Levente Baranyai, Flower Empire IV., 2021
Levente Baranyai / The Last Days of the Flower Empire
Apr 14 – May 12, 2023
Erika Deák Galéria
Budapest, Hungary

On Levente Baranyai’s latest painting series tulip fields come to life: with this series, the artist continues his ongoing search to explore the entire world in detail. The Flower Empire series is inspired by the war occurring in our neighboring Ukraine. Although Baranyai had previously dealt with several specific war events in his work, he now felt that the events were so close and so terrible that he could not depict them. His paintings of tulip fields are a counter-reaction to today’s veracities: they offer an escape from the horrors of reality, even if they represent the end of days of beauty.

The starting point for his latest works is, as before, a concrete scene photographed from a bird’s-eye view, which is abstracted into loose structures on canvas. The bands of color, evoking the beds of Dutch tulip fields, emerge parallel or perpendicular to the smoothness of the canvas, and the scattered elements in the images, a tractor or a few human figures, remind the viewer of the real landscapes. In his new series, vibrant, natural colors have a therapeutic effect on the viewer. As the artist says, his intention is to offer the viewer a positive experience in a dark world full of horrors. However, the colorful bands are not only operate on a visual level, they are also saturated with symbolic content, the parallel juxtaposition of the color patches can be interpreted as a manifesto, where Baranyai’s Flower Empire series is a stand for peace, respect for human rights and acceptance of diversity.

Levente Baranyai was born in 1966, lives and works in Budapest, Hungary. He graduated in 1994 from the College of Fine Arts, where he also completed his postgraduate studies in 1996. In his exceptional oeuvre he is obsessed with portraits of the land, always focusing on the landscape and the mapping of a world generally devoid of man. His works are held in numerous national and international public and private collections.

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