Zsofia Schweger is a Hungarian artist who currently lives and works in London. Her still life paintings of empty interior spaces talk subtly about the people who inhabited them and then left them behind. In her series Sandorfalva, Hungary (2015-17), the subject is inspired by Schweger’s own experience as a Hungarian living elsewhere and coming back to her hometown, Sandorfalva, to find the domestic spaces where she once belonged suspended in their emptiness.
The domestic spaces are populated by doors, chairs, libraries and overall generic furniture, and every reference to a specific space and time is deleted. This procedure helps every viewer in identifying himself with the different scenes transforming a personal experience of displacement into a universal one.
The images are composed of flat colored surfaces carefully balanced in order to underline the pictures’ stillness. The contours of the blocks of color are trembling, as to reveal the human presence of the artist in the otherwise extremely ordered works.
Each one of twenty-eight 4” x 5” paper collages from the series Off the Map (2013-17) is composed using shapes from old historical world maps that were once used to teach history at the college of Wellesley. The postcards depict corners from rooms; the use of old maps, despite their fragmentation, provides notions of scale, distance and depth. As stated by the artist: “an image of a room could contain the whole world.”
From the series: Sandorfalva, Hungary
From the series: Bow, London
From the series: Libraries
From the series: Off the Map
All images © Zsofia Schweger