Ilona Szalay was born in Beirut and is now based in London. Her oil and resin paintings trace a path through a world of conflict and power play, a place of rigid hierarchy and fierce competition. Using a spare, concise visual language the work explores notions of vulnerability and beauty, dominance and submission, violence and control. The pictures are permeated with a lonely sense of yearning and a poignant straining towards something infinite. Transitory spaces are permeated by stark brushstrokes, creating images which seem to harbour some ominous secret history.
Ilona Szalay’s work has been exhibited at numerous London galleries including the Royal Academy and Rebecca Hossack Gallery. In 2013 she won the Italian contemporary art prize ORA. Her work was also selected as one of six finalists for the prestigious Threadneedle Prize as well as being chosen for the Barbican Arts Open Exhibition.