Author: Pilaszanovich Irén – art historian
Title: The art of Ica Zilahi
29th November, 2012
Postal Museum and Cultural Foundation – Benczur House
Ica Zilahi’s work is built first of all on intuition. It hints of a tenderness that could even be a prime criterion for suprematism. Her sensitivity suggests that the tenderness is not an alloy to something, but the point expressly named and presented: the immanent center of her world view.
But still, the thing violently pushed forward in the professional barbarian’s mind, asking to be expressed in big print is this surrealism… “beautiful like the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on the dissection table”. The astounding image pairing is the emblematic signature of surrealist thinking imagery.
Nevertheless, Zilahi is not a brutal and cruel nor distant and cold intellect, neither a philosophically inclined creator. We already know this ism has so many variations. We could also say that her surrealism is a very feminine one, and she uses very particular symbols. Knowledge here is useless, association is more important, and each viewer can incorporate the images in their own linguistic system.
Ica Zilahi’s paintings are not characterized by exaltation, confused feelings or shouts calling for retaliation.
In my opinion we need to address the role of the puppet-doll images. Each doll is a small self-portrait that most honestly reflects its creator’s psychological state. With eyes wide open, in their best clothes, these dolls show us a destiny. They wait, closed in boxes… Their skinny little limbs are incapable of moving, even in the best case scenario they just stumble around as in “Oops oops little girl”. The author does not hint at their similarity, but at their state, their fallen and vulnerable character.
Zilahi purloins the real time in which the story might have taken place, and does the same thing with the space as well.
We must peremptory mention the suggestive guess as a specific to Zilahi’s painting, who uses such theatrically constructed forms that can be praised in “last supper” terms.
From whatever standpoint we look at Ica Zilahi’s work and try to analyze it, we are always awaiting admission in to the secret realm she suggests, to which not even the often depicted key motifs are sure to open the gate… Her poetic vision, because Zilahi is indeed creating poetry, like synesthesia, is waiting to be unraveled by metaphor… I could continue to write about colors, the strong reds and cold blues, and their particular relationship. About the old stone kitchen floors, carved toys and tin cars, about still life and its special appearances, and their refined melting together. Or about her captivating professionalism regarding painting.
We viewers, as recipients, get the opportunity to turn inwards into ourselves with her help. Because the best guarantee of enjoying art is a better knowledge of ourselves.