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Curriculum Vitae

RUDOLF KOCSIS - born on 29 th of may 1963 at Chisineu-Cris, Roumania; Member of Fine Artists Union (RO) from 1991; Graduated George Enescu Arts Conservatory Iasi, sculpture branch 1988. Since 1990 he has been working as a teacher at The College of Arts in Arad and since 1996 he is universitary lecturer at University of Timisoara (RO), Fine Arts Faculty-sculpture. Doctor of Liberal Arts - University of Pecs (HU), Visual Arts Faculty-2002, 2008 Assoc.Prof. at University of Timisoara (RO)- Fine Arts Faculty-sculpture.

Personal Exhibitions:
1988 - “Trianon” Gallery - Iasi (RO);
1990 - “Arta” Gallery - Arad (RO);
1991 - Symbole “Ildikó Risse” Gallery - Wessling (DE);
1993 - “Helios” Gallery - Timisoara (RO);
1994 - “Art” Gallery - Sfantu-Gheorghe (RO);
1995 - Cultural Center of Hungary - Bucharest (RO);
1996 - Slovac Institute - Bucharest (RO);
1996 - Traces, “Delta” Gallery - Arad (RO);
1997 -The recovery of the Kitsch “First” Gallery - Timişoara (RO);
1999 - “Erkel Ferenc” Museum - Gyula (HU);
2001 - Family, “Galleria 28” Gallery – Timişoara (RO);
2002 - Fragments, “Melnikow” Gallery – Heidelberg (DE);
2004 -The Object and the Sculpture “Triade Foundation” Gallery- Timişoara (RO);
2004 - Meeting, Slovakian Institute – Budapest (HU);
2005 - Corvin Janos Museum – Gyula (HU);
2006 - Contrasts, ”Jankay” Gallery – Bekescsaba (HU);
2006 - Contrasts, „Mu-Terem“ Gallery – Debrecen (HU);
2007 - Fingerprints, “Calina Gallery” – Timisoara (RO);
2008 - arad ART2, “Pecs” Gallery – Pecs (HU);
2010 - Connection, “Mezotur” Gallery – Mezotur (HU).

Selected group and international exhibitions:
1991-93 1st and 2nd International Biennial of Graphic - Gyor (HU);
1993 - International Sculpture Biennale - Toyamura (J);
1994 - 01010101… exhibition, Romanian Peasants Museum – Bucharest;
1994 - 3rd International Sculptural Drawings Biennial - Budapest (HU); 1993-94 -1st and 2nd Annual International exhibition of Miniature Art - Stockholm (SE);
1994 - Group’ 81 Exhibition, Romanian Cultural Center – Vienna (AU);
1994 - 3nd International Biennial of Sculptural Drawings – Budapest (HU);
1995 - Vallomasok a vonalrol, “Vigado”Gallery – Budapest (HU);
1995 - 12th International Biennial of small Sculpture - Murska-Sobota (SI);
1996 - 12th Cleveland International Drawing Biennale (UK);
1997 - 5th Young Talents International Triennial - Charleroi (BE);
1998 - International Exhibition “Telefax” - Kaposvar (HU);
1998 - International “Mini - Print” Tiennial - Tokyo (J);
1998 - Small Graphic Forms - Ujpest Gallery - Budapest (HU);
2000 - Expoziţia filialei U.A.P. Arad, Forum fur Kunst – Heidelberg(DE);
2001 - Itinerance - Espace Belleville- Paris (FR);
2002 - Homunculus Exhibition, Melnikow Gallery – Heidelberg (DE);
2003 - Madonna Exhibition , Melnikow Gallery – Heidelberg (DE);
2001 - International Triennial of Small-Size Sculpture, Murska-Sobota (SI);
2001 - International Art Biennial – Sharjah (UAE);
2001 - The International Festival of Graphic Arts, Cluj-Napoca (RO);
2004 – Sculpture 40 exhibition, UAP Gallery, Cluj-Napoca (RO);
2002 - International Mini-Print Triennial-Tama Art University Museum-Tokyo (J);
2004 – European Space, Sculpture Quadrennial – Riga (LV);
2005 – Biennial exhibition, XXXIV ALFFOLDI TARLAT, Munkacsy Mihaly Museum –Bekescsaba (HU);
2006 - Eastern Neighbors, Cultural Center Babel – Utrecht (NL);
2007 - Roumanian Contemporary Sculpture – Ianchelevici Museum – La Louviere (BE);
2007, 2009, 2011 - Meeting Point, International Arad Biennial – (RO, HU, CZ, HR)
2009 - 3 xArad Plzen Gallery – Plzen (CZ).

