Ideology or the Literalising of the Figurative, 122 x 122 cm, oil on canvas, 2019. Photo by Docqment.

1919 Salon, installation view, Galerie pompom, Sydney. Photo: Docqment

1919 Salon, installation view, Galerie pompom, Sydney. Photo: Docqment

1919 Salon, installation view, Galerie pompom, Sydney. Photo: Docqment

Installation view of The Secret Doctrine. Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. 2019. Photo by Aaron Christopher Rees.

Installation view of The Secret Doctrine. Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. 2019. Photo by Aaron Christopher Rees.

Installation view of The Secret Doctrine. Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. 2019. Photo by Aaron Christopher Rees.

Niños mirando a la rata. Oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm, 2018.

 

'Svetoslav S. aka Roderich Tuhn was an artist born in Battonya, a small village between the frontiers of Hungary and Romania. His style of painting changed throughout his lifetime for a diverse set of reasons. His subversive inclination regarding art and representation. Drawing his inspiration from various sources, including: media, propaganda [Social Realism] and even cubism, his styles changed rapidly while he used several pseudonyms and fake identities not only because of his radical art-thinking but due to his association with two extreme political ideologies: The Magyar Nemzeti Szocialista Párt [a Hungarian façade for the Nazi party] and the Communist party.'

Svetoslav S. is a fictional character and serves as a platform to question the construction of history, the use of memory and to further the discussion around art, politics and representation.

 

Text by Xiomara Zúñiga Salas:

The story of the life of Svetoslav S. is built in a space delimited by objects, images and voices. In spite of the attempt to hierarchize the memories, the memory is whimsical, its indecipherable and erratic structure repels any attempt of order. The archive of Svetoslav S. shows that the construction of a story is a product of a point of view, both individually and collectively. In the process, the act of suppressing memories and legitimating others, necessarily produces intentional, consensual, or forgetful silences.

Master, painter, assassin and traveller, the character's pictures show how the image is not enough to frame this life; its language is exhausted: how to translate a blow, the wake of doubt or remorse in a two-dimensional space, into an object, or in sounds? In the inventory of this story, how do we refer to things that cannot be grasped?

Costa Rica, 2017.

 


 

 

 

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Carnage. Oil on canvas, 187,5 x 121,5 cm, 2017-2018.

Untitled ii, 191,5 x 254 cm, oil on canvas. 2018.

Write here… 

Untitled iii, 191,5 x 254 cm, oil on canvas. 2018.

 

 

Installation view of Phantasm, part of Waves group show, c3 Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia. 2017. Photo by Vivian Cooper-Smith.

 
 

Holzmann. 45,5 x 36 cm. Oil on canvas. 1944 [Restored in 2017]. Photo Aaron Rees

The image Holzman is one of the remaining works found in one of the many houses he lived in Central America. It has been restored and re-stretched for the current display.

 
 

Installation view of Phantasm, part of Waves group show, c3 Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia. 2017. Photo by Vivian Cooper-Smith.

 
 

Drawing of ´Goldie´ was an example of the documents found on the secret locker room G-57 at the training facilities at ´Los establos del rey´ in the countryside of Aguachica, Colombia. Located in the southern region of the César Department. A particularly affected area during the armed conflict in Colombia between 1980 and 1990. This drawing was found underneath an old chocolate wooden-crafted box, full of gold teeth and rings.

Drawing of Goldie, 30 x 24, 5 cm. Pastel on paper, n.d.

Drawing of a head. 25, 5 x 20 cm, graphite on paper. n.d.

When ´Drawing of a head´was found, it was believed to be Svetoslav´s [Roderich Tuhn] own portrait. After thorough analysis on the surface of the paper and a cross-examination with both experts and friends, it was established as the portrait of a boy who attended his studio regularly.

A4 Original Grid Sketch for Untitled, pencil and ink on paper, n. d.

Replica I. Oil on canvas, 198 x 152 cm. 2017

Replica I is as its title demonstrates, a replica of an artwork destroyed in a fire that consumed a great part of this character´s collection of paintings. This replica was made in 2017 and tried to be a reliable translation after a small scale study found in the house of famous Ricardo Friedrich (S.S. Hans Heidrich) in a small region in Argentina´s pampa. Two black and white xerox copies of the original painting were also found. 

 

Phantasmagoria I. 198,5 x 188, 5 cm. Oil on canvas. 1938 [restored 2017]

Phantasmagoria I. was one of the few paintings that were found almost entirely in good condition. It is currently being treated in a professional restoration lab to bring its original red tone to its surface. This painting marks the starting point in Tuhn's avant-garde explorations, which will cost him artistic anonymity. 

Portrait of Boy. Oil on board, n.d

This portrait shows Tuhn's initial attempts to paint. The piece was collected from his mother's collection, which was then donated to the War Memorial Museum in Berlin after her death. It can be compared with avant-garde movements in Europe at the time like Expressionism and Fauvism, with significant exponential figures such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff andErnst Ludwig Kirchner.

Chair found in one of Roderich´s last hideouts. It is believed to be his favorite working chair, where he signed the order for the mass killings. RTF/Archive

 
 

An overwhelming collection of children images were found as well inside the secret locker room G-57 in the countryside of Aguachica, Colombia. Located in the southern region of the César Department. This set of images are not dated but are believed to confirm Svetoslav S's darkest secrets: he liked to take photos of his victims, but if this was not possible, he collected objects or images of their previous life, before their incarceration. This picture is considered to be one of the most horrible allegories of human monstrosity.

The Melodrama of Difference. C-type print, 25,7 x 21,79 cm, n.d. (Restored 2017)

The Melodrama of Difference. C-type print, 47,62 x 38,92 cm, n.d. (Restored 2017)

 
 

New findings come along the investigation of the archives of Ricardo Friedrich ( S.S. Hans Heidrich) located in his Argentinian mansion. Drawings like this are believed to be sketches for large scale paintings dated around 1975-78, following a style similar to Henry Darger or New Zealand artist Susan Te Kahurangi King.

Untitled. Oil, pencil and collage on cardboard. 1975-78. 31 x 25 cm.

Small Head of a Woman, Autochrome print (taken from an oil portrait), n. d. (Original portrati currently being restored 2017)

Small Head of a Girl, Autochrome print (taken from an oil portrait), n. d. (Original portrait currently being restored 2017)

 

Small Head of a Woman b/w, Autochrome print (taken from an oil portrait), n. d. (Original portrati currently being restored 2017)

 

Triple Constraint, oil on canvas.11,5 x 91,5 cm 2018

 

Cabeza de Plástico. 2017

Untitled, Replica I, 167,6 x 152,4 cm 2018

 

The Museum of my Memory. 2017

Phantasmagoria ii. 198,5 x 188, 5 cm. Oil on canvas. 2017