Gallery by Night

Once a year, since 1991, Studio Gallery and the Studio of Young Artists’ organises Gallery by Night, a series of exhibitions within the framework and with the support of the Spring Festival. For 10 days, Studio Gallery opens every night, when spectators can see the works of different contemporary artists or groups specially designed for that single occasion. In the course of these events, great many artists have got involved in a work relationship throughout the years, and many of the night-time exhibitions were realised as a result of their cooperation.

In the first four years, the events of Gallery by Night were organised by various methods of selection from the applying artists. For example, in 1995, Barnabás Bencsik, manager of the Studio Gallery, asked 10 critics, art historians and art writers to be the ad hoc trustees of one night each. The trustees could decide themselves how many artists to invite for the night and by what considerations, and they also undertook the task of introducing these artists to the spectators at the opening ceremony.

The 1996 Gallery by Night was realised by the joint work of artists and the representatives of contemporary Hungarian literature. Gallery by Night treats time in a unique way: with the power of actuality. Thus, it was especially suitable for focusing on the processes of the actual, for accommodating the phenomena of the moment without any constraint on form. Based on the works of various artists, in 10 consecutive nights, visitors got a view of the aesthetic and formal elements the artists used in this segment of time, attempting to define the actual situation and their identities as artists. Consequently, this event is of major significance because it is a manifestation of the progression of art-life, reflecting the determinant intellectual dynamics of the given period of time, and not because it would undertake the representation of works of art or set a scale of values. It is a demand of the regular visitors and the participants of Gallery by Night that contemporary art should have an active role in the interpretation of the social present, so that the two can meet in a living and unfinished form in Studio Gallery. The aesthetic background of the artistic ideas manifesting themselves here is provided by intimacy and accessibility: everything they can and want to say about the present, in present tense. In 1997, Gallery by Night has become the scene of international art cooperation, as each night-time exhibition was realised by the joint work of Hungarian and foreign artists. For 10 days during the Spring Festival, 13 young artists from seven countries were working together with the Hungarians on the one-night exhibitions. In 1998, we compiled the program with the help of international trustees. The trustees were invited to Budapest to study the work of Hungarian artists, following which they chose exhibitors for each night.