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Andrea Dezso

SojournLotusIslandsThePathLayHiddenIslandRaumaLaceAdriftNightGardenSleepwalkingLobsterman & CrabmanSummerFlowerWinterFlowerHungry Flowers



Opening Thursday, September 12 6-8pm – October 19, 2013

Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Andrea Dezsö’s inaugural exhibition, Without Myself, on September 12, 2013, and on view through October 19, 2013. The opening reception will take place Thursday, September 12 from 6–8 pm.

A multi-talented artist exceptional for her ability to move between mediums, New York-based Dezsö relies on traditional media to express the non-traditional. Without Myself will feature a range of handcrafted works, notable for their extraordinary detail and enigmatic narratives, including ink brush marker paintings; graphite pencil drawings on hand-made Japanese papers; paper collage, acrylic and ink paintings on canvas; and Dezsö’s remarkable tunnel books. Beautiful and outlandish, mystical and absurd, Dezsö’s intricate organic designs and unusual nature-inspired landscapes tell stories that weave together psychological, historical and ornamental themes. While the works’ ambiguities leave viewers to figure out Dezsö’s stories for themselves, the palette, restricted to black, white and silver, is intentionally subversive, subtly revealing the story of an artist caught between worlds.

The surrealist character of Dezsö’s work may be attributed to the artist’s personal history. Born in Romania under a communist regime, Dezsö’s background has long been an important influence, and in this new body of work she continues to draw on the idiosyncrasies of her birthplace. As a child in Romania, without a television and not allowed to travel, Dezsö instead immersed herself in books, collecting and careful observation of the world around her. She developed a fascination with nature—insects and strange creatures and plants—and, as a means of escape, dreamed often of flight, space travel and otherworldly places.

In some ways, Without Myself maintains Dezsö’s practice of translating into visual form the escapist fantasies of her childhood. Her intricate tunnel books, for example, create mini worlds that allow viewers the chance to escape momentarily to an alternate universe. However, in this exhibition Dezsö also takes her work in a new direction focused specifically on the concept of the self. Moved by the childhood memory of absent family members, she considers what it means to disappear. The figures in her paintings and drawings are made to appear absent, shaped only by the foggy, empty spaces between them, which, in turn, become solid and tangible. In this manner, Without Myself considers fundamentally human concerns: for example, what sort of absence is created when someone or something is no longer present? And what does it mean to experience the world from within—or outside of—the confines of one particular self?

Andrea Dezsö earned both her BFA in graphic design and typography and her MFA in visual communications from the Hungarian University of Design, Budapest. Her work has been exhibited in collections nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Rice University Art Gallery, Houston; and Fujikawa Kirie Art Museum, Japan. Dezsö and her work have also been reviewed by ArtForum, ArtNews, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS, and New York Magazine. In 2007, Dezsö was awarded Best American Public Art for her large-scale mosaic, Community Garden, installed in the Bedford Park Boulevard/Lehman College subway station in the Bronx, New York City. Dezsö is also an award-winning illustrator, and her illustrations have been featured in many books, CD covers, and magazines. She is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Previously, she served on the faculty of the Parsons School of Design, New York.



1996 MFA Visual Communication, Hungarian University of Design, Budapest, Hungary
1994 BFA Graphic Design & Typography, Hungarian University of Design, Budapest, Hungary

Without Myself, Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, NY
Andrea Dezsö: Strangely Layered, Pucker Gallery, Boston, MA
Andrea Dezsö, Gallery Ark Kültür, Istanbul, Turkey
Her Kingdom Under The Sea, Tides Institute & Museum of Art, Eastport, ME
Haunted Ridgefield, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Things We Think When We Believe We Know, Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Sometimes In My Dreams I Fly, Rice Gallery,Houston, TX
Extremely History, Bridge Art Fair, Hungarian Cultural Institute, NY
Kokoro, Kamiyama, Tokushima, Japan
Living Inside, BravinLee Gallery Artists Book Program, NY
Between Worlds, Balassi Cultural Institute, Budapest, Hungary
Small Works, Lehman Gallery, Bronx, NY
Tales From Serbia, Ozone Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia
Tarot, FMK: Black Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

