressed instincts were released, and tendencies locked away in the subconscious came to the fore.
The early works are characterised by an assessment of the knowledge acquired, the Actionist canvases of The bride’s complaint the stations of self-knowledge, and The Golden Age the established course of work-creation.
The overriding vertical character disappears for a while in the pictures of the Bronze Age (1986) and Ornaments (1987) series, and the network of repetitive gestures and motifs increasingly makes the centre its starting or end point. The whirling patches and trickling patterns are replaced by a repetitive series of gestures, a mass of superimposed layers. These works are best characterised by the material-focused approach of Informel; the thickly applied layers of paint continue to speak of the creative process. The forms of reality become emotionally-laden, unintelligible, undecipherable signs. The standing or recumbent ovals are the only shapes that can be made out. They resemble a head, a mandorla (Katalin Keserű’s interpretation) or a vulva, a tendency that fully unfolds in the pictures of Feminine. Connecting femininity and sexuality with the painterly act and the imagery is not a new feture in Kopasz’ art. However, in the female principle is more than ever evident in the series Feminine. The other attribute of the works of Feminine is that the picture space opens up, and the canvas is carved up by one or several slits. This can be interpreted as a destructive gesture or the yearning for a third dimension. The picture is no longer merely an illusion of space, but space itself. Like Luciano Fontana, a key figure of the Italian Neo-avantgarde, Kopasz does not content himself with the illusion of space that can be created on the canvas. The emptiness of the slit on the canvas, the ominous darkness of the abyss (suggestive of aggression), the open wound on the canvas creates a painful feeling of something lacking.
The yearning for a third dimension leads in a natural way to the shield-shaped pictures painted on bent sheets. At the same time the shield, a symbolic protective device, gives a metaphoric answer to the picture-destructing gesture of the slits on the canvas.
The paper sheets of Let the wind blow it apart, painted in acrylic and watercolour, are the heralds of Kopasz’ large-scale series of the Nineties. It seems that the paper-medium alone would endure the liberated gestures, but a few years later the canvases feature the same tendency.
Some of the paintings in Feminine have hints at the new tendency which unfolds in the picture Blue articulation. Matte and glossy surfaces of different texture alternate. On the shiny, lacquered surfaces there are lustreless, horizontal stretches of undulating, crust-like formations (Blue Articulation, Stamberger See, 1990).
The objects created in the Nineties are further developments of the notion of space. They form a transition between picture and plastic work. The small objects, their surface reduced in the course of burning, assume irregular forms. The first series, created in Miskolc, was called Sprites.
Clouds I and II (1991) was conceived in the monochrome painterly traditions. It is a synthesis and end-of-period work evocative of the meditative tone of Informel art. Painted in dark red and black, its surface divided by subtle blurs, Cloud I creates a plethora of colour effects depending on the angle of the light. The two main technical features of Abstract Expressionists is trickling and gestures. It is the movement of the body that creates the autographic symbols with the former, and the paintbrush or the fingers, which are in closer contact with the paint or whichever trace-leaving material is used. The texture of the enormous canvases of Clouds, created from trickles, keeps the secret of its creation as a seismograph of the movements of the body. Péter Donáth’s ITIA, a series also made in 1991, can be compared to Kopasz’ large-scale works in terms of intention. Donáth was out to seek out and show the hidden energies of matter by means of moving masses of plaster and putty. Both artists are drawn by the textural beauty created in the wake of the spontaneous movement of matter, but the most powerful common feature is the effort they both make to keep artist and his materials in close symbiosis.
The supremacy of gesture
In 1996 Kopasz was awarded a municipal scholarship by Salzburg, enabling him to spend a month in the small Austrian town; and a year later he spent six months in a small village near Bremen with a Künstlerhäuser Worpswede grant. His “discovery” of paper coincides with this period. Paper implies a limit, to which the artist voluntarily succumbs. The sensitive, fragile material will not allow everything.
