Jaro Varga

Jaro Varga

b. 1982, Slovakia
Lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic

Jaro Varga is a visual artist and curator. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. His projects were shown in solo and group exhibitions, including “The Yellow Book” (Chiquita Room, Tàpies Foundation, Arús Library, Museum Picasso, Barcelona, 2021), Triennial Kortrijk (Paradise 2021, Belgium), “Secret Language” (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, 2021), Triennal 2021 (Museum of Arts, Olomouc, Czech Republic), “History is His Story” (NEST ruimte voor kunst, The Hague, 2019), “SIGNAL – The Story of Slovak (Post)conceptual Art” (Ludwig Museum Budapest, 2019), “Traveling to the End” (National Museum of Modern and Contemorary Art, ChangDong, Seoul South Korea, 2019), “I Found It Somewhere but I Cannot Find It” (solo show-site specific installation in an old synagogue, Samorin, Slovakia, 2018), “When Artists Speak Truth” (The 8th Floor Gallery, New York City, 2016), “City Diary” (Triangle Arts Association in New York, 2013), Prague Biennale 6, 2013, among others. In 2018 Jaro Varga designed the murals for Sonia Rykiel brand's 50 years anniversary in Paris, London, New York, Tokyo and Seoul, while in 2019 he was artist-in-residence at The Delfina Foundation in London.

Jaro Varga is a commentator on creation and destruction, who enjoys seeking out subtle details of what is lost, and systematically looks after what is just being born. He explores more than just one field of study, his range of interest encompassing geopolitical topography, the production and archiving of knowledge, social faux pas, and forgotten moments in history. He illustrates the various interconnections between the objects, moments, situations, or places that he finds or consciously seeks out by working with both their form and content.

Jaro Varga, “In Someone Else's Game 1 (The Game of Books and Covers)”, 2023, site-specific installation of manually entwined magnetic tape from 12 VHS tapes, 12 books with 8 drawings in ink on plastic jackets, dimensions variable, installation view “In Someone Else’s Game”, solo show, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, 02.02 - 25.03.2023, photo by Cătălin Georgescu
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2010-2014 – The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Intermedia Department /  Doctoral research scholarship awarded by Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic
2005-2010 – The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Intermedia Department (BFA, MFA); 2007 – Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, PL Erasmus Program; 2009 – Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Department of Fine Arts, USA
2000-2005 – University of Presov, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Department of Arts (BFA, MFA)

Selected solo exhibitions:

2023 – In Someone Else’s Game (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest); Haifa Museum of Art, Israel (upcoming)

2022 – Angkor and Rome (Sa Sa Art, Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

2021 – The Yellow Book (Chiquita Room, Tàpies Foundation, Arús Library, Museum Picasso, Barcelona, Spain); site specific installation, Goethe Institute Bratislava, Slovakia
2019 – We don’t know that we know (Friend of a Friend Prague, Ivan Gallery hosted by huntkastner); The Portret of Light (with Lucia Tkacova, Gallery of Jozef Kollár, Banská Stiavnica, Slovakia); Circular Rectangle (Kunst im Kreuzgang, St Jodokus, Bielefeld, Germany)
2018 – About Books (AlbumArte, Rome – with Shubigi Rao); I Found It Somewhere but I Cannot Find It (At Home Gallery, solo show-site specific installation in an old synagogue, Samorin, Slovakia)
2017 – Missing Something and Itself Missing (Ivan Gallery Bucharest); Situation After the Arrival of the Warning Patrol (East Slovak Gallery, Kosice); In Someone’s Else Dream (SODA Gallery Bratislava)
2016 – Texture of Time (Flatgallery, Bratislava)
2015 – Library (Gdanska Galeria Miejska, Gdansk); Mirror and Mask (Soga, Bratislava); Lost Library (Muzeum Contemporary, Slovak National Museum, Betliar, Slovakia)
2014 – “Was ist Kunst?” (Gallery HIT, Bratislava); Situace 50 (Pavilon Gallery, Prague)
2013 – City Diary (Triangle Arts Association, New York City)
2012 – Lost Library (Gallery Heppen Transfer, Warsaw)
2010 – Urban Exploration (Open Gallery, Bratislava); Touristic Routes (D Raum Museums Quartier, Vienna)

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 – Glitch: The City as Palimpsest (Cooke Latham Gallery, London, UK); Triennal Of Contemporary Art (Museum of Arts, Olomouc, Czech Republic); Nuit blanche Heraklion (Kotsanas Museum, Heraklion Greece); Čierne Diery – Priemysel a Andrássyovci (Slovak National Museum, Betliar, Slovakia); The Artist’s Book Triennial (Book Art Museum, Łódź, Poland); The Artist’s Book Triennial (Východočeská galerie, Pardubice, Czech Republic); Folklore is not dead (The Gallery of Modern Art in Roudnice nad Labem, Czech Republic)