Sculpture in public space:
2001 - Moise Nicoara, bronz bust h=90cm, stone pedestal h 180 cm, “Moise Nicoara” National College – Arad (RO);
2008 – Gabor Fabian, bronz bust h=90cm, red stone pedestal h=180cm, Calvinist Church, Arad (RO);
2009 – Aurel Cosma, bronz bust h=80 cm, granit pedestal h=160 cm, Central Park Timisoara (RO);
2010 – Pieta, limestone, h=190 cm, Schwartzentonhausen, (DE);
2012 – Gyula Salacz, bronz bust h=90cm, red stone pedestal h=180cm, centre, Arad (RO).

1996 Cluj-Napoca - stone (RO); Zalkod - stone (HU); Lenti - wood (HU);
2000 International Sculpture Symposium, L’art pour la sante I, – Dudince - marble (SK);
2002 Selye – wood (HU);
2005 Sign for Triade, marble, Triade Foundation Timisoara (RO); 2010 International Sculpture Symposium, Kunst-Natur-Dorfer, stone, Beratzhausen (DE);
2011 International Sculpture Symposium, L’art pour la sante II, - Ozdin, wood (SK).

1999 – Fine Artists Union Prize from Romania for Sculpture (for the artistic activity from the year 1998);
1999 –The Prize of the Art foundation from Constanta for Sculpture (for the works exhibited at the Anual Art Salon, Arad, 1999);
2000 –The Fine Artists Union Prize, the Arad section for Sculpture(for the works exhibited at the Anual Art Salon, Arad, 2000);
2005 –First Prize of the Ministry of Culture from Hungary for the works presented at the XXXIV Exhibition ALFOLDI TARLAT – Bekescsaba;
2007 - Prize of Excellency at the Visual Art section on the occasion of the Arad Excellency Gala, for international activity, the 3rd edition.

Călin Dan
RK and I met 30 years ago, in the frame of a curatorial project conducted by me as artistic director of the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Bucharest. The aim then was to explore new methods of interaction between artists and their audience by building connections with communities outside of the usual cultural circuits. Rudy took me on a short trip to the farm of his parents, somewhere in the plain connecting Western Romania and Eastern Hungary. The immediate purpose was to meet the characters of his artistic intervention – three old ladies from the village Ţipar, who have been busy with a type of folk art popular in the 19th century among the working classes, both urban and rural. Namely, embroideries made with colored lace on medium size sheets of white fabric, representing happily married couples, turtle doves in a tree, rabbits and lambs happily roaming in the fields, always surrounded by small poems praising the virtues of marriage, true love, and hard work. Hanging in the kitchen, at the symbolic and functional core of all activities, those images were meant as a constant memento of the moral values defining a traditional type of society.

Besides being an act of emotional archeology, Rudy’s appropriation of those objects and their recycling in his own artistic practice was an implicit statement about identity. Re-enacting simultaneously the powerful figure of his grand father, and a generic image of rural woman, RK has built an androgynous persona meant to position him as a free agent in the discourse around identity – a topic still very sensitive in the central and south-Eastern Europe, mostly in the post-communist countries.

RK belongs to the cultural conglomerate that we still call by the name of Central Europe (Mitteleuropa), and he does that not only as an artist but also as a citizen. I am using this term purposefully, because the status of the city in relation to the village and to nature is one of the key characteristics of the Mitteleuropean concept. Unlike in the bordering regions, here the transition between the natural and the build environment is seamless, and the differences between village and city are more in scale than in function. This translates into a culture where the respect for traditions and the love for comfort are resilient, as is an enduring code of manners in the relation between individuals.

The artistic and personal universe of RK is part of this cultural construction which functions across borders in a kind of federalism of the good sense. Speaking of borders, Rudy has always been a commuter between the duties of his artistic practice and the work on the family farm, as he has been a commuter between studio and pedagogic activities, always assuming duties with a systematic dedication. This continuum between life and work, between form and action, between the predictable and the surprising sides of existence is particular to the central European mind frame where RK operates.

