Zsuzsanna Udvarhelyi

Zsuzsanna Udvarhelyi

Hungarian artist Zsuzsanna, known in international art circles under the name Zsud, paints portraits that reveal another level of intimacy and transparency.

Udvarhelyi says: “On busy workdays, I move around picking out strangers’ faces, looking at them, trying to imagine their story. Sometimes, if I get inspired, I ask them to sit for me. This doesn't mean I paint their faces. I'm not interested in portraiture, I just want to capture their souls, their hearts.”

“I'm not looking for extreme stories, I want to paint everyday life. I want my models to show their inner being, to express their hopes and fears. I like the awkward gait of young girls on their high heels. I love seeing people dance and work off some steam in an effort to avoid breaking down in tears. I want to capture the pride, vanity and joy, but also the fleeting, the elusive. I'm interested in people who take the time for happiness and for sadness. I want the viewer to remember times in his life when he experienced such feelings.”

She studied art in Budapest and Vienna, and also in the French city of Nancy. Zsud has exhibited in the US, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Monaco, Italy, France and Qatar.

Her delicately textured creations produce an elegant aura that unfolds into a fragile and exquisite atmosphere for visitors to her exhibitions. Zsud portrays many of her visions through the classically matured decorative world of Art Nouveau. Zsud has also applied her natural talent for expression and authenticity to cityscapes and flowers. Zsud has caught the attention of the art world because of her ability to capture more than what is visible at first glance. Pale colours and stylised Art Nouveau ornaments frequently highlight her work, and the see-through, somewhat blurred silver becomes nearly luminescent when we approach a painting. Colours such as violet, sea-green and sand-yellow contrast with opalescent backgrounds, suggesting the beauty of radiance, light and clarity. Zsud’s motto is: “The role of a painter is not to show what we all can see, but what we are unable to see but are able to know.” Intuition, consciousness and symbolism are universal themes, but Zsud’s goal is to reach the world of instinct and to evoke heroic figures through the common symbols of mankind. Her work is archaic and progressive, timeless, emotional and pure.


Zsud experiments with different techniques. Frescoes, reliefs, oil-paint and the colour of gold offer her an array of possibilities. For the artist, this experimentation is more like a reform than an uncertainty. Zsud says: “I’ve already found my way; I only have to walk it.” Elements of pre-raphaelism as well as the aesthetics of Art Nouveau and of the 'Fauves' are to be found in her work, as the standing, elongated picture surface serves as a vehicle for elegance and aloofness. A legacy from Art Nouveau is the slightly 'sfumato' outline of some of the faces portrayed as the keepers of hidden secrets. In some works, there is also an intentional avoidance of representing a materialistic and everyday world. There is something enchanting about Zsud's work. The spell is uninterrupted from the moment when our first glance discovers the painting with a faint feeling of 'd.j. vu' to the time when we are committed to uncovering its highly detailed textures. In an era of contempt for the 'harmonious' and the 'beautiful', Zsud succeeds in achieving an intensity of romantic expressions. Many who value her work would say that she harbours a deep artistic instinct and possesses a core aesthetic integrity. She manages to interpret western European culture and she presents it enriched with Hungarian flavours.




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