• Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.


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Dóra Maurer

Dóra Maurer stands alongside Miklós Erdély, Gábor Bódy and Tibor Hajas as one of the best-known representatives of the Hungarian avant-garde scene of the 1960s and ’70s. Although she worked in various media over the course of her long artistic career, a focus on the theme of order can be made out as one of the most important common denominators in her work. “This order, however, should be interpreted in a rather elastic way,”1 writes László Beke in his text “Objective Tenderness.” On the one hand, geometric form and the systematic, constructive method play a great role, while on the other hand the phenomenon of coincidence functions as an important generator of her pictorial constructions.

Via methodically done deviations in terms of structure, Maurer achieves structural shifts. The staging of these shifts facilitates questioning of their complexity and potential. The moment they are analyzed more closely and altered via minimal movements, insignificant and  mundane situations are transformed into intriguing processes of experimentation with our social practices. The same applies to the film Learned Spontaneous Motions, in which the artist plays with the principle of repeating, expanding and varying the basic motif. A young woman reads a book, playing with her hair and changing her facial expression while reading. The 60-second movement series is shown in four sequences. The first segment shows the series’ first 15 seconds, the second shows the first 30, the third shows the first 45 seconds, and the final segment shows the entire 60 seconds. The voice of Dóra Maurer—reading a text by Sholokhov—provides the soundtrack for the filmed images. “Maurer’s films are ‘variable systems,’ which is to say that they do not document predetermined processes. The structure, for the most part limited by strict rules, first appears via the film (i.e. in the film) as a process. The system itself can be better compared with mathematical or logical deductions…”2

In the 1970s, Dóra Maurer began using the principle of the shift in her mathematical tables. She was interested in the systematization of mathematical relations between amounts shifted this way and that.3 Fascinated by developments which she “had only set in motion but not ‘made’” herself,4 She cut out the images in order to lend the flat surfaces more character. "The system graphics are abstract, indifferent. The only way to render them lively, corporeal, capable of being experienced and aesthetically evaluated is through the strategy of choosing details.”5 Various manifestations of color and color layerings, as well as different types of lighting, evidence increasingly perspectival constructions in her images from the 1990s; these give an impression of depth. Sometimes Maurer also projected the images on a vaulted surface, subsequently painting the resulting form on a flat medium (as in Hemisphärische Drillinge, 1999).




1 Beke Láslzló, Objective Tenderness, in: Dieter Ronte, Beke Láslzló, Dóra Maurer, Arbeiten 1970-1993, p. 99.

2 Peternák Miklós, Maurer Dóra. Filmek – 1973-83, catalog published by Pécsi Galéria, Pécs, 1983.

3 See Dieter Ronte, Beke Láslzló, Dóra Maurer, Arbeiten 1970-1993, p. 118.

4 Anna Bálványos, „Fragen an Dóra Maurer“ [Questions posed to Dóra Maurer], in: maurer dóra, catalog of the exhibition Concise Oeuvre, Museum Ludwig – Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Budapest, 5 Dec. 2008–22 Feb. 2009, p.220.

5 Maurer Dóra: A relatív Quasi-képekről. In Dialog, 1990.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, 1937.

Maurer studied Painting and Graphic Reproduction at the University of Fine Arts in Budapest (Hungary) from 1955 to 1961. Since 1990 she has been lecturer at the same university, where she became professor in 2003. Maurer has received several grants and awards, including the “Kossuth Prize” (2003).

Lives and works in Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):   

2010     “Dóra Maurer. Schwerelos”, MUWA Museum der Wahrnehmung, Graz, Austria

2009     “Dóra Maurer - Concise Œuvre”, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

2008     “Querschnitt”, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

2007     “Fotoworks”, Vintage Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

2005     “Fotogenia”, Mai Mano Fotohaus, Budapest, Hungary

2004     “Farbräume”, Lindner Gallery, Vienna, Austria

2003     “Farbräume – Dunkelkammer“, Galerie Hoffmann, Friedberg, Germany

2002     “Sphärische Schuppen“, Collegium Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2012     “How to Make - Ideen, Notationen, Materialisierungen“, Kunsthaus Dresden, Dresden, Germany

2011     “Untitled”, 12th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey

2010     “Malerei: Prozess und Expansion. Von den 1950er Jahren bis heute“, MUMOK Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria

2009     "Akzent Ungarn“, Neue Galerie Graz, Graz, Austria

2008     “Gegenstandslos“, Gesellschaft für Kunst und Gestaltung, Bonn, Germany

2007     “FOR A SPECIAL PLACE”, Austrian Cultural Forum New York, New York City, Austria

2006     “SQUARE Eröffnungsausstellung“, Museum Ritter, Waldenbuch, Germany

2005     “Works on the Edge”, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

2004     “COLLECTED VIEWS FROM EAST OR WEST”, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria

2003     “Vzdálená blízkost”, Olomouc Museum of Art, Olomouc, Czech Republic

2002     “Vision Image and Perception”, Mücsarnok Kunsthalle Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Kortárs Magyar Fotográfia I = Contemporary Hungarian Photography. 2010. Text by Aknai Katalin. Budapest: Vintage Galéria.


Dóra Maurer. 2008. Texts by Bálványos Anna et al. Budapest: Ludwig Múzeum.


Fotómunkák = Photoworks: 1971-1993. 2007. Text by Károly Kincses et al. Budapest: Vintage Galéria.


Maurer, Dóra, ed. 2002. Párhuzamos életművek = Parallele Lebenswerke = Parallel œuvres. Győr: Városi Művészeti múzeum.


Beke, László, Ronte, Dieter, eds. 1994. Works: 1970-1993. Budapest: Present Time Foundation.


Maurer, Dóra, ed. Maurer Dóra: Traces 1970-1980. Texts by István Antal et al. Krakow: Dominik Art Projects Foundation. [Exhib. Cat., Bunkier Sztuki Krakow (Nov. 14-Dec. 23, 2011)]





Rappolt, Mark. Art Review, issue 57 (2012)

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