Zsolt Asztalos (1974) graduated as a painter in 1999 from the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in the class of Dóra Maurer and Gábor Dienes. He participated in numerous prestigious exhibitions internationally, in 2013 he represented Hungary with his video installation entitled Fired but Unexploded at the Venice Biennale. Between 2007 and 2010 he received the Derkovits Gyula Scholarship and in 2016 he was awarded with the Munkácsy Mihály Prize, the most prestigious state award in Hungary in the field of fine arts. He participated in the Bucharest Biennale in 2017. In 2020 he participates in the group show The Unknown Artist at the Portland Center for Contemporary Art & Culture and will have a solo exhibition at the Kiscell Museum Budapest. Asztalos is a conceptual artist working with various multimedia techniques such as installation, print, photo, video and ready-made. The central theme of his work is the relation to our past and the relativity of remembering.
“I research our connection with the past, approaching it from individual and collective aspects as well. It is impossible to really know the past. There are so many kinds of past, as the past is always written under the subjective influence of the present. We know only fragments which we always compose into a kind of play under the influence of a given age, so each age has its own melody. I am particularly interested in the historical and artistic aspects of the canon. The canon is a dynamically changing unit, in which some pieces get in, some ones are ruled out. This is how I look at art history and, strangely enough, look at my own artworks.” Zsolt Asztalos, 2019