Tímea Várhelyi

Large Piano Legs, 2015, pastel, paper, 120 × 200 cm

An exhibition of works by TÍMEA VÁRHELYI

Budapest Galéria

1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158. | First Floor

20 January – 26 February 2017

Opening: 19 January 2017, (Thursday) 17:00

Opening speech by:

Melinda Géger

art historian

The paintings of Tímea Várhelyi are built on attentiveness: this implies precise and indefatigable observation of nature, as well as continuous observation of oneself. The latter does not indicate narcissistic self-centeredness, but rather internal labour that ensures the maintenance of the concentration required for drawing.

Following the paths of masters who worked with a radically limited set of motifs – Giorgio Morandi, Eugene Leroy, Béla Veszelszky – Tímea Várhelyi also creates series; for years her “models” came from her personal environment: the piano legs moved into the arch of the bay window, the pattern of the hardwood floor, seeds and flowers she herself collected, small, insignificant objects present in every home.

In her works she either crops out a portion (usually from a perspective below the familiar viewpoint) of the abovementioned interior with the piano legs (without the instrument) or she assembles out of her objects an incidental still life on the floor. Sketching a human skull that had been loaned to her was a peculiar, but at the same time intellectually gripping and repugnant experience: studying it as a lifeless object which also carries in it the disturbing “presence” of a former person. Beautiful-shuddering pastels depicting this ambivalence were born. Recently, she has begun experimenting with plein air, selecting a handful of flowers from a field. During the creative process, she must bend down closely to the ground and the plants – the physical trial is also a symbolic gesture.

And an essential motif: in the works of Tímea Várhelyi the shadows are as important as the objects. The sometimes mysterious-menacing shadows creeping betwixt the legs of the piano and other elements of the composition eliminate the smallest prospect of an idyll. Likewise, in the sun-drenched fields the draughtswoman bent above her models casts a dark silhouette as an ominous self-portrait (deprived of her facial features) on the brilliantly illuminated detail of nature.

Gábor Andrási

Tímea Várhelyi

Skull with Black Shadow, 2016, pastel, paper, 90,5 × 63,5 cm

Tímea Várhelyi

Piano Legs with Dry Leaf, 2016, pastel, paper, 90 × 63 cm