by IstvÃ¡n Hajdu
Illusion is a basic element of the art of painting, that is, imitation and the illusion of metaphysical space, an unavoidable spiritual reality alongside the material. Thus the reality of objects and the metaphysical content that appears in the illusion of space together constitute an organic unit. This can be described rather simply, because the material of paint, which is a rubbery mix that consists of pigment and an adhesive agent, appears as colour once it is on the canvas. While colour, if handled well, transforms into light and shadow just to mark out spaces and, ultimately, these spaces that are created through illusion carry the substance of meaning that is so terribly difficult to phrase, which one feels to be metaphysical, transcendent, or at times sacred.
These important sentences, borrowed from Imre Bak, gain a particular validity when referring to Katalin KÃ¡ldiâ€™s paintings. Firstly, since in KÃ¡ldiâ€™s pictures the plane actually creates space in itself and not exclusively through the tools of illusion, and that space is not purely virtual, but materialises through plasticity since the plain-mounts that fix the metamorphosis of forms and protrude from the plane of the canvas (although barely so at times) refer back to their place in the plane of the shining monochrome in an almost ironic way. Secondly, because the plain that is transformed into light and shadow phrases otherwise frivolous â€˜meaningsâ€™ with quite particular sparklings of signs, the brillance of forms, representing the lustre of gemstones rather than photographs and filling the motifs of the paintings with a vibrant dynamism, creates a crafty heraldry. Meanwhile, irony, precisely this â€˜de-celebratoryâ€™ attitude helps Katalin KÃ¡ldi approach the â€˜material of meaning that is terribly difficult to phraseâ€™: breaking the piety of/musing over the monochrome through certain materialism and to grotesque metaphysics.