In The Air, 6 glass mosaic murals on 3500 sq. feet wall space, CUNY, Borough of Manhattan Community College Fiterman Hall, NYC
Blueberry Garden, 3 murals, 667 sq. feet, ceramic and glass mosaic, United States Embassy, Bucharest,Romania,commissioned by Art in Embassies, US Department of State
Nature Rail, 58 panels, stainless steel, 62nd St, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn NYC subway station, MTA Arts for Transit
Between Worlds, painted mural at the Balassi Institute, Hungarian Ministry of Culture, Budapest, Hungary
Community Garden, 33’ X 8’ glass mosaic in the Bedford Park Boulevard, New York City subway station, NY

Community Art Project, Saari Residence, Mietonen, Finland
Teen Immigrant Mural Project, The New York Immigration Coalition, NYC

UK Jewish Film Festival: The Demon Bridegroom, London, UK
Jerusalem International Jewish Film Festival: The Demon Bridegroom, Jerusalem, Israel
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: The Demon Bridegroom, San Francisco, CA
Labapalooza Festival of New Puppetry: The Demon Bridegroom, St. Ann’s Warehouse Brooklyn, NY


Pucker Gallery, Boston, MA with Miraku Kamei (upcoming)
That’s What She Said, University of Pennylvania, Kelly Writers House, Phildadelphia, PA with Elaine Reicheck
My Country, Hungarian Cultural Institute, NY with Miwa Koizumi
Jack Tilton Gallery, NY with Yun-Fey Ji and Randy Wray
Collegium Hungaricum Vienna, Austria with Sandor Racmolnar and Monika Kaszta


The First Cut, Manchaster Art Gallery, Manchaster, UK
Kirie of the World, Fujikawa Kirie Art Museum, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
New York Fiber in the 21st Century, Lehman Gallery, Bronx, NY
Inspiring Spaces: 25 Years of MTA Arts For Transit, New York Transit Museum, NY
I will cut thrU: Pochoirs, Carvings, and Other Cuttings, New York Center for Book Arts, NY
The Blab Show, Society of Illustrators, NY
Slash: Paper Under the Knife, Museum of Arts & Design, NY
Cheongjou Craft Biennial, Main Pavilion, Cheongjou, South Korea
Global Fabrics, Common Threads, ISE Cultural Foundation Japan Gallery, NY
CJ Picture Book Award Exhibition, Korea Foundation Cultural Center, Seoul, South Korea
Scherenschnitte-Kontur pur, Museum Bellerieve, Zurich, Switzerland
Random Utterness, Hungarian Cultural Institute, NY
Ladylike, Gosia Koscielak Gallery, Chicago, IL
Everything Must Go, Flux Factory, NY
Pricked: Extreme Embroidery, Museum of Arts & Design, NY
Ombres & Lumieres-Shadows & Lights, Musee des Miniatures et Decors de Cinema, Lyon, France
n/ostalgia Show, Collegium Hungarian, Berlin, Germany
LIC NY, Socrates Sculpture Park, with Flux Factory, NY
Ten Years Running, Chelsea Art Museum, NY
New York Armory Show, Jack Tilton Gallery, NY
Bronx-Bound: MTA Public Art in the Bronx, Lehman College Art Gallery, NY
Opolis, Flux Factory, NY
Art Basel Miami, Jack Tilton Gallery, Miami, FL
New York Armory Show, Jack Tilton Gallery, NY
The History of the Jack Tilton Gallery, Jack Tilton Gallery, NY


(In progress) Art in Embassies, United States Department of State, Bucharest, Romania
Candlewick Publishing, Jon Koertge, Andrea Dezsö: Lies, Knives&Girls in Red Dresses, book cover art and illustrations
Sterling Publishing, Children’s Classics Leather Series – C books: Peter Pan; The Secret Garden; Black Beauty;
Treasure Island; The Adventures of King Arthur & His Knights, The Swiss Family Robinson; book cover art,
Target: Art for Halloween in store-decorations, world-wide
New York Botanical Garden: Haunted Pumpkin Garden, art for signage and advertising
MTA Arts for Transit; Nature Rail 60th St, NYC subway station, stainless steel permanent public art, Brooklyn, NY
Sometimes inMy Dreams I Fly, large scale site specific installation, Rice Gallery, Houston, TX
Court Yard Hounds, art for album cover, website and merchandising, SonyMusic, Columbia Records
Garden Dwellers, art poster displayed in subway cars for one year, MTA Arts For Transit, NY
Between Worlds, painted mural at the Balassi Institute, Hungarian Ministry of Culture, Budapest, Hungary
Community Garden, glass mosaic in the Bedford Park Boulevard, NYC subway station, MYA Arts for Transit, NY

Comissions also include numerous, award-winning illustrations for clients including The New York Times,Harper’s magazine,
Time magazine, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Men’s Health, New York University,McSweeney’s, Esopus and many others.

