The visitors to Budapest could…

In the fall of 2010, visitors to Budapest could encounter a characteristic “point raster” painting of Reinhard Roy for the first time. This was in the exhibit titled Point, Line, in Movement of the Art Society Open Structures in the Vasarely Museum. Similar works of the artist could be seen as early as 2009 in the Paks Gallery and in the presentation of the collection Siegfried Grauwinkel (2013).

In turn, in the exhibit Határesetek / Interspaces*, which was dedicated to the border area between architecture and art, Roy was represented with a large steel object, which could subsequently be installed in the garden of the Modern Gallery Veszprem.

Art endures, when it has its own identity, the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi writes. ** Reinhard Roy defines the point raster or the point as identifying features of his artistic work. The sculptures characterized by geometric clarity and perfect surfaces and the large-sized stainless steel objects accomplished with industrial techniques are, for me, products of a unified artistic concept. As he formulates it himself, Roy produces his works through adding and through removing. They can be described as closed systems, whose connections with their surroundings play no significant role in their observation. Their structure is determined by other bonds and connections: with the two-dimensional works, by the connection between the point field (the number of the raster points / the point raster) and the monochrome surface, as well as by the linkage with a further intuitive, but essential element which Roy himself designates as the “border zone”. These border zones arise through the encounter of the primary conceptual systems, so to speak as depictions of the borders of a certain change in the condition of movement. They can be localized in the monochromatic area of the pictures or in the vicinity of the picture edges.

I speak of a change in the condition of movement, although I only register the movement in a lingering way. Roy composes the monochromatic surface from several layers of glaze in different colors. The geometrically ordered quantity of the points, which one can perceive as a grid structure stretched on to the surface or also as a vibrating, iridescent multiplicity, works on the surface as something which proceeds from the inner processes of the sculpture discoverable in its materiality and is connected with the surface over the visual bodies.

The color field constructed of several layers of glaze and the quantity of raster points placed over it are set against each other in their “direction of movement”. The flowing into each other and shining through of the color glaze layers along the picture surface work in the opposite direction than the point-like elements, which generate the intuitive depth processes suggesting geometric immersion. The acrylic and paper images and the objects can likewise be described through this ambivalence, the complexity of the pictorial and geometric paradigm.

Whether we think of the work in question as image, as object, or as a spatial connecting element with architectural dimensions depends on the size proportions, on the measure: From the points, point sections, and motion arising at the point of rotation, we can arrive at the objects emerging from rotational movement and to architectural space.

This kinetic phenomenon points back to Vasarely with whom, however, the principle of the kinetic and the series appear in a different way than with Roy.

A common feature of both artists is the possibility of “architectural integration” of artistic objects (for Vasarely, the first time was 1954/1955 when, together with C.R. Villanueva, he designed the ceramic wall Hommage a Malewitsch for the architectural surroundings of Caracas University). In 2008, Roy was working on a common project with Oscar Niemeyer in Brasil. He expressed his thoughts about Roy this way: “I admire Reinhard Roy’s works and value them highly, especially because he seeks the new and reaches surprising discoveries.”

The basic statement of the work of Reihard Roy, of his pictures as well as his objects, arises from the border areas of the conceptual and the experimentation with it. The attitude of the free artist is characteristic for Roy: He trusts geometry, the concrete form untouched by the human hand, in a way like we can trust objects and the architectural environment under ideal circumstances.

*The participants were invited by Istvan Haasz.
The exhibits mentioned of Open Structures in the Vasarely Museum, Budapest: Point, Line, in Movement, Oct. 14, 2010—Jan. 6, 2011, Curator: Dora Maurer; Grauwinkel Gyujtemeny. Harminc ev konkret műveszet / Grauwinkel Collection. Thirty Years of Conrete Art, 1982—2012, May 12—Sept. 15, 2013, Curator: Istvan Haasz; Határesetek / Interspaces. Oct.16, 2013—Jan.10, 2014, Curator: Dora Maurer.
** “Art endures when it has its own identity.” I. Noguchi, quoted in D. Apostolos-Cappadona—B. Altshuler (publisher), Isamu Noguchi: Essays and Conversations, New York, 1994, page 115. Compare the memories of the Japanese sculptor about his time in the studio of Brancusi, in Edith Balas—Krisztina Passuth, Brancusi es Brancusi, Budapest 2005, page 13.

Györgyi Imre,
Budapest 2014