2021. 03. 19.
Untitled (164 x 300 cm), 1998


"I am interested in the analytical way of thinking about photography. What is the image, what is the photographic image, the so-called theme or content is a consequence of this. It was with the intention of comparison that I began to examine photography as the dominant medium, the medium that defined the age, as opposed to painting, which has now moved away from everyday reception." Dezső Szabó

Munkácsy Prize-winning artist, graduated from the painting department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in 1997. He started his career with monochrome painting, then gradually turned to photography. He developed a special method: in his studio he photographed models (using plastic figures, cardboard boxes and toy cars) of natural disasters (Black Box series, 1999), sculptures, media coverage of events, crimes, submarines or road accidents. The images are often large C prints on MDF. Later he also exhibited a number of these images in an exhibition of his work; thus covering up the 'loss of eye contact'. "Photography as medium and material, the photographic image as image, as non-picture, the image as object and the image as art" has preoccupied him from the beginning, be it any of his series. Between 1998 and 2013, he was involved with this so-called staged photography, a special branch of staged photography. Looking at these images one might ask whether the photograph is a representation of reality or whether it is merely an illusion, a fiction.

Later he made photograms (camera-less photography), which relate to the photographs mentioned above. In his series Black and White (2015), he places previously used models and their objects on photographic paper to create the images. In this way, the props he used before have taken on a whole new meaning, made "real" (literally) by their imprints on the image.

The exhibition at the Dubniczay Palace in Veszprém features an early painting from 1998, Untitled (164 x 300 cm). This work is not part of his photographic series. The image shows various sizes circular patches of varnish, mostly in shades of yellow and brown. It is somewhat reminiscent of András Braun's early paintings of soups, where the grease stains are the central theme of the picture.

His works can be found in the collections of the Hungarian National Gallery, the Ludwig Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Dunaújváros), the Paks Gallery, the Rómer Flóris Museum of Art and History (Győr) and the Hungarian Museum of Photography (Kecskemét), among others. In 2011 the House of Arts Veszprém purchased his large-scale work Volcano I (120 x 180 cm) made in 2006 with the support of the National Cultural Fund; since then, this valuable picture has enriched the contemporary art collection of our institution. In 2010 he had a solo exhibition entitled Atmosphere in the Veszprém Castle Gallery of the House of Arts. He has a long-standing connection with the House of Arts, having been a student of the Veszprém Visual Workshop (W:I:M) for several decades before his university years.

His photographic album Darkroom published in 2019 won a silver medal at the Tokyo International Foto Awards, a highly prestigious international recognition. You can browse the album here:


He is a lecturer at the Budapest Metropolitan University teaching the basic and master courses in Photography. Dezső Szabó is represented in Hungary by Vintage Gallery.

Dezső Szabó