The acrylic on paper works imply a great change, making the gestures seem as though they have been whirling around in a large imaginary bottle or simmered under and amid the burnt and glued materials, only to burst forth, dashing at will, runic amok on the paper. The picture surface is no longer an arena but a skating rink on which the brush freely skitters. Liberation and tension, fierce passion or faltering insecurity: the propensity to self-writing automatism increases. Emotions burst to the surface without hindrance, betraying Kopasz’ lyrical attitude. The brushstrokes tell it all and preserve it all – the quickness and lightness of the movements, fast or slow change of direction. Emotional and intellectual happenings manifest themselves in an increasingly direct manner. The painterly instruments are reduced even further: there are no more non-painterly materials and technical torture is a thing of the past.
The pages of the Silver series feature chasing sprightly narrow lines above or around wider bands; now they appear to move away, now they appear to be close to the point that the viewer almost feels entangled. While the works in the Silver series mostly respect the page limits and often stand airily on the white sheets, the Salzburg Series breach the limits, and white patches are rare. Other series (King Kong, Body, Turku-Ulappa) feature a proliferation of superimposed layers criss-crossing each other, creating a dense fabric in the rotation of motorical gestures. The gesture-fabric often has an oval shape, evoking the “mandorla” pictures of the Eighties. The egg shape is gone from the 80´80-cm square paper sheets of the second Salzburg Series, and the curved gestures are replaced by angled zig-zagging. The motif resembling a head then makes a comeback in the elongated sheets of King Kong.
The blown and smeared surfaces create a special sense of light and space. Classical painterly means – the sfumato-like play of light and shadow and pentimento effects – are present in an increasingly obvious way. Kopasz’ gestures were never 2D in character but his works on paper create a subjective perspective in which gestures are transformed into a sensual spatial calligraphy. The gestures in the rear and in the foreground are perceived simultaneously, and were we to attempt to disentangle them, we would get lost in space, touched by Kopasz’ mysticism that takes its origins form this very transcendental perception of space.
The sheets of the Hiding series are characterised by the colour scheme of Clouds; reds and black intertwine, gestures dissolve in the colour fields covering the entire sheet. The moderateness of the whispering gestures is ostensibly temporary, and the melancholic contemplation indicates an inward focus.
Gestures in 3D and in 2D
Sculpture and painting (1997–2002)
The propensity to plasticity that first manifested itself in the painting of the previous years, came to the fore in the second half of the Nineties. One of the stations in this path-seeking course is the Blind series, consisting of three pictures, the creation of which was in part accidental. Kopasz discovered in Cologne thrown-out textile roller blinds. Free-canvas painting was then enjoying something of a heyday, and lazure brushstrokes, the changing and incidental character of the base material marked the second step towards entering into the 3D world.
Completed in 1997, the first plastic wall series brought a new approach to Hungarian sculpture. Throughout the history of art, the key innovators in sculpture were usually painters. The painterly attitude naturally approaches plastic works differently.
Kopasz was no alien to sculpture, since at the Tömörkény István Secondary Art School he had studied sculpture for years as a student of Márton Kalmár and Katalin Samu. Perhaps it was owing to these preliminary studies that he had always sought ways to quit the bounds presented by 2D canvas, and was always attracted to 3D and plasticity. It was all but necessity that he would make a foray into sculpture, to tell in 3D what could not be told in the 2D picture space.
The sculptor Kopasz’ idiom consisted of painterly items from the very outset. The first works feature irregular-shaped sheets of metal attached to the wall, with appendages of vigorously starting but cropped arc-fragments (Altamira). The three Reliefs, too, are based on opposition: angle meets curve, and coarse meets polished surface. The welded cable applications of Birds can be compared to the pictures of the series Copper Age, dating form the decade before, on account of the copper insertions. The sculptor Kopasz wounds his works in the same way as he did with hi canvases in his capacity as a painter. In a certain sense his plastic works repeat or replay some of his ideas accomplished in painting. The process of tying in with painting increasingly gains momentum, and by the early twenty-first century painting and sculpture will have become synchronised.
Kopasz exhibited his first mature plastic works, Three Moons, in the MAMÜ cellar in 1998.
The works of the Unfinishable Series feature bodies with smooth and coarse surface, juxtaposed or penetrating each other, weirdly evoking and recreating Shields (1989) and the works based on the opposition of lacquered and matte surfaces that were created in its wake.