Saari Residence, Artist-in-Residence in Visual Arts, Mietonen, Finland
Hampshire College Crown Faculty Development Grant: Exploring & Creating Community Art in Finland
Mellon Foundation Faculty Language Learning Grant to study Japanese
Marion and Jasper Whiting Fellowship to fund art research travel to Indonesia Hampshire College Faculty Development NEH Challenge Grant: New Approaches: Integrating Animated Video Into Sculptural Installations to Create a New Body of Artwork NPR Books Best Books of 2012 for Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses, written by Jon Koertge, illustrated by Andrea
Great Reads In Store: Indie Booksellers Pick 2012’s Best for Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses, written by Jon Koertge, illustrated by A. Dezsö
Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year for Lies, Knives and Girls in Red Dresses, written by Jon Koertge, illustrated by Andrea Dezsö
San Francisco International Wine Competition- 2011 Label Design Award forMoon Curser wine label art
Marcella Brenner Faculty Development Grant from the Maryland Institute College of Art
Kohler Arts/Industry Fellowship with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kohler, WI
American Illustration Award for editorial illustration created for Men’s Health magazine
Society of Publication Designers PUB44 Award for editorial illustration created forMen’s Health magazine
Parsons The New School for Design, Faculty Development Dissemination Grant, NY
Print Magazine Regional Design Annual Award
American Illustration Award for editorial illustration created for The New York Times Op Ed page
Kamiyama Artist-in-Residence, Tokushima, Japan
Queens Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Initiative, NY
Puppet Lab Project Development Fellowship at St. Ann’sWarehouse, Brooklyn, NY
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Drawing, Printmaking and Artist’s Books
Six Points Fellowship in Visual Arts, NY
Community Garden named Best of American Public Art 2007 by Americans for the Arts
How Green Is My Garden illustration named Notable Op-Ed Art of the Year by the New York Times
Parsons The New School for Design, Faculty Development Grant, NY
Parsons The New School for Design, Faculty Development Grant, NY
Lois Nellie Gill Award for Female Visual Artist of Exceptional Merit, awarded byEe Ucross Foundation
Ucross Foundation, Artist-in-Residence in visual arts, Sheridan, WY

Black, H. (2012 Oct) Twice-Told Tales ‘Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses,’ and More, New York Times Book Review Hey! – Revue D’Art, No. 12 (2012) France
Ramirez-Montagut,M. (2011)Dezsö: Haunted Ridgefield, Exhibition Catalog, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, US
Feinstein, L. (2010 Dec) Andrea Dezsö at Frey Norris, Reviews: National, ArtNews
Lasarow, B. (2010 Dec 30 )The Southwest’s Top Ten Exhibition Picks for dbcb, The Huffington Post
Britt, D. (2010 Dec 30) ‘A Look Back at Art, Houston Art, 29-95 Art
Britt, D. (2010 April 7) ‘Tunnelbooks’ grow to life size in DREAMS, Houston Chronicle
Recker, K. (2009 November) Folk Drifter, feature, Hand/EyeMagazine
Rosenberg, K. (2009 October 19) Move Over, Humble Doily: Paper Does a Star Turn, New York Times
Peers, A. (2009 March 8) The Art World Embraces Arts & Crafts at Armory Week, New York Magazine
Hemmings, J. (2009 April/May) Persistent Visions:Moving Images by Andrea Dezsö, Fiber Arts magazine
Eler, A. (2008 July) Ladylike: A Proper Take on Feminist Art Artforum: Critics’ Pick
Gurewitsch,M. (2008 February 14) OnWest 53rd St MoMa Has No Monopoly On Art, The Wall Street Journal
DiNoto, A. (2008 February/March) Pricked, Extreme Embroidery, American Craft Magazine
Rosenberg, K. (2007 December 28) Needling More Than The Feminist Consciousness, New York Times
Camhi, L. (2007 Nov 20) Let’s Get Stitched, Village Voice
Heidarpur, R. (2007 June 5) Art as a Bitter Pill, Coated With Sweetener, New York Times

