Lucid Dream

On Thursday, October 22nd , from 6.00 PM, Estopia Art Gallery Lugano is pleased to invite you to a meeting with… an alien: Juhos Sándor, and his latest series of works, which, if contemporary references were not obvious, could appear to come directly from the golden age of the Flemish still lifes.

Among the artists trained at the School of Cluj, where he comes from, Sándor chose an art genre that has shaped him, in the last decade, a unique profile among the other colleagues of his generation: still life. An original option, if we think that the dominant trend of contemporary art today goes towards conceptual and processuality, and less towards the technical and aesthetic purpose of the artwork. Moreover, the very concept of “work of art” is facing a profound crisis, at least according to the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who even went further and imagined that the work of art is threatened today to be replaced by an “absolute performance, a process in which the action itself would menace to substitute the artwork ”.

Juhos Sándor tiptoes between the lines of reality and a dream-like world, merging the classical Still life thematics with his own twists of surrealism. Converging these two techniques gives birth to his own unique indistinguishable style, bringing back to life a widely known and studied artistic movement, with a fresh pair of eyes. In this exhibition, wandering elements haunt everyday objects, with unparalleled fluidity. The most unexplicable pairings find their way to depict vivid scenes between fantasy and reality, stillness yet unpredictability, as if the viewer was lucid dreaming. With astounding attention to detail and incredible depth, dark backgrounds give way to strong contrasts with popping colors and plays on light, putting the spotlight on the dreamy elements Sandor portrays. Lucid dreams depicts the feeling of being unsure whether what we dreamed is real or not, often leaving us unsettled when awakening. Sandor depicts a feeling only comparable to an uncertainty between dreaming and perceiving, with unprecedented technique.

Juhos Sándor was born in 1974 in Cluj-Napoca, where he lives and works.
“All artists are crazy, and we don’t want crazy people in this house”: faced with such a daunting ultimatum from his family, Sándor initially attended the High School of Electrotechnics, worked as a bookbinder at Imprimeria Ardealul in the early 90’s and even earned a diploma of welder / tinsmith before finding a path in art. The 2000s found him ready to assume becoming a certified artist: in 2003 he graduated in Painting from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, and in 2005 he obtained a master’s degree in the same specialization. Until 2009 he was the initiator, founder and co-curator with Kudor Duka Istvan of the Bulgakov Gallery, where many of the artists who are today part of the Cluj School have exhibited in those years. The same year he defended his PhD thesis titled Representation of the Human Figure in the Virtual Space. 2008 is the year when Sándor retrospectively sets the transition from the romantic status of “hungry artist” to what was to become in the following 10 years his dominant visual mark: still life, a genre that would gain him a special profile among the artists of his generation. He presented his work in solo exhibitions, in Cluj, at Korunk Studio Gallery (Mixed Antimedia, 2011); Kaja Tanya (Paintings and Butterflies, 2014); Bazis Contemporary, The Paintbrush Factory (Death of Hummingbird, 2015), and Nano Gallery (Fragile Equations, 2015, and Act Anima, Nano Gallery / Center of Interest, along with Andras Szabo, in 2017). Estopia Art Gallery in Bucharest hosted his solo show, Abundance, in 2019.

Juhos Sándor

Lucid Dream
October 22, 2020 – January 30, 2021
Opening: Thursday, October 22nd, 2020, 6.00 PM
Curator: Edwin Hughes Scorretti