As it has been pointed out, in his youth Kopasz made a radical break with figurative narrative and the reality-portraying tradition of painting, yet in his own way he is very strongly connected to the great traditions of art.
Kopasz’ works brought to mind the story of Pallas Athene who sprang from the gead of Zeus in full military might, a helmet on her head, wielding a shield. In spite of her manly strength and dress, she was very much a woman as well, since at that famous competition, she was among the contenders for Paris’ apple. As if the spirit of Pallas Athene haunted the works of Kopasz, her figure being conjured up from time to time, the accessories of her wardrobe, the shield, the helmet and the spear. Metal, the main material of Kopasz’ sculptures, was originally used to make weapons, which might also suggest Pallas Athene. There is no conscious effort on Kopasz’ part, only a magical coincidence.
Kopasz is a romantic character, and one of the main features of his art is building upon contrasts. Patch and line, smooth and coarse, light and dark presume each other. The painterly techniques are transformed into plastic techniques with surprising consistency.
Dating from 1999, the sheets of the cycle …foursoftfingertips… (letters to G.) feature distinctly closed formations. The previous overspill of form is restrained and now closed forms encase the capricious gestures. Could it have been the adventure in sculpture that made the artist more disciplined? Is that why he is cleverly trying to curb the drawing-like eruptions and restrain it? The gestures cannot step beyond the limits of the closed oval form; the layers are forced upon the other, covering each other out, restraining passion and hiding what cannot be revealed.
Drawn chiefly in black on A4 sheets of paper, the head shapes rhyme more than ever to the helmets created in 1999. This is the point when painting and sculpture approach each other closest and speak the same language; only the voice of sculpture is more powerful.
Sculpture not only catches up with painting, but “overtakes” it, too. Oval, head-shapes prevail. The invisible head is the vision of the helmet – or the viewer’s flight of fancy. The strips of metal, copying the wide painterly brushstrokes, burst out into space, bandaging the space concealing the space hiding the invisible heads, those magical spaces. The painterly intention of concealing and revealing, of hiding and coming out seems to be all the more intensive in the helmets. The helmets are and are not transparent; they have and do not have weight. The entanglements consisting of thick and thin bands of metal and line-imitating cables are exhibited by hanging on the wall, but these plastic works merely touch the surface of the wall, and the gestures erupt into space. The plaster that Kopasz uses in the helmets is a material rarely used with metal. The entanglements might have associations with the ways of the mind, but the flesh-substitute plaster makes the reference even more obvious. The pattern of the welding is also reminiscent of the human brain and cranial sutures. The sight of the sensual convolutions of the pseudo-helmets penetrates the viewer in the same way as the ritual mask identifies with the face of the person wearing it, and the shaman communicates with supernatural forces in his trance. They cut in the flesh, these sculptures, in both the abstract and concrete sense of the expression. We are stricken by the recognition, by coming face to face with ourselves. The helmets can be interpreted as the untangleable network of our own emotions, memories and passions.
Fluctuation and turbulence
One might say, since the courses and solutions of the Kopaszian oeuvre can be grasped by means of metaphors only, that with the series Renaissance, the genie was released from the lamp. The gestural idiom rapidly proliferates and the almost monochrome schemes switch to passionate colourism and the pictures are imbued with light. The layers no longer restrain, but rather liberate, each other; subtle transparencies, translucencies and blends keep the surfaces in perpetual motion. The artist often uses pentimento. Pentimento is the coming-out of the gesture painter. “In a moment man’s body turns inside out, and what was innermost is now vulnerably on the outside,” Béla Kondor writes in one of his poems. The order of brushstrokes is visible; the surface becomes a series of painterly decisions. The brushstrokes tell it all, even the ones the painter has “repented.” Which is from where the Italian pentimento derives, meaning to repent or change your mind.
