Biography

Kálmán Várady, descended from Armenian Sinti and Roma, is a Rom who has travelled very far with a desire for danger. He studied free painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne with Professor Wolfgang Schriefer and became his master student from the mid-1980s. During this time and in the 1990s, he undertook numerous extensive journeys - among others to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, the USA, Mexico, Senegal, Nigeria and Venezuela. These still have a decisive influence onthe content of his works today.

For Várady, being a nomad is therefore not an economic necessity or cliché fulfilment, but a pleasure, a broadening of horizons and an attitude to life. The content of Várady's art goes beyond the bourgeois concept of art. His works oscillate between painting, object, sculpture, installation and photography and are a continuous process of reconstitution. Depending on the context in which they are placed, works emerge in an ever new combination. From an accumulation of found objects grows a sculpture or object, often reminiscent of a shrine, altar or totemic figure. He artistically reflects and updates cults, rituals and myths, natural religions and magical processes from diverse, self-experienced continents. The darkness of the struggle for survival in these often very poor regions flows into the artworks. In chaos lies order, everything is of equal importance, the artistic method is composition, arrangement. Várady's figures, sculptures and objects have an animistic aesthetic quality. His work addresses magic as well as mystery, ritual and death. This includes processes of change such as weathering, "hanging" and "sacrificing", which lend specialness to the objects in the artistic process.

In general, Várady often refers to transience and death; the pistol bullets shown in the exhibition GYPSY WARRIORS symbolise the permanent danger in which one finds oneself as a human beingin general and as a Roma in particular. Gilded, they remind us of the preciousness of our lives. Significant for the understanding of Várady's works are also his humour and irony, which put the internalised gravity of his works into a different perspective; the gilded bullets, which could have meant his death, have a humorous component; for only by laughing can one free oneself from death.

After totemic art, the play with altars, magical figures and private cults had long been in the foreground, Várady increasingly thematised his Roma existence on an artistic-political level. For example, the photographic series of works "Familija" (2008) was created in reference to the typological registration of Sinti and Roma in the so-called Ritter Archive of the Rassenhygienische Forschungsstelle. It refers both to the actions of the National Socialists towards the "Gypsies" and to today's practice of identifying, categorising and defaming people. Because of his origins, it was natural for Várady to include himself and his six daughters as likenesses in this work of art. Seven people (the six daughters and the father) are photographed in today's police identification manner. The series consists of black and white photographs of the faces in frontal and profile view and comparative shots of the hands.The exhibition GYPSY WARRIORS shows another work by Várady that deals with the Porajmos: a used, poliment-gilded butcher's block with a deportation number stamped on it. It is a reminder of the millions of murdered Sinti and Roma, whose few possessions were then enriched by their butchers.

CV

Kálmán Várady.Solo exhibitions (selection)

2021
2nd Roma Biennale, Berlin (DE)
2018
Aufnahme in das Digitale Künstler Archiv der Sinti und Roma, ROMARCHIV Aufnahme ERIAC - European Roma Institut for Arts and Culture - Berlin
2017
Wunderkammer I, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
2015
La Famiglia, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
 
chambre d´ami München, ROMAMOR, München (DE)
2014
Stopping Places IV, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
 
ROMAMOR, Galerie Display, Köln (DE)
2013
Gypsy Warriors (Katalog), Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
2005
West Side Studio, Cagliari (IT)
2003
Palladium Pallas GmbH, Köln (DE)
2002
Galerie Herbert Schäfer, Köln (DE)
2000
Galerie im Turm Bürgerhaus Stollwerk, Köln (DE)
 
Galerie im Turm, Köln (DE)
1997
Galerie Seidel, Köln, Deutschland
 
Je retour de Dakar, Galerie Seidel, Köln (DE)
1995
HERKUNFT-ZUKUNFT, Stadtmuseum (Katalog), Siegburg (DE)
1991
Galerie Kunstgarten, Köln (DE)
 
Galerie zur Hofstadt, Frick (CH)
1990
Voodoo, Galerie Kunstgarten, Köln (DE)
 
Galerie Duna, Budapest (H)
1989
Galerie Sysyphos, West-Berlin (DE)
 
Galerie Duna, Budapest (H)
1986
Galerie Appendix, Wuppertal
1985
Voodoo, Galerie im alten Kloster, Köln (DE)
1984
Loko Aganzum“ Voodoo Wachsfabrik Köln (DE)
 
Galerie RAP, Maastricht (NL)

Kálmán Várady.Group exhibitions (selection)

2021
2nd Roma Biennale, Berlin (DE)
2019
" Tränen aus Gold" European Roma Holcaust Memorial Day im Auditorium Maximum Krakau ( Pl )
 
is "Auschwitz only sleeping"? Sinti and Roma Narratives after the Holocaust - international Conference Kakau (Pl)
 
(Re) Conceptualizing Roma Resistance - ERIAC Berlin
2018
" Roma Spring" Art as Resistance, ERIAC, Berlin
 
ADK Akademi der Künste Berlin
 
Alexander und Renata Camaro Stiftung Berlin
2017
STOPPING PLACES VI, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
 
Akate Te Beshen, Galerie Českých center, Prag (TR)
2016
Akate Te Beshen, CentroCentro, Madrid (SP)
 