A passion for craftsmanship, a fascination with the slow historical processes consolidated in a sophisticated relation with the object well done characterize Rudy’s every action. From his autonomous sculptural work, to the restorations of older monuments, to the details of his country side house, to the way of leading his students through the arcanes of the practice, RK moves with the efficient pace of someone who belongs, who has roots. This implies also a cultural self-consciousness, as Rudy’s relation to tradition is pro active, looking at the ways by which older civilization attributes can still make sense and generate value in a new and different social context. A subtle activism underlines Rudy’s actions, a modest pedagogy based on the force of the example. His small size sculptures remind us of a peasant religious art where the great historical models were reduced to human scale. The “hyper-real” objects reproducing house inventory reconnect to another past, more recent and still able to tease our sense of humor, even of (auto) irony. And then, there is the wine.

The wine has been a strong identity element in Rudy’s family. Making wine was for his elders, and still is for him, an activity both practical and symbolic. Through wine making the natural habitat (geology, climate), the build environment (the cave), the social construction (exchanges of recipes and best practices) are all put at work for the pleasure of human interaction. Wine is as much about contemplation as it is about action; it addresses the sight as much as the taste, and is at the center of rituals involving story telling, and the ceremonial sharing of ideas. Art production and wine making are – both – agents of civilization. It is a good sign when they are interconnected – through institutions, but also through people who understand the seamless communication between the values of everyday life and the values going down through history. Rudy is one of those necessary people, and I am happy that he stayed that way.

Călin Dan

Amsterdam, May 2013
George Lecca - A dialogue of friendship
I would begin the dialogue with two meetings.

First, in 80’s Bucharest. Sculptor and friend Napo (Napoleon Tiron) proposed a walk to Hanul cu Tei to see the exhibition of the Art Academy scholars. “Look closely at this sculpture and write down the name, he’ll be a great sculptor”, Napo whispered conspiratorially and I, being a good listener, wrote it down: Aurel Vlad.

The second meeting, at a not so greater distance in time, was with Peter (sculptor Peter Jecza) when we visited the art gallery in the center of Arad, which hosted a group exhibition of artists from the city on the Mureş. Peter, more stingy in praising, drew my attention to the works of a young student from the Faculty of Iaşi, Rudolf Kocsis, noting the talent and the sculptural craft. Again, I wrote down the name, being fascinated by the unconventional manner of the exhibition, the sculptures being laid on a flat base, almost at ground level, which made the beholder look at them from the top to bottom, but more being attracted by their archaic-like soul, induced by the polychrome intervention. I did not forget the name I wrote down and sought to meet the young sculptor as soon as possible.

The first meeting with Rudolf was also marked by the acquisition of the work seen in the exhibition ... Many years have passed since, several meetings, long discussions, some very late into the night, common expositional and editorial projects, shared dreams, all liberally doused with his own wine. The dialogue started, interrupted sometimes by my many travels, is resumed each time, as if time censorship had never occurred ... So ... a new drink, a new project and...

Happy Birthday!

George Lecca

Markt Schwaben, September 2013
Sculptor concerned with the position of this genre/artistic medium to other areas of volume and concrete material exploitation as spatialized realities in the context of an aesthetics of the dissolution of borders and identities between the artistic object and the common, series object, which can be integrated to aesthetic experience only through additions of significance. In the 90s (20th cent.), he dedicated an extended cycle of works in wood, essentially traditional, representations of everyday objects, replicating through a complex irony the Duchamp aesthetics of the deconstruction of the aesthetic object by resorting to the ready-made. The latest works refer to the human body, objectified and reshaped through geometrizing and allusively symbolic reductions. Elements cited from the universal symbolism’s repertoire – the sun, the eye – govern signification, reinstating the relationship with the connotative fields beyond the autonomised tensions of purist formalism. His program, operating either with a mimetic parody figurativity or abstract symbolic reductionism, is polemic.

