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Ferenc Berko : In Search of Beauty

Approaching the world from a unique perspective, Petofi Literature Museum’s Ferenc Berko exhibition; In Search of Beauty, brilliantly executes an acute sample of his early work. Behind the camera lens, Berko proves his technical mastery of light and dark. His captured light is ruled by severe contrasts and yet accompanied with a soft touch and a clever eye. The range of the photographs themes and locations illustrate an artist constantly analyzing his surroundings and searching for a perfectly composed visual description. Through his truths we see a world not conjoined but variant. The viewer is transported through his iconic minimal landscapes, sensory overloaded urban patterns, to the silhouettes or cropped focal points of the human body.

After more then seventy years, Berko’s explorations of the female nude transcend time and appear very modern and contemporary. Using his fashion designer-model wife as his muse, he explores light and shadow using translucent linens in front of patterned wallpaper. The resulting exposures suggest a timeless reality of visual imagery.

Suggesting an abstract perspective through the repetition of shapes and forms we are offered insight into the photographer’s interpretation of a secluded fantasy at many different locations during his travel. Berko’s view of architectural symmetry is also characteristic of his work. Although it is a small exhibition, the photographs are well displayed and are grouped into similar themes over the course of the late thirties, forties and early fifties. The Ferenc Berko exhibition provides insight into what will come in his better-known abstract color photographs of his later career.