Sigismond KOLOS-VARI

Edition 200. Signed, dated 1952, and numbered '166/200' in pencil.

Image size 11 3.4 x 15 5/8 inches (298 x 397 mm); sheet size 15 x 22 1/4 inches (381 x 565 mm).

A superb, richly-inked impression, with fresh colors, on heavy, off-white Arches wove paper; the full sheet with margins (1 3/8 to 3 1/2 inches), in excellent condition.

Published by the 'Guide de la Gravure', Switzerland, with their blind stamp in the bottom left sheet corner.

A fine example of Atelier 17, mid-century modern printmaking.


Kolos-Vari was born in Hungary and attended the School of Applied Arts in Budapest from 1915-1918, and then the School of Decorative Arts until 1925. The artist settled in Paris and his first one-man show in 1928 at Galerie Miromesnil, which was highly successful, and led to numerous subsequent exhibitions including with the prestigious Galerie Bonaparte in 1929, and Galerie Povolosky in 1930.

Kolos-Vari’s early success was abruptly interrupted by the outbreak of the WWII. Imprisoned in a German concentration camp, he managed to escape after two years, crossing the border into Switzerland. After the war he returned to Paris and dedicated himself to his painting, producing increasingly powerful compositions. His work was highly acclaimed when shown at an important 1946 exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris, organised by Jean Cassou. The artist was then approached by the eminent art dealer Jean Bucher who gave Kolos-Vary a major one-man show at his gallery in 1948. During this post-war period Kolos-Vary participated in the radical Salon de Mai, 1949-1958, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, 1956-1961, and the Salon des Comparaisons, 1960-1962.

Supported by his association with Stanley William Hayter and the landmark printmaking workshop, Atelier 17, Kolos-Vari’s work evolved into pure abstraction in the 1950’s. His writings explain that the wonderfully harmonious compositions of this period explore a new spatial interpretation inspired by nature and his personal exploration of the sub-conscious. These evocative works brought the artist international recognition with exhibitions in New York 1959; London, 1961; Japan, 1961; as well as Geneva, Basel, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Milan.

The artist’s work is represented in many major modern art museums including Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris; Musée des Beaux Arts, Lille; Budapest; Jerusalem; Pécs; Algiers; Milwaukee, USA.

Prizes: Prix de la Critique, 1953; Prix de Lissone, 1957; Priz Marzotto, 1960; Prix des Onze, 1966.