Very Special Gladnesses

Endre Tót is one of thirty artists whose work appears in “With the Eyes of Others: Hungarian Artists of the Sixties and Seventies,” a group exhibition devoted to the Hungarian avant-garde, showing at Elizabeth Dee Gallery through August 12. Tót, born in 1937, was loosely affiliated with the Fluxus movement and is known especially for his pioneering mail art: postcards, stamps, and typographical oddities that he used to correspond with other conceptual artists. His work is characterized by its focus on nothingness—in 1970, he abandoned painting, having declared “a state of zero”—through which, in his perspective, one can reach pure joy; in one postcard he writes, “I am glad if I can type zer0s.”  

Endre Tót, Very Special Gladness, 1971–76, gelatin silver print, 9 1/2″ x 7 1/8″. Courtesy the artist, Elizabeth Dee New York, and acb Gallery Budapest.

Old Rain, New Rain, 1971, typewriting on postcard (offset, paper), 3 3/4″ x 9 5/8″.

Very Special Gladnesses Series – I am glad if I can read Lenin, 1971–76, gelatin silver print, 9 1/2″ x 7 1/8″.

Ten question (Documents make me glad/sad/mad), 1973, postcard (offset, paper), 7 1/4″ x 4″.

I am glad if I can type zeros (documents make me glad/sad/mad), 1975, rubber stamp, offset, postcard, 8″ x 3 3/4″.

Audio Visual Rain, 1972, typewriting on paper, 8 1/4″ x 5 3/4″.

Look! Here’s a giant zero for yoo!, 1974, postcard (offset, paper), 7 5/8″ x 4 5/8″.

Unique Collection of Rain Portraits, 1971–78, typewriting, offset print on paper, 9 1/4″ x 5 1/4″.

Very Special Gladnesses Series – I am glad if…, 1971–76, vintage gelatin silver print, 4 3/4″ x 3 1/2″.

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