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Traces of memories compressed into collages— book by Rita Koszorús released

Artist Rita Koszorús created collages during her travels and residency programs, which were published in a book in August this year. The atmosphere, views, and memory traces of Paris, Berlin, Békéscsaba, or even Selmecbánya are compressed in abstract compositions.

In her art practice, Rita Koszorús, a Hungarian artist from Slovakia, aims to capture time and portray questions of nostalgia, collective memory, and identity; her art also draws from various manifestations of the avant-garde, such as Dadaism. (Some of her works are currently on display in the group exhibition Mikrotómia at the Budapest Gallery until 3 October). She loves the genre of collage, a technique she says is particularly suitable for traveling, as the characteristics of paper allow her to quickly capture visual ideas, which later often serve as sketches for her paintings.

She launched her schMERZbuild series in Berlin in 2019 and has since expanded it through her travels and artist residency programs. At the end of this summer, a volume that summarizes her collages was completed, including works from her travels in France, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Slovakia. Each piece carries the atmosphere of the place and the time of its creation—deep-toned mountain vistas, the colors of the Berlin subway, or childhood nostalgia of her parents’ house all leave a visual imprint on the collages.

“Formally, I work with the language of abstraction, trying to communicate with the audience by combining layers and forms. I am attracted to collage as a phenomenon, not just as an artistic technique, rather as a larger system. The presence of chance—yet directed by the creator—offers the possibility of choice,” she says.

The essence of collage is to create a new context from several materials on a surface or in space—Rita says this is exactly what happens in the book schMERZbuch through the fusion of artworks, locations, and typographic solutions. The Slovakian Hungry Studio was responsible for the graphic design of the book. The design aimed to echo the works’ avant-garde visuality in the typography; therefore, the studio designed a cover where the surfaces of the letters give the impression of crumpled paper, similar to collages. The text was inspired by the bold compositions of Dadaism, but it was important that the graphic elements did not distract the reader’s attention from the works.

The schMERZbuch is currently available at Materia prima, Porto; ISBN könyv+galéria, Budapest; ABC, Bratislava; Hájovňa; Červená studňa, Banská Štiavnica; Diera do Sveta, Liptovský Mikuláš.

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