Károly Keserü – The immediacy and freshness of drawing

The immediacy and freshness of drawing has led Hungarian artist Károly Keserü to experiment with the medium, especially in the past years. “Paper with its unique physical quality allows me to realize ideas more freely, more expressively. Usually the range becomes wider perhaps appearing a bit eclectic too” as the artist states himself. “The rich variety of papers (not only art papers) inspires my works which would be impossible to make in paintings: collages…; folding, crumpling, punching and puncturing; watercolours, scribbling, writing and combinations of all of that.”

The presence of the grid and the dot, recurrent in all his paintings, already appear as a theme in Keserü’ works on paper, yet range much further: from methodical, geometric compositions to flowing line patterns, sometimes randomly executed. The line is often applied in ink, freehand or with a ruler, but also created by folding and collage techniques. There are dense rectangular shapes emerging from layered scribbling with a ballpoint pen. Keserü also experiments with various materials and sizes, draws over vintage prints extracted from books or music sheets. Text constantly reappears in the drawings as another method to combine line and form.

In today’s fast-paced, digital world Keserü’s hand-made drawings and collages offer a direct link to his creative process. They involve a very laborious and almost obsessive process with meticulous attention to detail that reveals a strong meditative aspect which Keserü fuses with a genuine, almost innocent playfulness.

Maps, landscapes, technical or organic systems come to mind when looking at the variety of works. Keserü’s drawings and collages are looser, more experimental and light-hearted than his paintings yet here as well all interpretation remains detached and subjective.
“The result is often surprising for myself as well as for the audience, more direct, playful & intimate. Papertiger. (Karoly Keserü)”

Born in Hungary, Karoly Keserü studied for five years in Melbourne where he won Australia’s most prestigious ‘Samstag’ scholarship and completed his MFA at Central Saint Martins in London in 2001. His works are exhibited and collected widely in Europe, US and Australia. In 2004 he was selected for the ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’. In 2006 he was included in Chris Townsend’s book on the artist’s generation after YBA, ‘New Art from London’.



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