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SCHOOL OF ART, DESIGN AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

Levente Sulyok

Associate Professor of Painting & Applied Drawing

JPEG ImageMFA, Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, 2006
Collegiate Teaching Certificate, Sheridan Center, Brown University, 2006
BA, Art Practice, University of California at Berkeley, 2003

Levente Sulyok was born and raised in Hungary and moved to the U.S. in 1991. His interest in philosophy - particularly the relationship between aesthetics, language, and the politics of resistance - can be seen throughout his work. Sulyok's career boasts numerous solo exhibitions, as well as over 30 group exhibitions in Kansas, Texas, California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

In Postcards from the Edge, art historian Dr. Rachel Epp Buller observes that his work, "...creates a multifaceted layering of geographic detachment: foreign artist as outsider citizen; the mythologized American West as both a commercial export and an outpost from urban civilization; and contemporary corporate greed as morally suspect disjuncture."

Martina }{ Johnston, an artist-run house gallery in West Berkeley, hosted Sulyok's 2012 solo exhibition, All the Paranoid Monoliths. The review of this solo exhibition in the East Bay Express proclaims, “[s]uch voluble silences, compressions, excisions, and about-faces pervade All the Paranoid Monoliths — an aesthetically cohesive exhibition if ever there was one." 

Recent projects for Sulyok include the collaborative intervention “Documenta Detour” in Kassel, Germany, and Small Pleasures (2012-2016), a large-scale interactive public installation on the facade of the Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, Kansas. Currently, he pursuing several collaborative projects and furthering his philosophical and aesthetic concerns.

Artist Statement:

I sort through existing forms and images in order to shed light on the relationship between philosophical thought and desire, and their expression in visual and material form. Often, I absorb this plethora of existing information with the hope to transform its power in the process of digestion.

Recent work is based on collected and carefully selected images and commercial slogans. Imagery and text in commercial contexts is meant to dictate as opposed to engage in conversation. But through the creative act of transformation and translation, or by simply ‘looking in the margins’, relentless slogans can be silenced and the conversation can be re-directed or produced where there was none before. I see these acts as acts of playful but critical resistance, which contain the potential to reverse consumption into production. Language is compressed and images are turned against themselves.

I have little interest in notions of originality, and see my practice as a process of operating existing signs in order to temporarily liberate myself by discovering voids, gaps, and glitches in their logic: sort the image in order to manage the desire.

levente.sulyok@wichita.edu | (316) 978-7705 | McKnight 304 | leventesulyok.com