2021 – Secret Language (Ivan Gallery Bucharest, Romania); Triennial Kortrijk (Paradise 2021, Belgium); Triennal 2021 (Museum of Arts, Olomouc, Czech Republic); Socha v meste (Turčianska galéria v Martine, Slovakia)
2020 – Illusion and the Virtual Reality in Art (Gallery MEDIUM in Bratislava, Slovakia)
2019 – History is His Story (NEST ruimte voor kunst, The Hague), SIGNAL – The Story of Slovak (Post)conceptual Art (Ludwig Museum Budapest), IDEAL CITY (Eindhoven Footnotes of Onomatopee Projects,  Onomatopee, Eindhoven, Netherlands), Traveling to the End (National Museum of Modern and Contemorary Art, ChangDong, Seoul South Korea)
2018 – SO(n)DA (P74 Gallery, Ljubljana); Algoritmy obrazov, obrazy algoritmov (Medium Gallery, Bratislava); Triennal of Small Object and Drawing (Gallery of Jozef Kollár, Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia); There are more things (Jaro Varga in collaboration with Dorota Kenderová, Gallery Kabinet T, Zlín); SONDA 1 (City Gallery of Prague, Prague); Unknowing Knows / Knowing Unknowns (The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest); We the People (Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica)
2017 – Escape Route (The Rooster Gallery ,Vilnius); PANELAND (Moravská Galerie, Brno); The Hacked Dream (SPZ Gallery, Prague); Clouds (public art in Kosice); White Night (collaboration with Ilona Németh); AMIWHATIAMTHINKINGABOUT? (Karlin Barracks, 4+4 International Festival of Contemporary Art in Prague); SODA Gallery selection at Art Paris (with Stano Filko and Lucia Tallova); Laziness (Kulturfabrik Tabačka, Košice)
2016 – What Are We Building Down There (Bucharest Biennale 7, Bucharest); When Artists Speak Truth (The 8th Floor Gallery, New York City); Look What Is Back: The Slovak State (Kunsthalle Bratislava)
2015 – Imagined Communities, Personal Imaginations (Budapest Gallery and the Kiscell Museum, Budapest); Life: A User’s Manual (Gallery Prozori, Zagreb); In the Shade They Flourish (public art project, Imago Mundi Foundation, Krakow); Triennale of Small Object and Drawing (Gallery of Jozef Kollár, Banská Štiavnica); Soft Codes (Museum of Contemporary Art in Wroclaw); Tektonika paměti (Dom umění, Brno); Private Nationalism (Open Gallery, Bratislava)
2014 – Tektonika paměti (Gallery of Emil Flla, Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic); The First Man Was an Artist (Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica); Plato’s third eye (Meetfactory, Prague); Private Nationalism (Dresden, Pécs, Kosice, Prague); Ptolemaiovy děti (NTK Gallery, Prague); Circular Ruins (French Institute in Prague, MeetFactory Prague)
2013 – Dysraphic City (Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin); Metaphysik der Disziplin (Czech Center, Berlin); Vulnerable Failures (National Art Studio Chang-Dong, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, Seoul, South Korea); Katalog Entropii Sztuki (Gallery Entropia, Wroclaw); Prague Biennale 6; Subterranean Echoes (Center for Art and Urbanism, Berlin); Blind spot (NTK Gallery, Prague); Panel Story (Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava); M(i)esto medzi pamäťou a nepamäťou (Turčianska Gallery, Martin, Slovakia); Panel Story (Turčianska Gallery, Martin, Slovakia)
2012 – The Discovery of Slowness II (Tranzit SK, Bratislava); On Boredom (Kulturfabrik TABAČKA, Košice); At the End of Universe (Berlínskej model, Prague); WHAT’S HAPPENING THESE DAYS? (Etc.Gallery, Prague); Delete. Art and Wiping out (Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava); Master and Disciple 4 (Ilona Németh & Jaro Varga, Magma Contemporary Art Space, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania); Zlínsky salón mladých 2012 (Dům umění ve Zlíne, Czech Republic); „My sme podstavec“ (Vymenník, Košice); Intervencion 2012 (public art project Trebišov, Slovakia)
2011 – Eleventh Hour (Gallery FUTURA Prague); Public Folklore (Grazer Kunstverein, Graz); Why Do I Keep Reading the Same Books? (AMT project, Bratislava); MAPY/MAPS (Bratislava City Gallery, Bratislava); Librarianism (Gallery NTK, Prague); PRIMS (The Orchard Centre, Sheffield); TWIST- Tuica/Tusovka, 91mQ Art project space, Berlin)
2010 – Where do We Go from Here? (Secession, Vienna); Der Drang nach Osten (Gallery HIT Bratislava); Transart Communication-Public Dialog (Komárno / Komarom, Slovakia / Hungary); Startpoint (Gask Gallery, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic); Priestor / Prostor Z(I)LIN(A) (Povazská Gallery in Zilina / Krajska Gallery in Zlin, Slovakia / Czech Republic); Exhibition of the finalists of “Oskar Cepan” Award (Gallery Medium, Bratislava); Perfection (Gallery Medium, Bratislava); The Romance of my Young Days, the Future of my Nostalgia (Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica); Open Studio (Karlin Studios, Prague)
2009 – Rhetoric of Fiction (Cinema HVIEZDA, Banská Bystrica), Exit Ghost (Gallery Valentina Moncada, Rome); Fantasies of Beginning (Central Slovakian Gallery Banská Bystrica & Billboard Gallery Europe, Bratislava); BRATISLAVA (Slovak Cultural Institute, Rome)
2008 – Library in Library (Bailey Library, Slippery Rock University); Videokunst vs künstlerische Dokumentation (KOLONI, Dresden); Exhibition of finalists of “Oskar Cepan” Award (Gallery Medium, Bratislava); ENDING (One-week international art residency at Hotel Kyjev, Bratislava)
2007 – International Media Art Biennale WRO 07 (Wroclaw); SURVIVAL Public Art Festival (Wroclaw); BEST WEST (Gallery Entropia, Poland); BRIDG:ING (Gallery of Ministry of Culture of Slovak Republic, Bratislava); Tactics of Resistance of Global Police Action (Exhibition Centre “Constantin Brâncuși, Chișinău)
2006 – Tourist Route (street art project, Nitra, Slovakia); Dangerous Sequences (Gallery HIT, Bratislava)

