Marté Szirmay

Hungary / Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1946

Sculpture 1971, #2

  • 1971
  • Aluminium
  • Purchased with assistance from The Group and other donors, 1972
  • 72/01

The vigorous, sharp-edged qualities of this work interplay with curved reflective surfaces to cut into space. As the viewer moves, it mirrors the shifting light of their surroundings. Marté Szirmay arrived in New Zealand as a child with her family in 1957 following the Hungarian revolution. Graduating with Honours in sculpture from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland in 1968, she made this work while Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago from 1971–72. Originally formed in wax, then cast in a Dunedin foundry, it was described at Marté’s 1971 exhibition at the Canterbury Society of Arts as “the largest work in the exhibition [and] the most exuberant.”

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • 1969 Comeback Special 27 August – 6 November 2016

    Marté Szirmay, along with Carl Sydow and John Panting, were part of a new generation of New Zealand sculptors working with abstract forms in the early 1970s. Based in Auckland, Szirmay held a solo exhibition at the Canterbury Society of Arts in December 1971. This work was acquired from the exhibition with the assistance of members of artists’ collective The Group and the fundraising activities of the Sculptor’s Group. This generosity enabled Muir to secure the sculpture for the collection, as he held insufficient funds in the Gallery’s annual budget for acquisitions at the time.