Zsuzsanna VARGA SZEGEDI - Artist in residence, April, 2017


What’s the most admirable about art is to be taken in by works that are larger than me, not necessarily by size but their potential to challenge my perception about the given medium itself. My most recent works investigate the method of painting using hybrid techniques of media: text, drawing, painting, projection, video and photography. These works are formal conversations with the material and depict the impulse to further break down the already destabilized landscape, as a parallel, challenging the limitations of dominant Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions.

When I paint the substrate is in constant motion and the two colors are emotions and reason. I capture the instable effect of chaos modern life and its systems provide us. I complicate my paintings with audience involvement as well to challenge the romantic notion of making, viewing, and relying on language.

I stand here surrounded by failed utopias. Social, cultural, and political visions that don’t work. Groundbreaking ideas transform into compromise. Disaster. The mind resist, the body endures, the self survives until the next vision arrives to start over.

Vision. Failure. Resist. Endure. Survive. On repeat.

It’s all about abstraction. The abstract ideologies transform into real consequences. Often idealized, abused, rarely corrected. Futility as result. Abstracted again.

To destabilize the already unstable.


Born 1976, Kaposvár, Hungary
Lives and works in Boston, studies in Chicago, USA


2015-2017 MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL
1999-2001 BFA, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
1994-1997 Janus Pannonius University, Pécs & Károly Eszterhazy College, Eger, Hungary


Blanche E. Colman Award, Blanche E. Colman Foundation
First Place, Northeast Prize Show, juried by Cheryl Brutvan
2010 Grant Award, The Puffin Foundation, Presence/Absence
2008 Grant Award, The Puffin Foundation, Presence/Absence

Solo exhibitions

Absent | Present, Montserrat College Of Art, Beverly, MA (two person exhibit with Kate Gilmore)
2011 Temporal Works, Fourth Wall Projects, Boston, MA
Into the Woods, St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA
2009 The Lure of Trees, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA
2007 Forest Removed, Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA
2005 Mesterséges Elmúlás - Természetes Fejlödés, Danube Museum, HU
New Works, Soprafina Gallery, Boston, South End, MA
1997 Dance in the Dark, SMK, Kaposvár, HU (two person exhibit with Resa Blatman)

Group exhibitions (selected)

2013 The Country Between Us, New Art Center in Newton, MA
2012 Art and Spirituality Entwined, Concord Art, MA
2011 Off the Wall, Danforth Museum, Boston, MA
Bumpkin Forward, Mobius, Boston, MA
2010 Roots & Branches, Mazmanian Art Gallery, Framingham State College, MA
Northeast Prize Show, juried by Cheryl Brutvan, Cambridge, MA - First Place

Professional experience and residencies

Visiting Lecturer, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
Visiting Artist, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
Adjunct Faculty, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
Artist Residency, sübSamsøn, Boston, MA, 2010-11
Wasserman forum coordinator - MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2010
Artist-in-residence, Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA, 2009

Participatory events

2013 A Proper Erasure, Montserrat College Of Art, Beverly, MA
2012 Trace with me, Dumbo Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY
Trace with me, Montserrat College Of Art, Beverly, MA
2011 Trace with me, Cyberarts Festival /sübSamsøn, Boston, MA
Mid-conversational merge, sübSamsøn, Boston, MA
2010 Wipeout, sübSamsøn, Boston, MA
Bumpkin Island Art Encampment, Bumpkin Island, MA
Mazmanian Art Gallery, Framingham State College, MA

Press, Publications

Big Red & Shiny, In Retrospect: Tony Feher & Absent | Present, 2013
Art New England, A Campus Kunsthalle, Leonie Bradbury, 2013
Big Red & Shiny, (only) 9 women artists, 2013
Boston Globe, Of comings and goings, by Cate McQuaid
Big Red & Shiny, Camilo Alvarez discusses the Samsøn
residency program, Stephanie Cardon, 2013
Exhibit catalogue, Multiplicities: Artwork as Network, essay by Leonie Bradbury, 2013
Boston Magazine, by Matthew Reed Baker, 2011
WBUR, Looking Out: On Bumpkin Island, It’s ‘Survivor’ For Artists, by Andrea Shea 2010
Somogyi Hírlap, Keleti part - egyedi perspektívából, by Vas András, 2010
Exhibit catalogue, essay by Francine Koslow Miller, 2009
Northwest Life Magazine, 2009
Boston Globe, In trees, fresh perspective for Fruitlands, May 2009
Orion Magazine, September / October 2007
The Middlesex BEAT by Terry House, 2005 
József Attila, Töredékek, Arcus Press, Hungary, Hardcover, 2005

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