Online Encyclopedia “Un secol de sculptură românească” (A Century of Romanian Sculpture) 2013
Irina Cărăbaş
One can detect in R. K. two types of reporting to sculpture, one closer to its traditional sense – in public forum monuments – and one employing objecthood and the ready-made. They are deployed simultaneously and are sometimes confronted in a lucid manner. The second has its first consistent expression in the exhibition Urme (Traces) of 1997. It consists of a collection of personal items of the artist’s grandfather, worn by time and modeled by the body, transposed with accuracy in wood so that the differences between materials, sculpture and the referent vanished. It thus problematized the relation between original and copy, between art and artifact, between art and reality. It also continued concerns materialized in artistic projects from the early 1990s related to identity and attitude towards personal past. The production of false ready-mades, again made in wood, which is also R.K.’ preferred material, will pinpoint his artistic trajectory. It is, however, also a change in strategy, for these objects are built not to give the illusion of reality, but rather to disappoint. They often contain an element that betrays their nature of artistic artifacts (e.g. Geantă V (Bag V), 2004, with a wooden buckle and another “real” one made of metal). Some works, such as those included in the series Cutii (Boxes) have a frozen, suspended or impossible functionality. Other totally exclude the referent, while retaining the qualities of object. When the human body appears, it is reduced to the compact form of torso and is treated similarly to an object to which, in some cases, is attached. In the production and finishing of objects of all kinds, sand and skin are added discretely to the materiality of wood.

Irina Cărăbaş

Ileana Pintilie - Amprente (Imprints)
At first glance, Rudolf Kocsis’ plastics can mislead by the forms chosen, well finished and with a harmony that governs volumes. It would seem that the artist is concerned excessively with this model of perfection, which he almost invariably applies to its works of late.

But for those who know better his artistic approach, it is obvious his concern to conceptualize the entire process of creation. The artist does not start from nature to recreate visually pleasing harmonies, transposed into various materials, but is primarily concerned with the relationship between object and sculpture.

Kocsis is attracted by a series of real objects – pieces of rural wardrobe from his late grandfather – which appear as relics of a bygone existence, preserving the traces of a long habitation, an imprint of a corporality now absent. As seen by the artist, these traces of human “touch” found on the surface of objects stands out as a “patina”. He simultaneously exposes pairs of objects: his grandfather’s leather boots laid on a red pedestal are accompanied by a thoroughly carved replica, and so are the hat, jacket, belt or umbrella. Thus the relationship between real objects and sculpture-objects becomes more complex, highlighting its plastic concept.

In the creative process, the artist opens a dialogue by juxtaposing the two types of objects, stimulating the viewer to consider it and to assess the relationship between them, to perceive the ready-made object next to the plastic representation of the real object. He experiences himself the expressiveness of these objects and of the changing relationships resulting from the voluntary destruction and reintegration of fragments into a new sculpture.

This experiment gave birth to other series of sculptures, which then evolved into the generic titled works “Geanta” (The Bag).

Inspired by the same traces and human imprints, which enliven and personalize the objects, this series of works achieves a high degree of conceptualization. The objects take regular, abstract, surreal shapes, out of an excess of reality and in which only one small detail can personalize them or send them to a human presence, represented in a concentrated manner by a real buckle or a leather handle. Rudolf Kocsis’ plastic reveries also lead to archaic forms, which do not come from folklore, but simply bear the patina of time. His sculptures refer to ancient architectures, to temples or other different sacred spaces, whose functionality can be only inferred. These sculptures takes a simple and monumental form, that seems to be polished by the experience of a long usage. The sculptor belongs to a cultural space dominated by the long tradition of woodworking, a modeling material of fundamental anthropological structures, to which he always felt attracted.

The relationship between sculpture and a possible architecture is made, in this case, from the human dimension, that of the house, reliquary or sarcophagus, in their role of primary, core elements of housing and which can become an exemplary model to contemplate. Traces of human figures, deconstructed or metamorphosed into “architecture”, are still preserved in the works included in the Fragmente (Fragments) series, where we find them as empty prints – places of bodies – which became armors, helmets or even anthropomorphic constructions. There is an asceticism of forms which stray from a model (human form) and become more abstract, however leaving their genesis available.

