István Nyári

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István Nyári
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Born (1952-02-25) February 25, 1952 (age 71)
EducationMoholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
StyleHyperrealism (visual arts), Photorealism, Lowbrow (art movement)
MovementHyperrealism (visual arts)
Patron(s)István Balogh, József Finta

István Nyári (born February 25 1952, Budapest) is a Hungarian Hyperrealism (visual arts) painter awarded with the Mihály Munkácsy Prize (2009) and the Prima regional award (2021).

Career path

István Nyári graduated as an advertising graphics major at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design|Hungarian College of Applied Arts in 1977. He has been active in fine arts since 1978. At the turn of the 70s and 80s he came out with hyperrealistic, photo-like paintings (Csirkeragu (Chicken Stew), 1981, Szombathelyi képtár). He continued to work in the same precise, dispassionate, but very graphic style, pasting together different motifs, for more than a decade. His interest then turned towards the relationship between kitsch and fine art. He created reliefs, objects and compositions infused with this worldview. In addition to his individual exhibitions, his work was part of several group exhibitions in Hungary, the United States, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Spain, and Switzerland. The National Portrait Gallery, London|National Portrait Gallery in London selected one of his paintings for display[1]. This work was exhibited for a year in Scotland and Wales. His works have been included in several domestic public collections, and a large portion of them has been acquired by private collectors in Australia, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary. Since 1994 there have been several publications about his art, not only by renowned Hungarian experts, but also in Switzerland and Spain. Juxtapoz|Juxtapoz Magazine[2] also published an article about him showcasing his surreal paintings, as well as Art-Sheep magazine at a later date[3]. In 2019, he was included in the list of the most expensive living and dead Hungarian fine artists[4]. Nyári is sympathetic to the Lowbrow (art movement)|Lowbrow movement, but fundamentally he considers himself a pop-surrealist.

Personal Life

His mother was Éva Gera (1996†), his father was Lóránt Nyári (1982†), both painters. He is closely related to Dezső Bokros Birman, a nude and portrait sculptor.

His first wife was textile artist Judit Gink (2009†). His second wife was Ibolya Hegyi (2016†), textile artist and art historian. They had one child (Gábor, creative producer at RTL, 1977). His third wife is Mercédesz Birck (EU competence developer and career coach), with whom he had one child (Benjámin, painter, 1988). His grandchildren are Luca (2007), Simon (2011), Áron (2021).

He lived in the United States between 1985 and 1990. From 2000, he has been living in Brussels, London, Amsterdam, and Budapest.


"István Nyári is best known for his wall-sized paintings that walk a fine line between (hyper)realism and pop-surrealism. His artwork is often mentioned together with posthumanistic visions, elements bordering on kitsch, absurd situations and phenomena from different subcultures. These reflect the absurdities of the consumer society of the 21st century and the depressive fixations of our objectified environment in a satirical and almost spooky way."[5]The curator of the 2016 exhibition at Hall of Art, Budapest|Műcsarnok, titled “Frissen” (Freshly), described Nyári as follows: "The paintings of Nyári take us to distances that are usually reserved for music. This artist, however, chose visual arts. He creates with acrylic paint on canvas, while giving our souls and minds divine, childlike freedom and adventures. Adventures we always had the instruments to experience, only we were prevented from seeing them by the image in front of us - we blocked our own view by pretending to be serious. Nyári is entertaining. He sparkles, sharp enough to poke us in the eye and in the heart, coming surprisingly close with magnified images and endless realms of visually inspired thought, causing embarrassing confusion. His work defines him as an outsider, but in many ways, he is very typical of the style of the lowbrow art movement that started in the late 70’s in Los Angeles, and whose main form of expression was painting. This style, appearing from the Californian subculture, also uses the same erotics, kitsch, plastic cartoon characters, kustom pop and sideshow culture, retro illustrations, tattoos and religious art features as the exhibited artworks." (István Nyári: Ameuropean outsider, - straight from the studio)[6]According to Orsolya Szemethy (artmagazin, 2007)[7]:

"if I look at the cruelly concrete still lives of István Nyári, I am overcome by worrisome emotions. Because a Pokémon in itself is not terrifying at all. However, context reinforces the assumption: I can’t even trust this tiny creature anymore! If there is an error in the Matrix, the small plastic paws will grab a chainsaw and go at the porcelain piglet. There is no cleaning lady who could remove the blood stains from the crime scene: the stage set by the shiny cabinet. The messages are concerning, but the set is breathtaking. Who could resist the superbly perfect smile of a Barbie doll or the soft rose petals, the barocque cavalcade and ethereal lights? After a more thorough examination, of course, we can see that the silky surfaces are a bit too perfect, and they reflect our gaze a bit too harshly. The rose petals start to remind us of the bubbling surface of a freshly skinned piece of meat. From the waist down, even Barbie’s gorgeous body leaves something to be desired. I always used to think that such kind, funny, and deadly ironic signals were important in art, if they were not telling a story (like in the work of Tibor Csernus), but they guide us into the popular culture of microorganisms with scientific thoroughness. The mechanism is similar here. The viewer is pulled into the story being told by the professional execution. The puppets of Csernus are real models, but what they keep on their nightstand in a potential disorder is shown by István Nyári. … When watching the epic Kill Bill movies by Tarantino, we can participate in many a symbolic trial amidst similarly attractive sets… What showed up with Jeff Koons as gold, it shows up as blood here.