Akate Te Beshen, Galerie 59 Rivoli, Paris (FR)
 
Frei Sein!, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
 
Frei Sein!, Schloß Heidelberg - Ottheinrichsbau (DE)
2015
25 Jahre Kunst im Stadtmuseum Siegburg, Stadtmuseum Siegburg, Siegburg (DE)
 
Kaum zu Glauben (Katalog), Städtische Galerie Schwingeler Hof, Stadt Wesseling (DE)
 
Transmittting Trauma . Zeitgenössische Reflektionen zum Genozid an den Sinti Roma – Ausstellung und Bildungsprogramm, Gallery8 und Galerie Kai Dikhas, Budapest-Berlin (H-DE)
 
STOPPING PLACES V, Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
2014
AKATHE TE BESHEN – Here to stay . Zeitgenössische Kunst der Roma und Sinti und die Kunst Otto Pankoks Kunststation Kleinsassen, Kleinsassen (DE)
 
Kathe Ham Mer Kheri – Hier sind wir zu Hause, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart (DE)
 
Ruhe-Störung. Streifzüge durch die Welten der Collage (Katalog), Marta Herford (Gehry-Galerien), Kunstmuseum Ahlen, Ahlen (DE)
2013
Ruhe-Störung. Streifzüge durch die Welten der Collage , Kunstmuseum Ahlen, Ahlen (DE)
 
Golgata. Kunst und Religion (Katalog), Bund Bildender Künstler, Köln (DE)
 
Rauminstallation Loko-Azamgun III, Stapelhaus, Köln (DE)
 
Monocrom, Chambre d`ami, München (DE)
2012
Alone Together - Kultur der Sinti und Roma zwischen Verfolgung und Emanzipation, Lew Kopelew Forum Köln, Köln (DE)
 
Europe,Pays de mon enfance mit Gabi Jimenez, Damian Le Bas und Delaine Le Bas, Carreau de Cergy, Paris (F)
 
Kunst und Religion, St. Michael, Köln (DE)
 
Kunst und Religion, Schürman Kapelle
 
Rauminstallation Voodooaltar „Loko Azamgun II", St. Michael, Köln (DE)
 
ART 68 Raum für Kunst und Kultur
2011
Armut-Perspektiven in Kunst und Gesellschaft (Katalog), Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier und Stadtmuseum Simeonstift Trier (DE)
 
CAP Cologne, Köln (DE)
 
Armut, Museum für Brotkultur, Ulm (DE)
 
Aire compartiblo (Katalog), Museo del Arte Moderno Toluca (MEX)
2010
Gypsi, 10 x Kunst in der Schmiede - Stadt Rösrath (DE)
 
Labyrinth – Irrgarten der Künste, Kolbhalle, Köln (DE)
2009
Verloren Paradijs – Kunst der Roma (Katalog), International Gipsy Festival Het Duvelhok, Tilburg (NL)
 
Kunst und Humor, Bund Bildender Künstler, Köln (DE)
2008 – 2009
Die vergessenen Europäer – Kunst der Roma. Roma in der Kunst, (Katalog) Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, Köln (DE)
2006
Motherboard, Frauenhofer Haus München - Art meets Science, München (DE)
2003
Motherboard (Katalog), Fraunhofer Gesellschaft für Graphische Datenverarbeitung IGD, Darmstadt (DE), House Art
 
DASA, Galerie im Deutschen Arbeitsschutzmuseum, Dortmund (DE)
2002
Künstlerstühle, Galerie 68 elf, Köln (DE)
 
Jump Shit Rat“ Galerie Jump Shit Rat, 25 Jahre Städtepartnerschaft, Köln-Liverpool (DE-GB)
 
Motherboard (Katalog), Deutsches Museum Bonn, Bonn (DE)
 
Motherboard, Kunstwerk in der alten Weberei, Langenfeld (DE)
2001
Fifty–Fifty, Agrippa Bad Köln, Köln (DE)
2000
Tuchfühlung I, Kunstverein Langenberg, Lippisches Landesmuseum (DE)
1998
RWE Park, Essen (DE)
 
Galerie zum kleinen Schwan, Baden (DE)
1997
Free Tibet, Osteuropäisches Kulturzentrum Köln, Köln (DE)
 
Kunstverein Langenberg (DE)
1996
Galerie Seidel, Köln (DE)
1995
Tohuwabohu, Deutsche Welle, Köln (DE)
 
Media Park Glas-Saal, Köln (DE)
1994
Grundsteinkiste 365 (Katalog), Kunstverein Langenberg (DE)
 
Art Multiple Düsseldorf, Ausstellungsbeitrag Kunstverein Langenberg (DE)
 
ART Cologne, Ausstellungsbeitrag Kunstverein Langenberg (DE)
1993
Vasarely Museum (Katalog), Budapest (H)
 
Paul Luchtenberg Stiftung, Burscheid (DE)
1992
Gustav Stresemann Institut, Bonn (DE)
1991
Künstlergruppe „BASTARTS“, Osteuropäisches Kulturzentrum, Köln (DE)
1989
Galerie im alten Kloster, Köln (DE)
1988
Grafik der Gegenwart (Kalender), Arbeiterwohlfahrt Bonn (DE)
1987
Werkschule Köln, Köln (DE)
1984
Simultanhalle, Köln (DE)