Adam Magyar: Urban Times

Matter, Kolkata, Barabazar, 2020 © Adam Magyar / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Urban Times

Exhibition Dates: October 29 – December 17, 2022
Opening Reception with Artist in Attendance: Saturday October 29, 2-5pm

Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Urban Times,” our first solo exhibition of photographic and video work by Berlin-based Hungarian artist Adam Magyar. This is his first solo exhibition in Canada.

Magyar is captivated by high-tech cities and urban life. He depicts the synergies of city life while embracing it as home to both people and technology. With each of his series, he observes the flow of time, scrutinizing the transience of life and humans’ inherent urge to leave some trace behind. Magyar is keen on adopting and reinventing contemporary devices like industrial machine-vision cameras in order to produce his unique view of the human experience. Magyar stated, “I study our relationship to past, future and present moments, reflecting upon the way we use and misuse time.”

Our exhibition will feature works from four series: “Urban Flow,” “Stainless,” “Squares,” and “Matter.” Magyar is fascinated by urban living, and how it contains an immense populace of individuals living within inches of each other, yet retaining their individuality. He observes how people are often detached from the present while engaged in their day-to-day movements of waiting for trains, or walking to work, among other unconsidered moments. “These parts of our lives just drop out from our days,” Magyar stated in an interview with Stephen Bulger. “I would like people to think and feel that life is happening, because we tend to lose sight of it.”

In “Urban Flow,” Magyar built a camera using a slit-scan technique which utilizes the sensor of a flatbed scanner to capture subjects as they pass before it. The resulting panoramic photographs alter the perspective of the pedestrians’ motion and makes them appear as if they are walking in a common direction. The process expands and compresses the pedestrians and traffic, while static subject matter appears as a solid streak across the image.

Urban Flow 1807, New York, 2015 [detail] © Adam Magyar / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Magyar’s “Stainless” videos capture the surprising elegance of subway riders as they wait for their train. He modified an industrial grade high-speed camera positioned inside the train to dramatically increase the view looking out onto the platform. His mastery of the equipment and software enables him to stretch the ten second duration of a train entering a platform into a ten minute video.

For his most recent video and photographic series “Matter,” Magyar captures urban locations from the same position over the span of days, weeks, or months. In the finished works, moments and days appear projected onto each other. Time flows, revealing our fading memories and insignificance. Time becomes something we can see: a passage. We visually dissolve and lose permanency. Our boundaries are blurred.

Matter, New York, 42 Street, 2019 © Adam Magyar / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Magyar’s works have been exhibited in various solo and group shows internationally including Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston; New Museum, New York; New York Public Library, New York; Midnight Moment ¬– Times Square, New York; Houston Center for Photography, Houston; Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; Vasarely Foundation, France; Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester; Light Work, Syracuse; Saitamia Triennale, Japan; Museo Casa Grande, Hidalgo, Mexico; Ethnographic Museum, Budapest.

His work is present in private and public collections including Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; New York City Public Library, New York; Bank of Montreal, Toronto, Canada; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Deutsche Bank; Light Work, Syracuse; Hong Kong Heritage Museum; BNY Mellon, New York; Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Beachwood; Bidwell Projects, Cleveland.

New York II, 2019 © Adam Magyar / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Stephen Bulger Gallery
1356 Dundas S. W.
Toronto, ON, M6J 1Y2

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Accessibility: The gallery is partially accessible, with a level entrance, an accessible washroom, wide and unobstructed pathways, and automatic doors at the entrance.