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Nightwatch Ákos Ezer


Ákos Ezer Pécs, 1989 –

Date 2016
Object type painting
Medium, technique canvas, oil

200 × 170 cm

Inventory number MM2022.3
Collection Contemporary Collection
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, Third Floor, Shifts – 20th Century art after 1945

In his paintings, Ákos Ezer usually depicts young male figures doing ordinary activities like shaving, working or hiking. They often seem to have lost control, with their elongated body parts entangled or crumpled in exhaustion. The denseness of this picture and the contrasting colours, and the figures filling the entire canvas give an abstract feel to the figural composition.

With their reddened noses, the fatigued figures of Nightwatch are almost ironic contrasts to the heroic and organised group of men in the work referred to in the title, The Night Watch by Rembrandt. Looking lost and exhausted, the campers appear to be guarding their tent. The two men with shotguns raise the question of against what threat they must defend themselves.

Their apparent vulnerability is in stark contrast with the presence of the guns. The depicted situation has a paradoxical relationship with the title of the work. The latter suggests activity at night, but the strong and clear colours of the objects indicate a daytime scene. Similarly, the passive figures are almost a caricature of a real night watch.

Additional notes

Acquisition supported by the Friends of Contemporary Art Nonprofit Co.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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