Art in Embassies: Andrea Dezsö Installs Her Mural at the US Embassy in Bucharest, (2013) Art in Embassies, Youtube PBS Off Book: Book Art (2012) PBS & Youtube & Vimeo
Treasures of New York, Art Underground (2012) PBS & www.pbs.org
Rice Gallery: Andrea Dezsö: Sometimes In My Dreams I Fly, www.ricegallery.org & Vimeo
Houston Public Radio (2010) The Front Row – Rice Gallery, Interview with Meghan Hendley KUHF 88.7 FM
Museum of Arts & Design: In the Studio: Andrea Dezsö (2009) Museum of Arts & Design Youtube NPR, Bryant Park Project (2008) The Curious Genius of Fine Art Embroidery Simon, S. (2008, April 2) Queens Artists Displaced By MTA Expansion Hold Last Exhibit, NY1 TV

Threads, Contemporary Embroidery, Exhibition Catalog, Fowler-Decatur, E., McNamara, J. (2013) Dowd Gallery, US
Strangely Layered, The World of Andrea Dezsö, Exhibition Catalog, Davenport, K. (2013) Pucker Gallery, US
L’art du pop-up et du livre animé, Trebbi, J-Ch. (2012) Éditions Alternatives, France
Grafist XVI, the 16th Istanbul International Graphic Design Week in Turkey, Catalog, Mimar Sinan Art University (2012) Dezsö: Haunted Ridgefield, Exhibition Catalog, Ramirez-Montagut, M. (2011) Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, US
Push Paper, Zollars, J. (2011) Lark Books, US Illustration, Hall, A. (2011) Laurence King Publishing UK Papercraft 2 (2011), Gestalten Verlag, Berlin, Germany
Master Series: Book Art, Wallace Eileen (2011) Lark Books, US
Things We Think When We Believe We Know, Exhibition Catalog, Meis, M. , (2010) Frey Norris Gallery, US
Sometimes In My Dreams I Fly, Exhibition Catalog, Fisher, J., (2010) Rice Gallery, US
Slash – Paper Under The Knife, Exhibition Catalog, McFadden, D. (2009) Museum of Arts & Design New York
Perfect Paper, Loh, Adeline (2009) Page One Publishing, Singapore
Sketchbooks, The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators & Creatives, Brereton, R. (2009) L. King Publishers, UK
Cultural Cross-Dressing– Art On The Ruins Of Socialism, András, E. (2009) Argumentum, Hungary
Contemporary Textiles, The Fabric of Fine Art, Monem, N. editor (2008) Black Dog Publishers, UK
Bookcraft, Weston, H. (2008) Quarto Rockport Books, UK
2008 Kamiyama Artist In Residence Catalog, Kato, E., Sugimoto, T(2008), KAIR, Japan
Pricked, Extreme Embroidery, Exhibition Catalog, McFadden, D. (2007) Museum of Arts & Design New York
Andrea Dezsö: Fetish Book, Rajicic, N. editor (2005) FIA Publishing Group, Belgrade, Serbia

I wanted to be alone in quite an unusual, new way. The very opposite of what you are thinking: namely, without myself…” – Luigi Pirandello

In my drawings, paper cuts and paintings I tell stories. My visual narratives range from the mystical to the absurd and I often use traditional techniques to express non-traditional or subversive content. I am drawn to the visually unusual, weaving together psychological, historical and ornamental themes, and find unspeakable beauty in the natural world. Sometimes in my dreams I fly, although not as often as when I was a child in Romania, then I flew every night.

In one way or another, many of the images I’ve been creating lately touch on the idea of disappearance and absence. There is a sort of absence when a space has never been inhabited, and then there is a different sort of absence that is left behind when something or someone has been removed and is no longer present. It’s more of a negative imprint.

I was inspired by an old shop sign I saw as a child, a tailor’s sign depicting a mother, father and young girl walking together holding hands, coat tails flapping. Above the family was the name of the tailor in elegant script and the sign was in good enough shape, except the three figures which must have been painted with a different kind of paint less impervious to time and the elements had completely peeled off, so the family appeared as well-defined, detailed silhouettes of rust, absences from the painted background. That sign always reminded me of the people who were absent from my family, taken away during the war to death or forced labor camps long before I was born, people whose names were seldom mentioned and whose pictures were locked away. I often passed by that sign on my way from school and wondered how in the picture, as in the real world, people did not just disappear without a trace but they left their detailed absences behind in the fabric of life. In these paintings the figures and landscape elements mostly appear as negative spaces, absences, while the watery, snowy, foggy, empty space between the figures becomes solid, tangible.

I feel that I’m disappearing sometimes, liberated from the confines of a particular self, a reward I experience through my studio practice, the cessation of self-preoccupation and doubt.