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Art Dark Art Hyperreal Nude Painting Surreal

Between Presence and Absence: Paintings by Istvan Sandorfi

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, surreal people

Istvan Sandorfi was a Hungarian surrealist painter who died in 2007 at the age of 59. Not many people seem to know of his work today (he himself had a modest opinion of his ability, claiming “I never had the impression that I really knew how to paint”), but his mind-bending experiments depicting the simultaneous presence and absence of the figural body deserve wide recognition. People appear and disappear, contorting and collapsing with the muscular drama of Baroque paintings, but dissolving into darkness or cold, institution-like rooms. Trapped in purgatory, the figures float between this world and the next, between human subjectivity and the object of a corpse. It is hard to believe that Sandorfi achieved these effects with a paintbrush, but his work invokes an unparalleled realism that resonates deeply with both the logical and emotional brain.

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, twisted, distorted figures

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, dissolving bodies

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, men and birds

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, figure covered in sheets

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, arched body

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, reclining nude women

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, two sitting figures with covered faces

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, torso

Istvan Sandorfi - painting, disembodied hand painting

Images © Jane Kahan Gallery and Friends of Sandorfi