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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Imre Varga (1923–2019)

Sculptor born in Siófok, Hungary. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, 1950–56, under Pál Pátzay and Sándor Mikus. The first work which attracted attention was Prometheus in 1965. He had his first solo exhibition in Budapest in 1967. In 1973, he won the Kossuth Prize and in 1982, the Herder Prize. Since 1983, his work has been permanently exhibited in Laktanya Street, Óbuda, Budapest. In 1984, he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 2003, he was awarded the Society of Portrait Sculptors’ Jeanne Masson-Davidson silver medal. Varga’s principal works are his statues of Béla Bartók – a model with casts in Budapest and in Makó, Hungary, 1981; in Square Béla Bartók, Paris, 1982; Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, 2004; and Koerner Hall, Toronto, 2005 – and another with a cast in Place d’Espagne, Brussels, 1995. In addition, all in Hungary, are his Women with Umbrellas in Obuda, Budapest; La Charogne, a sculpture inspired by Baudelaire’s poem of the same name in Siófok; and his statues of the president of the first republic of Hungary, Mihály Károlyi, in Budapest, of the poet Lőrinc Szabó in Miskolc, and of the painter Gyula Derkovits in Szombathely. He also executed a Holocaust Memorial for Budapest, a relief depicting St Stephen for the crypt of St Peter’s, Rome, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg for Tel Aviv, Israel.

Principal source: information supplied by Malcolm Rudland, Peter Warlock Society (7 March 2018).

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 244–45; ‘Imre Varga’, Wikipedia.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Varga, Imre

Imre Varga, 2004 (photo: Varga.lukacs; public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)