ARTISTS › Gizella Varga Sinaei
ARTISTS › Gizella Varga Sinaei
Born in 1944, Hungary
Studied at the Akademie fuer Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Austria
Moving to Iran in 1967
Member of the Dena Group and Society of Iranian Painters
Teaching painting and conducting workshops inside and outside of Iran since 1980.
19 Solo Exhibitions in Austria, Finland, Hungary, Georgia and Iran.
Over 150 Group Exhibitions in China, UAE, Tunisia, USA, Finland, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Poland, France, Norway, Switzerland and India.
Museum Collection Pieces:
George Pompidou Center, Paris
Damjanich Janos Museum , Szolnok (Hungary)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran
Quran Museum, Tehran
Pasargad Bank Art Collection, Tehran
1977 Prize at the 'Ayeneh-dar-Ayeneh' exhibition, Tehran
2011 Parallel Cultural Awards, Mediawave Festival, Hungary
2014 Hungarian Order of Merit Officer's Cross, Hungary
An Anthology of Works from 1968 till present
1 - From West to East (1968-1977) The first several exhibitions since my arrival in Iran reflected my impressions of the Iranian people and the common life - a butcher, a shoemaker, a peddler, a carpet-seller, street musicians, and scenes of the bazaar.
2 - Blind Dolls (1980) Inspired by a verse by Omar Khayyam, "we are the puppets and the universe is the puppeteer...", in Blind Dolls one can see people aging, yet the passing of time has not etched any wrinkles on the dolls' faces. They have lost their crystal eyes, appearing blind, yet maintaining their smile on motionless lips, as if believing the works of the verse, "Sit by the flower, for it has risen from the earth and is buried in it a hundred times".
3 - Echo of Silence (1986) "In the depths of millenniums, the stillness of ruins, and the silence of images, there is a meaningful echo: Beware! History is made by you and me; by us!" In "Echo of Silence", the images on stone tell the story of man in the passage of time; warriors, horses, lovers. I believe that life calmly, yet determinedly, wins over the passage of time and thus existence and non-existence are tightly interwoven. We know that world histories will exist in great circles of the ever-repeating life.
4 - The South and its Masks (1999-2000) In 1997, I suddenly discovered and became fascinated by the nature and the people of Southern Iran; Bandar Abbas, Hormoz Island, Qeshm. The women with masks and colorful dresses reminded me of stories about Odyssey's journeys, the sirens, and of Neptune, god of the Seas. The people of the Persian Gulf continue to live with their tales and myths, just as they have done for many years. The mask conceals, but it also recalls the immortality of human beings, womanhood, and the sea.
5 - Images and Walls (1989, 2003, 2005) In "Images and walls", dolls and stone reliefs are transformed into paintings on cracked plaster of old walls. Lovers, Warriors, legendary beauties and beasts are only faded images. Yet again, beside each one, a flower, a thorny bush, a dove, herald the continuation of life, all of which express my homage to life.
6 - Travel Diary - Safar Nameh (2005-present) As if it was an unending spring, I feel my Hungarian past - my childhood. Those images are now re-appearing in my works. Poems, calligraphy, symbols, forms, icons, old documents and miniatures merge into surreal experiences of my never-ending travel.
7- Flower Garden with Birds (2009-2011) "Gol-o-Morgh" for me is a metaphore for the paradise which we have lost since childhood. This desire appears in positive and negative forms: once as idyllic, innocent, and full of hope, just as we had believed in it. Another time, in the midst of its beauty, we are suddenly scared and threatened by a fear. This paradise is something we know, we love and yet we fear... something we call LIFE.
A selection of 25 prints from the series Images and Walls (1989, 2003, 2005)
In my homeland, Hungary, Turkish miniatures spread during the Ottoman era, and their impact can still be traced in our culture today. Since I was young, I was fascinated by these miniatures. After I arrived to Iran, I realized that Iranian miniatures were technically more delicate and thematically more lyrical. My admiration grew even greater as I saw frescoes in the Palace of Forty Columns (Chehel Sotoun) and in the King's Palace (Ali Ghapou) in Isfahan. My work is mostly mythological, and these faded frescoes inspired me to do a new series: images and walls. Since then, I have often returned to this theme. In the faded frescoes of these palaces one can see the faded gardens of paradise with flowers, trees, and beautiful people in eternal youth sitting, playing music, loving and enjoying themselves in their idyllic world. As a painter, I could follow my fantasies and moods to create new images, destroy, blur, or fade them, and thereby demonstrate my ideas of a paradise lost. I dedicate this collection of paintings to the memory of the great philosopher OMAR KHAYYAM whose mental world has always been a source of inspiration to me.