// Károly Keserü Portrait

The immediacy and freshness of drawing has led Hungarian artist Károly Keserü to experiment with the medium, especially in the past years. “Paper with its unique physical quality allows me to realize ideas more freely, more expressively. Usually the range becomes wider perhaps appearing a bit eclectic too” as the artist states himself. “The rich variety of papers (not only art papers) inspires my works which would be impossible to make in paintings: collages…; folding, crumpling, punching and puncturing; watercolours, scribbling, writing and combinations of all of that.”

The presence of the grid and the dot, recurrent in all his paintings, already appear as a theme in Keserü’ works on paper, yet range much further: from methodical, geometric compositions to flowing line patterns, sometimes randomly executed. The line is often applied in ink, freehand or with a ruler, but also created by folding and collage techniques. There are dense rectangular shapes emerging from layered scribbling with a ballpoint pen. Keserü also experiments with various materials and sizes, draws over vintage prints extracted from books or music sheets. Text constantly reappears in the drawings as another method to combine line and form.

In today’s fast-paced, digital world Keserü’s hand-made drawings and collages offer a direct link to his creative process. They involve a very laborious and almost obsessive process with meticulous attention to detail that reveals a strong meditative aspect which Keserü fuses with a genuine, almost innocent playfulness.

Maps, landscapes, technical or organic systems come to mind when looking at the variety of works. Keserü’s drawings and collages are looser, more experimental and light-hearted than his paintings yet here as well all interpretation remains detached and subjective.
“The result is often surprising for myself as well as for the audience, more direct, playful & intimate. Papertiger. (Karoly Keserü)”

Born in Hungary, Karoly Keserü studied for five years in Melbourne where he won Australia’s most prestigious ‘Samstag’ scholarship and completed his MFA at Central Saint Martins in London in 2001. His works are exhibited and collected widely in Europe, US and Australia. In 2004 he was selected for the ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’. In 2006 he was included in Chris Townsend’s book on the artist’s generation after YBA, ‘New Art from London’.

// Károly Keserü / vita

1962 Born in Budapest / Hungary
2002–04 Associate Student, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London
2000–01 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London
1997–99 BA Fine Art, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
1995–96 Diploma in Visual Art, Swinburne University, Melbourne

Currently lives and works in London, England.


2016 Károly Keserü – Keserűsó (Xx Century In Fragments), Várfok Gallery, Budapest/ HU
bitter, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
2014 Károly Keserü and Brigitte Stahl, Galerie Michael Sturm, Stuttgart/ D
2013 Károly Keserü, B55 Contemporary Art Gallery, Budapest/ HU
CONTEXTWORX, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
2011 a magnificent coincidence, (with Tamás Jovánovics), Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
Two artists from London, (with Tamás Jovánovics), B55 Contemporary Art Gallery, Budapest/ HU
2010 Tiger, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
2009 mikrokozmosz, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
Hungarian Cultural Centre, Covent Garden and European Commission,12 Star Gallery, London/ UK
2007 (untitled) New Paintings & Works on Paper, patrick heide art projects, London/ UK
2005 scope London, (with patrick heide art projects) St Martins Lane Hotel, London/ UK
2004 Exploring the Grid (with Isabel Albrecht), Patrick Heide Art Projects, London/ UK
2000 Folkmodern II, John Buckley Fine Art, Melbourne/ AU
1999 Folkmodern, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne/ AU
Apróságok, Mü – Terem Galéria, Debrecen/ HU
1998 Paintings, VCA Gallery, Melbourne/ AU
Made (with Martin Gill), VCA Gallery, Melbourne/ AU