From this first synthesis, the sculptor gradually reach monumental forms, of possible habitation, from the series titled Contraste (Contrasts), to the sacred space of the temple or mausoleum. Finely polished surfaces alternate with other carved or rough surfaces, treated with sand; the combination of wood and bronze or the application of a green patina reminiscing of verdigris are all details that enhance the precious nuances with references to the past. Metal or other material applications (sand, pigment) plays the role of a patina suggesting the human “touch” or “imprint”.

These sculptures are accompanied by drawings – fleeting novelties made with stain – of segmented bodies, captured in their transformation process from human body to symbolic form or sign. The metamorphosis of these bodies in constructions leads to the transformation of major axes into vectors defining the space, into intersections of axes, into a site (locus) or a habitat.

While working with relatively small sizes, Rudolf Kocsis’ sculptures contain the monumental. These sculptures seem projects of grand and mysterious buildings, a sort of mock-ups of sacred spaces, underlain by human bodies. Therefore the relationship between sculpture and architecture is privileged, and the first element – sculpture – seems to be only a stage in view of subsequent achievements. Both sculpture and architecture offer the viewer a living space, where architecture has the meaning of “indwelling”, while sculpture is an area of ”living outside”, defining and delimiting the space. Both include the human component in equal measure, an element giving the two exemplary entities a unifying force.

Rudolf Kocsis’ small-sized plastics is designed to redefine human space in which both the size and warmth of the material – wood – seem intentionally chosen for this purpose. His sculptures contain a symbolic mix, a visual sign with cultural message transmitting over time forms reminiscent of medieval art or forms of oriental art and architecture.

Thus Rudolf Kocsis’ sculpture responds to a human requirement justified by the pursuit of a crucial, sustainable value, which gives it authenticity and legitimacy, shielding it from taking frivolous models. Through this direction, the artist approaches the now classical example of Ovidiu Maitec’s sculpture who included cultural forms in his creation; at the same time, he retains his curiosity and willingness to research and experiment in the series of sculptures reserved to the object- sculpture.

Catalogue of the personal exhibition Amprente (Imprints), Calina Gallery – Timişoara, 2007.
Judit Angel - URME / NYOMOK / TRACES (catalog, 1997)
The subtext of the artistic program which Rudolf Kocsis has elaborated as early as 1991, deals with the reformulation of cultural identity within the displacement of traditional life norms and values scale, and has as referential area the artist’s native village. While the „Salvation of Kitsch” series reflected upon the asthetic and moral principles of the rural community, the subsequent cycle, entitled „Traces”, investigates such motifs in a more distinctive way. The personal belongings of the artist’s grandfather and their intrinsic meanings reactualized in terms of sculptural reproduction epitomize a complex conceptual approach wich finally comes to support the sef – redefinition and relocalization of creative personality.

TRACES. The pieces pertaining to the grandfather’s wardrobe act simultaneously as points of reference of a personal, social and cultural identity. Originating from a Western Romanian cultural milieu, they are symptomatic to a certain life style. Containers of bodily forms, they serve to confine within themselves an interval of life equivalent to the interval of their wear-and-tear. Moreover, the grandfather and his clothes are exponents of a past time with its specific, stable and structured life style, based an observing certain rules perpetuated by tradition. Today the same rural milieu looks like a destructured world, where the patterns of a new world have not come aut yet. Between a living present and a post conserved as memory, the artist, symbolically interposes the alternative of continuity. Engaged within anintercrossing and double connecting movement, the artistic process follows a dual trajectory, gliding between genealogy, on one hand, moral and artistic tradition, on the other.

TRANSFER. The reactualization of object’s significance take place as transfer among different context: quatidian – artistic, past – prezent. The grandfather’s walking stick reprezents the only real thing the artist takes over and therefore it functions as relay of chenges of sense. Hence the act of colouring the stick acquires quasi – tautological meaning and asserts itself as intervention within the intrinsic significance of the object. The walking stck simultanaously opens and concludes a series of objects replicated in wood a series in which what matters is not the final product – the artistic replica but the transpasal process itself, that is the artistic travail. The act of wood carwing is a slow formative, structured, consistent and constructive process. Consequently, together with the reproduction of old clothes, the artist is recreating a certain spirit, a certain ethic and aestethic demeanor.

