Zsuzsanna Szentandrási-Sós

ATTILA RAJCSÓK’S SCULPTURE

The creations of organic sculpture are the imitations of nature conveying the current sacral and intellectual timelessness and eternality. Attila Rajcsók’s art––thanks to his age––is already a twenty-first-century manifestation of this form of expression and creative intention. His discussions and creative cooperation with his master, university professor Péter Gálhidy, were a fertile soil at the roots of his currently evolving oeuvre. During his studies he created plastic art evoking biomorphic and stylized birds as well as anthropomorphic forms, and at the same time he was seeking the ways to reduce the visual impact of gravity when installing his works. As a result, he eliminated the pedestal from underneath his sculptures. He did not leave his own art or material expression to chance either: he made experiments on a variety of technical methods of creation, such as carving, moulding, casting and welding, until the Kecskemét KÉSZ steel sculpture symposium where he found his most suitable method of self-expression: constructing. Here he had the opportunity to get thoroughly acquainted with the steel plate as a metal for sculpture, and to try out machineries and techniques which his creative character could identify with, and which he could later use in his own studio as well. In addition to the use of material and technical solutions, he was also intrigued by the quest for a form of expression, which he found in the hollow, spherical structures he still prefers today. The wooden spoon with a handle, the csanak, known from folk art, can be considered to be an ancient form in Rajcsók’s art who produced a monumental plastic art adaptation of it at the Nagyatád wood sculpture symposium. The work of art––promoted to be a diploma work––is now part of the KOGART contemporary art collection.

All this erudition, as a whole, has determined his currently thriving creative era. Since the year following his graduation he has been shaping, constructing his original statues by bending and welding straps, precisely cut out of steel sheets. His use of material and choice of shapes, which do not represent a complete departure from figural art, have become his trademark. He carries out form reduction: he stylizes on the borderland of recognizable and decipherable forms by creating associations; he makes abstractions, and balances on the borderline between figural art and abstraction. He never starts work at the whole––at the frame defining the work or at the reducible block––but at the unity that becomes the whole, at the steel straps, which he constructs organically, in obedience to the laws of nature. There is no variety of items: the repetition of the same arch results in the unfolding of forms conceived and evolving out of necessity. The process is somewhat self-propelling and slow, but the end result––thanks to his earlier form experience gained through wood carving and clay modelling––is conscious and deliberate. The length, inclination, angle of the straps, their rhythm to press close to one another, and the method of welding are determining characteristics for the works in progress: forms unfold according to these features; forms, which may also be interpreted to be a reminiscence of the Nagyatád wood sculptures. Accordingly, he completes the composition of several works with a stem, which gives the sculpture a new point of support. The spatial forms are made painterly by a rhythmic light-and-shadow effect of positive and negative surfaces, which stems from the nature of form creation. The intensity and direction of the light on the works of art determines the way they appear: Attila Rajcsók composes with light. The conscious painterly effect is also supported by the surface treatment and colour painting of sculpture, thus his works also venture into the sphere of neopop style. The cascading straps change, from the innermost one to the last one; they are layered on each other like onion peels, unfolding in their own forms like snail shells, turning back into themselves like curled-up larvae. The laws of organic growth in nature are opening up. The sculptures––while they are being interpreted and read––result in subjective thoughts arising from the viewer’s literacy and visual experiences. What is the form? A helmet, a chador, a mask, a kernel, a basket, or some fruit? For each of us, it is what we are able to see.

The strap sculptures are constructs, compositions coming into existence by the repetition of a single element. Some works carry smaller, similarly constructed, forms in themselves; and some may have stems. Among the remarkable works the Cradle is especially worth noting, a striking composition whose three parts thread into each other, resulting in a genuine piece of round plastic art. Each view provides an exciting, unexpected and new look. It covers and uncovers, unlocks and conceals continuously. It pulsates like life itself. This piece of art is a unique creation of the current creative period, since its composition is different from the past ones: its two identical, external halves––each other’s mirror-images divided by the welding––break the form that is being realized along the former spirals. The sculpture consists of four parts. Its outer layer uncovers the inner core energetically: parting cups, a bud embraced by flower petals, a child being born. The repetition of gradually blooming forms, nested into each other, implies continuity. The opening through which we see into the work of art is a revelation, a manifestation of the essence. Given its theme, the sculpture is placed deliberately on a pedestal; this way it is protected and catches the eye. The base is therefore an intrinsic part of the work, an intrinsic part of the symbolic and abstract presentation of birth and midwifery. The white colour strengthens the content of thought, it symbolizes innocence and purity, it convinces about the iconic exhibition of the entire work as a whole.

The elimination of the support, the pedestal plays an important role in the interpretation of the works. Its absence results in a direct contact with the internal space, thus the dynamisms and the strained arches are clearly perceivable. The leaning points of the sculpture become one with the points of the floor and the wall surrounding the space; and this way the interior itself, the site of the exhibition takes the role of the pedestal. When this happens, the viewers find themselves within the aura of creation. As a result, we experience a static and calm visual effect in the case of the works leaning on a single point, without a stem. The visual effect of the works that stand on two or three points, and have a stem, is a dynamic one. The latter––if they stand steadily––give the impression that they might rock back and forth on the leaning points of the body and the stem; but their dynamics never have the same direction as we would sense. Space thickens below / behind, and it expands above / before, the long-arched stems.

The leaning and highest points of the works become relevant. The latter constitute the dead-centre of the work, as the lower points keep it in a helpless state, which, eventually, results in the balance of the sculpture.

Attila Rajcsók is a sculptor. The genre and style of his art can be defined only if explanations are added to the traditional terms of art history. His sculptures are typical contemporary creations of art.

Budapest, June 3, 2014.