Residency Unlimited

Anna Nemes

Anna Nemes, "Finally, I see the future I", chinese ink, acrylic, oil on canvas, 70x50 cm, private collection

Artist Name: Anna Nemes
Residency Dates: April – May 2024
Born: 1989
Hometown: Budapest, Hungary
Lives & Works: Budapest, Hungary
URL: | Instagram: @anna.nemes
Gallery: Várfok Gallery
2019 – current | Doctor of Liberal Arts, Hungarian University of Fine Arts
2016 | Art Therapist, Science University of Pécs
2014 | Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting
2011 | Universitát Politécnica de Valencia


Anna Nemes is the winner of the 2023 ACAX award.

Anna Nemes is a Hungarian visual artist, who in her works, discovers the fragility and possibilities of human existence and seeks the philosophical sense of beauty in the curious. Through her artistic practice, she explores the relationship between art and philosophy in the light of abjection. Nemes is primarily a painter, but in addition to her painting practice she also works as a director, filmmaker and an artistic researcher.

The paintings of Anna Nemes – created with immense technical knowledge and precision – have been dominated by the color black. She constructs her compositions with delicately intertwined ink patches which allow for introspection through organic abstraction and figurative imagery. The pigments and water, in obedience to erosion—similarly to larger scale natural phenomena—create organic patterns which are reminiscent of the unseen systems found within the human body. Although the figures are portrayed as their material selves, the subject of the image is actually the everlasting myriad of thermodynamical occurrences. In this sense, the subjects are universally accessible, and are purely vessels for the regularity that follows human form. They are given organs, tissue and viscera; the fragments that communicate with the surfaces created unintentionally by the force of nature. The dialogue takes place between the abstract and absolute, and between the anatomically recognizable details within the subjects’ bodies. The border between beautiful and unsightly is a moorland: a landscape reaching far with an unseen horizon, in which the images are created and exist onwards.

Nemes was the youngest artist to join the Várfok Gallery permanently in 2016. She has taken part in several highly successful solo and group exhibitions in Hungary and abroad. Select solo exhibitions include: SIMPLE COMPLEX at Várfok Gallery, Budapest (2022); Open Bodies at Várfok Project Room, Budapest (2019); Dystrophia at the Hungarian Institute, Warsaw (2019); Nail Biting at Galerie Isabelle Lesmeister, Regensburg (2019). Notable group shows include: People and Portraits at Galerie Isabelle Lesmeister, Regensburg (2023); Preparing for Darkness at Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Berlin (2022); Other Lands Are To Come at Várfok Gallery, Budapest (2021); The Very Best at Várfok Gallery, Budapest (2020).

Anna Nemes’ first fiction feature film GENTLE (produced by Focusfox and Komplizenfilm) is about a female bodybuilder. In her story, Nemes questions the normative nature of beauty and points to universal human dilemmas through the philosophical and artistic character of body building. The film won the main prize at the Sam Spiegel Film Lab, and won the EastWest Filmdistribution award at Sofia Meetings. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022. The film won best directing at GoEast and Cleveland Film Festival, Gran Prix at CinÉast and at Brussels International Film Festival the Audience Award and the Fipresci Award.

BEAUTY OF THE BEAST, Nemes’ essay-documentary about female bodybuilding is an experimental audiovisual work in which she attempts a lyrical exploration of female bodybuilding. The documentary dives into the psyche of a female bodybuilder: what lies under the make-up, tanned skin and defined musculature. Produced by ElfPictures with the support of the Hungarian Television Board and Creative Europe Media. Won Impact Award at Cannes Marché du Film section and Special Prize at BDC.


Support: Anna Nemes’ residency is made possible with support from The Trust for Mutual Understanding.

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