Tensions and relief, desire and fulfilment are materialised in the subordinated, superimposed or juxtaposed layers of the works in the Renaissance cycle. Having departed from reality a long time ago, Kopasz seeks to help us break away from reality, to relieve us from the pathetic view of the real world and to present us an alternative reality which, provided we allow it to penetrate us, will enables to get in touch with our most intimate feelings. The pictures attract and repulse, foster meditative contemplation and require spiritual knowledge. In the what appears to be disorder is in chaotic order. The artist gives form to formlessness. The early works in the Renaissance series force the gestures into the mass of an oval, head-shaped area; in the later works only the edge of the paper or the lyrical sfumato puffs colour in the background get in the way of the brushstrokes or, more often than not, the angry brush-strikes. The illusion of space and subtle handling of light explain why the title of the series is Renaissance.
The Baroque series (2005) was painted on canvas. The return of the canvas attests to the fact that textural effects have made a return. Paper will not tolerate pent-up, baroquesque passions and the pasty application of oil paint. Impasto is one of the favourite techniques of Abstract Expressionists because it lends itself well to displaying the energy that went into creating the work, as well as the direction and speed of the brushstrokes.
The flows of raised paint, their intersections create immense turbulence in the picture. One of the peculiarities of Abstract Expressionist pictures is that the story of their creation is an open book, the movement of paint, the bends, tugs, hiccups or slides of the hand applying the paint is revealed to us manifestly. Kopasz’ titles refer to works of music. The desire of painting to be as spiritual as music is not a new phenomenon. Kandinsky, who was profoundly occupied with the relationship of music and painting, gave music-related titles to many of his works. Kandinsky claimed that when religion and science got mixed up, man turned his attention from external matters and began to focus on the world within. This spiritual revolution affected the most sensitive spheres, such as literature, music and the fine arts. Abstract art is indicative of this inward focus. In Kopasz’ art the strengthening of spiritual features is in direct proportion to the free flow of gestures. The Baroque series betrays cathartic experiences. The often melancholic, gloomy moods are supplanted by the magical enjoyment of painting, an anticipation of fulfilment. The titles of Baroque quote the arias of Händel’s opera Ariodante that are widely regarded as the Baroque composer’s most expressive arias. The choice of title is no accident. The turbulent emotions expressed by the arias of Ariodante have much in common with the canvases in this series. Unusually for Kopasz, the most beautiful pieces of the cycle are in landscape format. The works have a horizontal, unimpeded flow, as if the open undulation never ended. But the heights of endless passion only captivate the artist for a few moments; the portrait format returns soon, together with the whirling lines and the superimposed brushstrokes. The most special works of the series are Kopasz’ heads wound in purple bands of paint, strongly reminiscent of József Gaál’s carved-wood heads bandaged in strips of leather.
The state of emotional exaltation persists in the Bach series and the second Händel series painted in 2007. The colour schemes are enriched, Kopasz wanders into even more daring hues and his palette becomes brighter. Brightness is apparent in the works of Bach in particular, and if anyone suggested the musical titles are merely an artistic whim, I would argue. It is said about Bach that he wrote music to God, and Händel to the world. Comparison of the series inspired by the two composers reveals a very different world of colours. The works dedicated to Bach are brighter, the yellows and blues are redolent with relief; the Händel pictures are unsettling, but Dixit Dominus and Utrecht Te Deum also feature some brighter colours. These particular works have much in common with the music of Bach. I do not wish to go into a musical-historical argument to support my ideas, only to reiterate that Kopasz’ titles are deliberate and well thought-out, and musical parallels help to shed light on his expressive world.
In 2005 the Kecskemét Steel Sculpture Symposium was launched under Gyula Majoros and with the support of the KÉSZ company. From that year onward, eight to ten artists were offered the possibility to work in a well-equipped factory workshop with materials and technology unavailable in an sculptor’s studio. Kopasz, being one of the founders of the workshop, has participated in the work of the symposium every year since 2005.
As it has been pointed out, the plastic works of the first Renaissance series sought to push themselves away from the wall to fulfil their desire of becoming free-standing sculptures. The works of the second Renaissance series (2003) are “heads” bandaged with strips of metal of varying width, standing on pedestals. Plaster is substituted with bronze, without a trace of the often horrific threat of the previous series; the cast bronze shell fragments are wound in metal strips which circulate the “core” tightly or just flutter round it playfully. The strips wind their way in a free manner, and their mood is best told by their endings which droop wearily or cheerfully wag or end abruptly.
