The Cháj Gallery was opened yesterday with paintings by Klára Szilárd at the Jewish House in Szentendre. The local center of EMIH-The Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities has so far only served as a synagogue, but cultural and lifestyle programs, and soon a kosher café, will also be available.
Klára Szilárd (1921-2017) was primarily a painter, but she also worked as a glass artist and made iron sculptures. She was at home in all painting techniques. Her works include „transcribed” poetic landscapes, surreal combinations of elements that do not really belong together (such as a desert and Parisian houses); she also used vegetation as the subject of many of her drawings, watercolors and oil paintings.
The exhibition of the internationally renowned painter and graphic artist, who once also worked in Szentendre, is entitled “Vándorúton” (“The wandering path”) and is expected to be open from May 5 to mid-July. In the future, it is planned that people will be able to get acquainted with the works of another artist every two to three months.
„I am sure that the work that goes on in this house, which uses the language of religion, culture and now art, will enhance and enrich not only the Jewish community, but the entire community of Szentendre”
– said Shlomo Köves, Chief Rabbi of EMIH-The Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities, in his opening speech.
The head of the Szentendre synagogue also expressed his pleasure that the gallery could finally open after the pandemic:
„We have chosen the name ‘Vándorúton‘ for this exhibition because it represents the wandering Jew,
who does not feel at home everywhere in the world, and which all Jews experience to some extent. This is demonstrated not only by her paintings but also by Klára Szilárd’s career”
– said Rabbi Myers Menachem Mendel of Szentendre.
The center — which until now only housed the synagogue — was opened two and a half years ago by EMIH-The Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities. The plans back then called for a lifestyle center that would bring together a number of institutions, mainly related to Judaism. After the opening of the Chai Gallery, Szentendre’s first kosher café will be launched in a few weeks.