Laslo Nosek was born in Budapest in 1952, and received an M.F.A. from the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts. After developing and establishing an important voice and vision in contemporary art, he moved to New York City in 1984. During this time he produced a number of exhibitions and successful events both in New York and abroad, especially video and performance, including pieces at PS 122 New York, Pratt Institute, Museum of the Moving Image, Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, ABRA Loft, Ernst Museum, Budapest and Infermental Video Art Collection, Tokyo.
Since his westward migration to Los Angeles several years ago, he has continued to produce innovative work in a variety of media, including a controversial multimedia performance trilogy "Adam Kadmon/Public Punishment/Intuition" at half a dozen rose gallery, Venice, California. His one-man show at this gallery, entitled “Weapons and Pranic generators” earned him critical acclaims by notable art writers such as Peter Frank and Tobey Crockett.

An excerpt from the article published in “Art in America" by Tobey Crockett:

Laslo Nosek, a Hungarian-born artist, can be best understood as a metaphysician. With the intriguingly titled exhibition "Weapons and Pranic Generators," Nosek created a new category of ritual object which he presented among a powerful collection of boxed sculptures, painted scrolls,
costumes and other relics from a performance. The "pranic generators" are devices for the amplification of spiritual energies. While the artist as shaman is not a new metaphor for the practice of art, Nosek undertakes his role as intercessor with a palpable conviction, impressive craftsmanship and a lack of pretension that is refreshing and persuasive.
Like Beuys, Nosek is interested in evocative materials. While accepting influences from many sources,
he has a special ability to transform the ordinary fabric of life and the passivity of art viewing into a transcendental experience.

Though the work for this show is painting, drawing, and sculpture, the title conveys the more nebulous and ritual function of many of the pieces. The symbols portrayed through the techniques the artist employs are born from a commingling of ancient philosophy and modern conventions of representation, tempered by the immediacy of the experienced moment. Art is a form of meditation for Nosek, a revelatory process to which the finished pieces bear witness. The works have dual values in this way: they are simultaneously the focus of the meditation and the vehicle for it. Many of the pieces in the exhibition are sequential, documenting a spiritual journey informed by the outside world, like a tapestry of thought processes reflecting the past and inflecting the future.

Nosek has been called a teacher but feels more like student--not only of life itself, but more specifically, of humanity's myriad interpretations and representations of life. Immersing himself in the study of Western and Eastern modes of cultural representation, Nosek resurrects the ancient arts of describing reality. Symbolical lexicons developed in each cultural episode reflect that society's attempts to reconcile belief, expectation and experience. In this view, science is a pervasive but spiritually bankrupt attempt at explaining the complex relationship between faith, religious and social doctrine, law and so-called accidents or coincidences.

The ancient mystical science of Alchemy is employed in the literal creation of many of his ritual objects and it becomes an important metaphor of physical transformation for the spiritual journey undertaken in the service of art. Nosek also uses numerological elements in his pieces, referring to the specific date the piece was made and thus implicating the astrological confluences of the moment of creation, lending each moment its distinct character and relevance for the individual. This practice bespeaks a desire to be always fully linked to or firmly rooted in the real experience of life.

In addition, the treatment of Kabbalistic theory holds a dual importance in his work, incorporating both the beautiful image of organic growth, the tree of life, and the startling relationship to contemporary scientific "discovery". The confluence of knowledge between seemingly disparate fields of inquiry demonstrates the ultimate and literal interconnectedness of all things. Characters from the Hebrew alphabet which appear in Nosek's work reflect this mode of philosophical investigation, providing one more set of referents to inform the work. Jewish mysticism's struggle with the millennium and its emphasis on "reading the signs" when searching for insight into humanity's identity and future, strike particularly compelling chords in these last days of this millennium. The meditative stillness of Buddhism , with its emphasis on the searching for answers within, is another model for inquiry which informs Nosek's approach. Buddhism bespeaks a reliance on the capacity for man to comprehend his own destiny, the essential link between the eclectic grouping of symbols and significances from across the globe and throughout history. What all these elements ultimately share is what Nosek calls an unquenchable need to describe reality.

Shana Nys Dambrot

Suggested reading

(Carlos Castaneda, Terence McKenna, Zacharia Strichnin, Talbot, Stan Grof, and others, list not complete)

1996 Weapons and Pranic generators Half a dozen rose, Venice, CA
1995 Stage Left, Glendale, CA
1993 Gate 12 Hungarian Consulate, New York
Ernst Museum, Budapest
1992 Left Bank Gallery, Brooklyn
1991 PS 122 Gallery, New York
1989 ABRA Loft, Brooklyn
Magic Scene in Art, Lajos Utca Gallery, Budapest
1987 Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, New York
1985 Galleria En El Bohio, New York
Obuda Gallery, Budapest
King Stephen Museum, Szekesfehervar, Hungary
1984 Danceteria, New York
Situation, Miskolc Gallery, Miskolc, Hungary
CCA515253KB, Pecs Gallery

1996 Three Sons of Viracocha at half adozen rose
1995 Trilogy with Wahorn at half a dozen rose gallery
1989 Public Punishment, ABRA Loft, Brooklyn
1987 Mercury, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
1984 Worker, Danceteria, New York

Videowork Shown:
1989 Museum of the Moving Image, New York
1988 Infermental 8 Video Art Collection, Tokyo, Japan
1984 Infermental 3 Video Art Collection,
Filmfestspiele, Berlin Arsenal 2, Germany
Megahertz, Zurich, Switzerland
Kunstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Germany
Musik-Videofestival, Konservarium, Vienna, Austria
Kijkhuis, Den Haag, Holland
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
FRIGO, Lyon, France
St Pauli Schwimbad, Saty-Hamburg, Germany
Institute Kulturwissenschaften, Hildesheim, Germany
Western Front Video and Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Goethe Institute, Montreal, Canada
SAW Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
A Space, Toronto, Canada
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Videonale, Bonn, Germany
Manifestation du Video Internationale, Montbeliard, France
Frankfurter Buchmesse, Frankfurt, Germany
Sphinxx Project, Cologne, Germany

Texts ©2001 by Dambrot, Crockett, Nosek

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