Beke László, Pierre Emmanuel, Schaár Erzsébet, Budapest, Corvina, 1973→
Kovács Péter, Pilinszky János, Schaár Erzsébet, Székesfehérvár, István Csók Gallery, 1974→
Az István Király Múzeum Schaár Erzsébet gyűjteménye Erzsébet Schaár collection of the King Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár, István Király Múzeum, 1980
Erzsébet Schaár, Tibor Vilt, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, 3 June – 10 July 1977
After her studies, Erzsébet Schaár started to exhibit her work beginning in 1926 and later received the Szinyei Young Artist Award in 1932 (she would also go on to win the Munkácsy Prize in 1962). She worked mostly in Budapest, where her rivalry with her husband, sculptor Tibor Vilt, was a source of conflict. Her early works were marked by a realist style (My Mother, 1925) that quickly evolved towards a minimalist expression in which characters were embodied by very few symbols. She conquered, for example, polystyrene pillars of human height with mortuary masks mostly representing women’s faces. Between 1947 and 1950, she worked in terracotta and wood, preparing relief sculptures. In the 1960s, she turned towards slender forms similar to those of Giacometti (Choeur, 1963, Dead Soldiers, 1965). Although she often used ordinary people as her subjects, she also realised portraits of celebrities.
In the 1970s, she created “space-boxes,” devices involving the participation of the spectator, allowing the “lyrical space” to become more important than the figures themselves, according to art historian László Beke. She often used details that she would enlarge (Doors, 1937), the wall playing a primordial role (Before and behind the wall, 1968). Her most important work, Street (1974) – a synthesis of all her past experiences – can be considered as a living memorial. Several of her portraits can be found in public spaces. Others, like Street, are preserved in public collections.
Erzsébet Schaár, Walls and Doors, 1967, bronze, assembled, cast, 38 × 40.5 × 26.5 cm, Hungarian National Gallery
Erzsébet Schaár, Before the Wall and Behind the Wall I, 1965-66, bronze, 24 x 18.5 x 11.5 cm, Hungarian National Gallery