LIVING SCULPTURE. The act through which the nephew put son his grandfather clothes itself as pendant to the act replicating by means of wood carwing. Accordingly old objects become means of identification with a world perennial system of values. Whereas the clothes and familiar objects remain the same their content chenges during the conversion from life towards art. The whole artistic process enacts the transfer between life and in order to validate a trans – aesthetic project.
Pavel Şuşară - The Recovery of Kitsch
“In the past five years, art galleries underwent an impossible process at first glance; they have multiplied by becoming fewer, or, in other words, the increase in the number of spaces that flirt with art is not found in the quality of exhibitions, the rigor of the programs, the professionalism of critical judgment, implied or express, which must precede and accompany any challenge to the public. From the multitude of galleries in Bucharest, only a few have actually managed to assert themselves and impose a particular way of meditation on contemporary Romanian art, build a consistent program and promote a certain idea. They are, in a random order, Etaj ¾ Gallery, Catacomba Gallery, Galla Gallery, the newest, and the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Bucharest. If other galleries have been invoked several times, we have not spoken yet about the Hungarian Cultural Center, due to very special and complex place it occupies in Bucharest artistic life, waiting for a moment to make it in extenso. While each of its exhibitions so far could have offered this opportunity, looking back, with great comprehension, facilitates the identification of a sense, the tracing of a program, the perception of an articulated discourse. The Hungarian Cultural Center, through its exhibition activity, which is only a segment of a much more diversified one, has covered – and still covers – a space in which in our artistic life has manifested with many gaps, namely, the one of alternative expressions and languages, of the unconventional experiment and gesture. In previous years, the Centre hosted personal and group exhibitions, painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative art exhibitions, actions and performances, installations, being a place take gave rise to polemical ideas. Romanian and Hungarian artists met in joint exhibitions or succeeded in personal exhibitions, but never did the Hungarian Cultural Center turn the dialogue and encounter into something more than they really are, meaning that natural forms of communication, without any ostentation and underground propagandistic intentions. What was observed, in particular, was the authenticity of the entries, the permanent state of questioning, the complete absence of that kind of arrogance that has always accompanied definitive things. Moreover, a skeptical air, a lucid ambiguity and maybe a tacit sense of relativism always came off in organized artistic events at (and by) the Hungarian Cultural Centre. All this can be seen effortlessly in the last exhibition opened here and bearing the signature of the artist Rudolf Kocsis. Entitled Recuperarea kitschului (The Recovery of Kitsch), it is explicitly supported by two of its motor forms: fairground kitsch, with its romantic and pseudo-metaphysical landscape – usually represented by wintery images or houses in the night with phosphorescent lit windows – and domestic kitsch, the teary or pathetic image designated and then sewn on those cloth carpets that populate hallways, bedrooms and kitchens. Rudolf Kocsis calls upon them with much irony, but also with an unconcealed affection. Adopting these models by referring to them as to semi-preparation, he consecrates them while also exorcising them. He resizes them by his own interventions, but also peddles with them, preserving their entire sentimental content. The nostalgic housewife, the shepherd surrounded by sheep, family scenes, philosophizing before a pan and countless other subjects do not lose anything from their original state, but on the contrary, are brought sharply to the edge of the grotesque right before the beholder. Well laid on frames that give the canvas depth and creating framing effects, carpets somehow come out of the domestic and enter the territory of another convention: that of the painting, the image with a higher symbolic status. The raw color, the voluntary strokes and the thickness of paste give new life to the figurative fragile seams, and the texts accompanying the image, dislocated and redistributed by laying the carpet on the frame, entail the illusion of spontaneity, compositional dynamism, febricity of elaboration. Paradoxically, there images include a cohabitation of the false with the authentic, of perversion with innocence: states, emotions, feelings are simple imitations, poor romantic things cobbled together, but the image, the allegoric construction and the actual realization have a touching authenticity. Which, incidentally, the painter exploits and even expands, doubling each work with the photographic portrait of a female character who is supposed to be the author of the carpet. Otherwise, a lot of mobility, irony and self-irony, plastic slogans and rhetorical slogans like: “Tell me what ails you, darling, is your little heart burning with desire?”. All of them are saved from ridicule and brought imperceptibly towards a true artistic meditation.”

România Literară - Cronica Plastică (Plastic Chronicle), 1995