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Biography of Sigismond Kolos-Vari
Sigismond Kolos-Vari (sometimes known as Kolos-Vary) - Zsigmond Kolozsvári in Hungarian -, was born in Banffyhunyad in Austria-Hungary in 1899, today called Huedin in Roumania.
He started painting very young and only lived for « his painting » exploring all its forms but not making a living out of it as he was a very bad « seller ».
From 1918 to 1925, Kolos-Vari attended the School of Applied Arts in Budapest, after which he travelled through Switzerland, Spain and Italy, where he was influenced by Paolo Uccello, before settling in Paris where he was soon embraced by the avant-garde artists of the École de Paris. There, he met Pierre Guéguen, friend of Le Corbusier who wrote his introduction for his exhibitions at the Galerie Povolosky (herself a model for Modigliani). It’s in this gallery that Kolos-Vari sold his first canvases and met Jacques Lipchitz, André Lhote, André Salmon and Jean Cassou.
In order to survive, he created famous commercials before completely dedicating his life to painting, sculpture and etching to the cost of comfort that famous brands were promising.
In 1941, he is arrested in Paris by the Gestapo. He is detained at the Gurs camp for two years. He escaped in 1943 and reached Switzerland. He stayed there until 1946, then came back to Paris. He’s naturalized French in 1955. For some time, he worked at the Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter.
Until 1954, Kolos-Vari’s work was marked by expressionism. Between 1950 and 1954, he evolved towards abstraction. In 1977, Sigismund Kolos-Vari setlled his studio in Boulogne-Billancourt.
His works are present in many French and foreign museums and more than fifty exhibitions were organized around his name over the years.
Sigismund Kolos-Vari died in Switzerland at La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1983.