2017 Receptors: a multi-sensory intervention by Hilda Kozári in the Antal-Lusztig Collection, MODEM/ HU
Autizmus mint metafora / Autism as metaphore, Szent Istvan Kiraly Museum, Székesfehérvár/ HU
Walk the Distance and Slow Down: Selections from the Collection of JoAnn Gonzalez Hickey,
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), Boulder, CO/ USA
Word Dance, Denver Art Museum/ USA
2016 Abstraction 2, arróniz arte contemporáneo, Mexico City/ MX
Zeichnungsräume – Positionen zeitgenössischer Graphik / Teil I, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg/ D
2015 Várfok Gallery’s 25th anniversary exhibition
Happines is boring, Galerie Martin Mertens, Berlin/ D
Drawing with Metal, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
Interpretations of Ornament in Fine Arts Today (1990 – 2015), Várfok Gallery, Budapest/ HU
Walking the Line, Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne/ D
Here and Now, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest/ HU
Hungary – The next Generation, Artmark Galerie, Vienna/ A
GRIDS # 2, Galerie van den Berge, Goes/ NL
Oeuvres, Slewe Gallery, Amsterdam/ NL
2014 Angles, Gallery Várfok, Budapest/ HU
Space as space, Vasarely Múzeum, Budapest/ HU
2013 Walking the Line V, Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne/ D
Art Market Budapest, Gallery Várfok, Budapest/ HU
Párbeszéd / Conversation, (Antal-Lusztig collection) Kepes Institution, Eger/ HU
2012 text(ure), Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London/ UK
Anschlüssel London/Berlin, Centre for Recent Drawing, London/ UK
Back and Forth – 8 Artists from London, B55 Contemporary Art Gallery, Budapest/ HU
FutureShock OneTwo, dr.julius I ap., Berlin/ D
2010 Drawing Attention, Pablo’s Birthday Gallery, New York/ USA
2009 Stand in Line, Patrick Heide Contemborary Art, London/ UK
2008 microwave, six, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York/ USA
2007 Kàroly Keserü (with Mirjam Hagoort and Jus Juchtmans), Galerie van den Berge, Westwal / NL
Straight forward, pablo’s birthday, New York/ USA
Obsession durch Technik, artMbassy, Berlin/ D
Still thinking about a title, Galerie van den Berge (with Mirjam Hagoort & Jus Juchtmans), Westwal/ NL
Summershow 2007, Galerie van den Berge, Westwal/ NL
2006 Summer Exhibition, Foster Art, London/ UK
2005 Mostyn Open Exhibition, Llandudno, Wales/ UK
Bologna Flash Art Show, Sofitel Hotel, Bologna/ I
2004 Pizza Express Prospects 2004, Tea Building, London/ UK
Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Liverpool Biennale and Barbican London/ UK
2003 Australian Art in London, Australia House, London/ UK
Summer Exhibition 2003, Royal Academy of Arts, London/ UK
The Hunting Art Prizes 2003, Royal College of Art, London/ UK
Artfutures, Contemporary Art Society, City of London School, London/ UK
2002 Summer Exhibition 2002, Royal Academy of Arts, London/ UK
New Inventive Works, e1 Gallery, London/ UK
(X)hibit, The London Institute Gallery, London/ UK
Artfutures, Contemporary Art Society, City of London School, London/ UK
2001 Exhibition for the Queen’s Visit, Goodenough College, London/ UK
2000 National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Gallery, Melbourne/ AU
City of Hobart Art Prize, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart/ AU-TAS
1999 Darebin – La Trobe Art Prize and Exhibition, Centre for Decorative Arts, Melbourne/ AU
1998 Poco Noco meets Jacques Derrida, Derrida Prize Exhibition, VCA Gallery, Melbourne/ AU
1997 Damp, Clothing Exchange, Grey Area Art Space Inc., Melbourne/ AU
1996 Ego, Temple Studio, Melbourne/ AU
1995 Annual Group Show, Linden Gallery, Melbourne/ AU
1993 Iglu Csoport, RS9 Színház, Budapest/ HU


2012 Károly Keserü, Papertiger, 2009-2012
Back and Forth – 8 Artists from London, B55 Contemporary Art Gallery, Exhibition
Catalogue, (text by Estelle Thompson/ Tamás Jovánovics)
2009 Károly Keserü, London works 2000 – 2009 (introduction by Chris Townsend)
2006 New Art from London, Chris Townsend, Thames & Hudson
Celeste Art Prize Catalogue (shortlisted)
2004 Art Monthly (288), Martin Herbert, Review of Bloomberg New Contemporaries
2000 Samstag 2000 Catalogue, The World is Not Enough (introduction by James Moss)


2004 Pizza Express Prospects 2004, Student Award, London / UK
2000 The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship (£30,000) Melbourne / AU
1999 Julian Counsel Acquisitive Award, Melbourne / AU
Victorian College of the Arts Student Union Prize, Melbourne / AU
1998 Victorian Campus Art Prize, Melbourne / AU


The Progressive Collection, Ohio // MAG Collection, London // Collection of the University of the Arts, London // Private Collections throughout Europe, USA & Australia