Letter written by Jóska Soós (1951)
The experience of leaving everything behind in Hungary and start a new life in Belgium left a profound impression on the young artist/shaman. As a result, he gathered extensive archives during his entire life, documenting his journey as an artist and shaman. The archives consist of more than nine meters of materials and documents life and work through pictures, flyers, press clippings and letters. The archives are open to scientific research and slowly start to give a consistent view on his artistic development and the construction of his world views as a shaman.
The archives document his life as from his arrival in Belgium, more specifically his first exhibitions and mentions in the press. From the preceding period - his childhood and the flight the the West - little to no documents exist.
The artist documented the places he lived (1959)
The archives give us insight into the network the artist built off the start of his career, and also document - and that is quite exceptional - important influences in his perception of shamanism.
A press clipping dated 1965
The archives also show us the perception of visitors, teachers and art critics on the oeuvre of Soós. Their different opinions and descriptions provide insight into Jóska Soós' quest to find a proper and unique artistic (shamanistic) imagery. Many critics are soon impressed by the enormous cultural knowledge incorporated in the young artist's work. Others look at the influence of spontaneity as a background of his works and connect this to suurealism, Cobra and art brut.
He was soon regarded as a young Belgian talent.
Another view that appears throughout the archives is that of the artist himself. Almost every document was amended with additional information on context, location or the emotion he associated with a particular item. This also transorms the archives into a remarkable personal testimony.
Jóska in front of the gallery Le Rouge et le Noir (1959)
A letter from the town of La Louvière, related to the acquisition of a painting (1964)
Information about an exhibition in 1970
Archive en documentation:
Scientific editor &
INTRO Cultuur & Media
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