Françoise GILOT is a legend. The woman who left Picasso. The enduring friend of Endre Rozsda. Wife and companion of the world-famous research doctor Dr. Jonas Salk. The last living witness to the development of 20th Century art. Paris and New York. The eternal woman.
Gilots painterly career, spanning 80 years, is a story of triumph, her oeuvre gradually taking its rightful place over the last decades. She has fought many battles to shed the title of "Picasso's muse" and to be recognised by the profession as a first-rate artist in her own right.
Her art traces its roots back to the revolutionary heyday of the twentieth century where she was in direct contact with such notable personalities of the time as Braque, Matisse, Paul Éluard, André Breton, Aragon, Cocteau and Robert Capa.
Her early works show the influence of Matisse and Braque. Between 1941 and 1944 she attended painting classes in the Paris-based studio of the Hungarian artist, Endre Rozsda. In her youth, she was the partner and muse of Pablo Picasso for 10 years, but over the course of their cohabitation she preserved her own artistic style.
She is a highly versatile artist. In addition to painting, she has devoted herself with great enthusiasm to different printing techniques. In the 1950s, she was the first woman to be deemed worthy to print lithographs in the legendary Mourlot Atelier in Paris.
She regards her work as an endless pilgrimage in which it is not arrival that matters, but rather the journey itself.
Her works are exhibited in more than a dozen museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, their prices on the rise.
Last year her works have gained considerable success at the Sothebys auctions in London (Paloma à la Guitare, 1965, $1.3 million) and the Christies special auction in Hong Kong (Living Forest, 1977, $1.27 million).
The relationship between Françoise Gilot and the Várfok Gallery, one of the oldest contemporary art galleries of Hungary came about through Endre Rozsda, the Hungarian Surrealist painter and great friend of Gilot. He introduced Károly Szalóky, owner of the Gallery to Gilot in 1999. Since 2000, the Várfok Gallery has staged several solo exhibitions of Gilot's unparalleled œuvre and it is proud to be the only European gallery to maintain a personal relationship with the artist and to show the largest collection of her work available in Europe.