The cycle created in the following year, however, was created parallel with Baroque series. The return to the canvas, the prevalence of impasto and the predominance of gestural abstraction indicated that the time of change had arrived. The sculptures departed from the helmet or head-like form and gesture took over the leading role in Kopasz’ plastic works, too; he crumples, twists and winds the metal strips or bands of cable. In the way that the objective of gesture painting is to display on the canvas the invested energy, the direction and speed of the movements, Kopasz’ gesture sculpture, too, preserves the moments of his wrestling with his material.
The spatial gestures of Baroque (2004) increasingly wildly seek the opportunity to break loose from the self-established sculptural spaces. In 2005 they succeed and droop powerless, winding on the metal columns intended to support them. That is not a manifestation of Baroque vivacity but the fatigued subtlety of Mannerism. The advance of vertical forces continues in the following series; the proportions of Archaic torsos (2006) are reminiscent of the 1998 wall sculptures Already and yet, but while the latter took shields as their starting point, the former are more abstract spatial symbols, borrowing their character from spears or lances, only without the quality of being threatening; their pointed ends are standing upwards, forming a row of sentinels. The clefts in latest works in the series are filled with glass “proliferations.” Whether or not this form is a plastic metaphor of the female substance or an unusual combination of materials is hard to tell.
In 2007 Kopasz’ plan won the competition published in the Hungarian Universitas Programme for a decoration for the building of Eötvös József College in Baja. Spatial gestures I was placed on the parapet wall of the internet café in the building, and Spatial gestures II above the door of connecting corridor. Kopasz’ concept was that the waving steel strip should preserve the momentum, dynamics and lightness of the original gesture. The tape winds around in space freely, creeping behind the columns, too. Hovering in front of the wall, the sculpture is attached to the wall by hidden, cleverly positioned small steel straps.
The art of Kopasz is radically and consistently to-the-point; he is seeking the essence of his own being which one might call the seeking of truth in the original sense of the term, setting aside its somewhat tattered and clichéd nature. In retrospect, Kopasz’ works feature a steady tendency of constructive demolition, the way the layers peel off – in both an intellectual and material sense – in the process of the artist’s reduces his materials and means in an attempt to accomplish a kind of purification. Kopasz’ painting is built on contrasts. Form and colour, gesture and structure, light and shadow, line and patch, rarefaction and densification vie for prominence while complementing the other. One of the fundamental tenets of Kopasz’ art is the confrontation of art-historical time with personal time. The historical expressions often used in the titles of his works suggest that the phases of the real-time life-and-death struggle magically follow the century-old movement of art. By means of this tautological process, Kopasz remythifies his art, revealing that narrative is possible within the realm of abstraction. But this “parlance” is hard to verbalise, because it is essentially on a gut-level and visual, and also it seeks the same features in the art of the historical eras. Kopasz’ painting is passionate, fuelled by restrained instinct. Kopasz seeks the spiritual and psychological relationships underlying each period style, and projects on them his own world of imagery. When James Joyce wrote Ulysses, renewing the tradition of the novel, he felt the need to have a “handhold,” perhaps to legitimise his own course, and so the structure of his novel follows that of the Odyssey. Kopasz, who at the start of his career, moved away step by step from the portrayal of primary reality, then abandoned the sensual, metaphorical use of materials to peel off the painterly layers he had created himself, arrived to the primary use of gesture. His career as a painter thus far can be regarded as a single personal ritual in which the artist came closer and closer to a condition not unlike a transcendent state, in which the gesture (managed from the subconscious spheres) and a conscious painterly programme live together in harmonious symbiosis. Setting out from Abstract and Lyrical Expressionism, drawing much on Informel, Tamás Kopasz has arrived at a lyrical and very personal abstract style, in which artistic experience keeps under the softest possible control the instinctiveness of the gesture. The way of the sculptor is closely attached to that of the painter, and while painting and sculpture have for a good decade now been running parallel, the painter has the upper hand. The sculptor has to take a new course to accomplish the painter’s ideas.