Miklos Pogany “Ancient Shadows”

Danese Corey

poster for Miklos Pogany “Ancient Shadows”
[Image: Miklos Pogany "Umbria and October" (1983) Oil and mixed media on canvas 65 x 47 ¾ in.]

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Danese/Corey presents its first exhibition of work by Miklos Pogany. The exhibition, Ancient Shadows, focuses on two bodies of the artist’s work – his classic Klarika series from the 1980’s which features both large scale paintings and monotypes, and a group of smaller, more recent paintings.

Pogany was born in Hungary in 1945 and educated in Italy and the United States, receiving an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature/Aesthetics. In 1972 he moved to San Francisco, and shortly after decided to change careers and become an artist. “Being an artist is, for me, my response to being alive. I react to wonder, desires, conflicts, meanings, memories, revenge, sexuality, love and death. I gather all these life’s fragments and make some personal sense of it all. I am a record keeper of history and a maker of one. I want to know magic and I want to see the invisible. Innumerable artists’ voices – the Lascaux cave drawings, Turner, Matisse, Braque, Malevich, Rauschenberg, Mondrian, to name just a few, have informed my life journey as an artist, as a maker of meaning. Maybe my art will offer serenity and peaceful contemplation like a Morandi still-life, maybe a sense of conjuring like Jackson Pollock, maybe a journey map to wander in like Richard Diebenkorn.”[1]

In the Klarika series, Pogany focuses on one form, described by John Yau as a “single, highly mediated abstract form, which alludes to an enigmatic figural presense.”[2]Both the paintings and works on paper explore the possibilities of multiple variations on this form; “the artist’s relentless reexamination of his characteristic shape transfigures it into a mythic presence.”[3]“Pogany’s subtle use of color reveals allusions to a tragic harlequin, a demonic spirit, a noble warrior, or a lonely widow…. The emotions range from defiance to desperation, with all the shades in between. In the Klarika series the artist discovers the feelings an abstract painting can express, while convincingly demonstrating the range of ideas it can hold. By continually finding ways to address the isolated abstract form, Pogany confronts an emblematic image of his “other.”[4]

In the later paintings, the artist again explores the possibilities of a different abstract form. These works continue to demonstrate and interdependence of form and a masterful use of color, which “runs the gamut from tints that are almost imperceptible to lush, romantic combinations.” [5]

Pogany began exhibiting in California in the 1970s, with such galleries as Triangle and Paule Anglim in San Francisco. He moved to New York in the early 80’s and showed with Victoria Munroe Gallery and Associated American Artists. In 1985, he had a major exhibition at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, organized by then chief curator Willem De Looper.

His work is in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY: the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; and the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts in San Francisco.

A fully illustrated catalogue is available. For further information please contact the gallery at 212-223-2227 or contact@danese.com. @DaneseCorey

[1]Artist’s statement, 2019.

[2]Yau, John. “Miklos Pogany: Paintings and Works on Paper.” Washington, DC: The Phillips Collection, 1985.



[5]Raynor, Vivian, The New York Times, April 12, 1987.



from September 06, 2019 to October 05, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-09-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


Miklos Pogany

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