Other works

In the early stage of his career, he designed album covers for classical and popular music, including the covers of Gammapolis by Omega (band)|Omega, Az arc (The face), and Középeurópai Hobo Blues (Central European Hobo Blues) by Hobo Blues Band.[8] Nyári designed and printed (with Miklós Haraszti) the first covers of Beszélő, a samizdat publication.[9]

He worked as a set designer for Omega (band)|Omega, a costume designer for Hobo Blues Band, then he became an artistic partner for Gábor Bachman for the set of Narcissus and Psyche|Nárcisz és Psyché (Narcissus and Psyche) by Gábor Bódy.

Individual exhibitions

  • 2021 David Kovats Gallery, London[10]
  • 2017 Beauty & Beast, NextArt Galéria, Budapest[11]
  • 2016 kArton galéria, Budapest[12]
  • 2013 Virág Judit Galéria, Budapest[13]
  • 2008 White Galéria, Budapest
  • 2007 White Galéria, Budapest
  • 2006 White Galéria, Budapest
  • 2004 MEO – Kortárs Művészeti Gyűjtemény, Budapest
  • 2003 Galamb Galéria, Budapest
  • 2001 XO Galéria, Budapest
  • 1999 XO Galéria, Budapest
  • 1996 Vigadó Galéria, Budapest
  • 1994 Várfok Galéria, Budapest
  • 1992 Istvan Király Múzeum, Székesfehérvár
  • 1991 Dorottya utcai Kiállítóterem. Budapest
  • 1985 Liget Galéria, Budapest
  • 1976 Fiatal Művészek Klubja, Budapest

Select group exhibitions

  • 2015 Frissen – Egyenesen a műteremből, Műcsarnok[14]
  • 2014 Kápolna Galéria, -Kecskemét-Határlények- Az emberi test átváltozásai, Múzeumok Éjszakája
  • 2013 Deadly Nature – Modem, Debrecen
  • 2011 Mexico Sinestro, Resistance Gallery London
  • 2011 BP Portrait Award, Aberdeen Art Gallery
  • 2011 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery London
  • 2010 Legszínesebb nyár, BUMBUM, Budapest
  • 2009 Kortársak és klassikusok válogatott munkái. BUMBUM, Budapest
  • 2008 White Galéria, Budapest
  • 2007 White Galéria, Budapest
  • 2006 “Hommage á Márai Sándor“, Home Galéria, Budapest
  • 2006 “One for All and All for One”, Aeroplastics Gallery, Brüsszel, Belgium
  • 2005 “Playtime”, Aeroplastics Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2003 “A Mikulás is ember”, MEO, Budapest
  • 2002 “Örökölt realizmus”, Szombathelyi Képtár, Szombathely
  • 2002 KunstZurich, Zürich, Svájc
  • 2001 “Szobrászaton innen és túl”, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 2000 KunstZurich, Zürich, Svájc
  • 2000 “Dialógus”, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 1997 “Olaj/Vászon”, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 1997 “Diaszpóra (És) Art”, Dohány utcai Zsinagóga, Budapest
  • 1996 “Helyzet-kép”, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 1995 “Art of 80s”, Ernst Múzeum, Budapest
  • 1993 “Nueva Pittura del Este”, Galeria del Arte Detursa, Madrid, Spain
  • 1990 “Test-ék”, Budapest Galéria, Budapest
  • 1987 “Mágikus Művek”, Szombathely
  • 1986 Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
  • 1984 “kb. 50515253 cca”, Pécs Galéria, Pécs
  • 1983 Studio’83, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 1982 “Studio ’82”, Műcsarnok, Budapest
  • 1978 Fiatal Művészek Klubja, Budapest

His works in public collections

  • Szombathelyi Képtár. Szombathely
  • Tragor Ignác Múzeum, Vác
  • István Király Múzeum, Székesfehérvár
  • Csók István Képtár, Székesfehérvár
  • Kortárs Művészeti Múzeum, Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest
  • Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest
  • Művészeti Gyűjtemény, Dohány utcai Zsinagóga, Budapest
  • Fashion Institute of Technology, New York


  1. "Istvan Nyari, a modern hyperrealist who creates movie-like paintings". Hinton Magazine. 2022-01-09. Retrieved 2022-11-06.
  2. "Juxtapoz Magazine - Paintings by Istvan Nyari". Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  3. Charmani, Agape (2021-07-13). "Art-Sheep Features: The Hyperrealistic Madness of Istvan Nyari". Art-Sheep. Archived from the original on 23 February 2022. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  4. "A legdrágább élő és nem élő magyar művészek listája". (in magyar). 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  5. Anica, Rudolf (2016-04-08). "A kételkedés nagyszerűsége – Interjú Nyári Istvánnal". ÚjMűvészet (in magyar). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  6. "Egyenesen a műteremből | Magyar Művészeti Akadémia". Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  7. "Borzalmak kis keltetőgépe - Gondolatok Nyári István munkáiról". Artmagazin (in magyar). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  8. "Nyári István". Discogs. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  9. "„Kádárnak mennie kell" – 40 éve indult a szamizdat Beszélő" (in magyar). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. "István Nyári: Hungarian Beauty | Artsy". Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  11. "Beauty & the Beast". (in magyar). 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  12. Szerk, A. (2016-02-28). "De mi történt a 90-es évek előtt Nyári István műtermében?". (in magyar). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  13. "Nyári István hiperképei". (in magyar). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  14. Exxite. "Frissen :: Műcsarnok". (in magyar). Retrieved 2022-02-23.

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