Other projects:

2018 – site-specific installation in collaboration with Sonia Rykiel Paris for the 50 anniversary of Sonia Rykiel, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Seoul, London, other cities worldwide; Cloud Bratislava (public art project in collaboration with Ilona Németh 


2021 – “Between Betweens”, talk between Audrey Hörmann, Laura González Palacios, Jaro Varga, Chiquita Room, Barcelona, Spain
2021 – “If the library could talk. Challenging the concept of the library” Jaro Varga, Kundzanai Chiurai and Agnieszka Kilian, Chiquita Room, Barcelona, Spain
2019 – “Memory of Hands”, Department of Photography FAMU Prague, Czech Republic
2019 – “Is the Future Boring?”, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Tel Aviv Israel
2019 – “Probe 1 / The Story of Slovak (Post)conceptual Art,” Prague City Gallery, Czech Republic
2018 – “Psychogeography of Memory”, Prague College, CZ
2017 – “Missing Something and Itself Missing” (Ivan Gallery Bucharest)
2016 – “Artist as Researcher” (Anglo American University in Prague)
2016 – “Artist with an Attitude” (Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest)
2015 – “City Diary / Piotr Bujas, Ewa Łączyńska-Widz, Katarzyna Trzeciak in conversation with Jaro Varga” (BWA Tarnów, Poland)
2015 – artist talk Jaro Varga & Edgar Heap of Birds (The 8th Floor Gallery, New York City)
2015 – “SK/AT” (Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava)
2015 – “Library – artist book” (Ex Libris Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava)
2013 – artist lecture (Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan, South Korea)
2012 – artist talk in connection to the exhibition DELETE (Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava)
2011 – “Enter Cartography” (Zentrum fur Kunst und Wissenstransfer, Vienna)

Selected curatorial projects:

2017 – Dreams & Dramas. Law as Literature (NGBK Berlin, co-curated with Agnieszka Kilian);The Shell Game (MeetFactory, Prague, co-curated with Lucia Gavulova)
2016 – Time after Time (MeetFactory, Prague, co-curated with Zuzana Jakalova); Spirit World Rising: Anežka Hošková, Anders Grønlien (Gallery Kostka, Prague); The Portent of Light (Gallery MeetFactory Prague, co-curated with Lucia Tkacova); Fightlessness: Little Warsaw (Gallery MeetFactory, Prague)
2015 – Who is playing? (Gallery MeetFactory, Prague);15000 Years of Sameness: Dan Perjovschi & Matěj Smetana  (Gallery MeetFactory, Prague, co-curated with Karina Kottova) 
2014 – Revolution without Movement (in collaboration with Berit Fischer and Dorota Kenderova, Galeria HIT & tranzit.sk, Bratislava)
2012 – On Boredom (Tabacka Kulturfabrik, Kosice, co-curated with Dorota Kenderová); The Discovery of Slowness II (tranzit.sk, Bratislava, co-curated with Dorota Kenderová)
2011 – The Discovery of Slowness I (Tabacka Kulturfabrik, Kosice, co-curated with Dorota Kenderová)


Jaro Varga, The Yellow Book, artist book, published by Chiquita Room in Barcelona, Spain, 2021
Jaro Varga: City Diary (2. edition), artist book, published in collaboration with Imago Mundi Foundation in Krakow, Poland, 2021
Dreams and Dramas, edited by Agnieszka Killian, Co-edited by Joerg Franzbecker, Jaro Varga,  Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst in Berlin, Germany, 2017
Jaro Varga (coord.), Who Is Playing? (exhibition catalogue), MeetFactory Ed., Prague, 2015
Jaro Varga, Karina Kottova (coords.), 15000 Years of Samness (exhbition catalogue), MeetFactory Ed., Prague, 2015
Jaro Varga, Jaro Varga. Artist Book, Imago Mundi Foundation, Krakow, 2015
Jaro Varga et alii (coords.), Revolution without Movement. Exhibition Reader, Tranzit Slovakia & gallery HIT, Bratislava, 2014
Jaro Varga, Dorota Kenderova (coords.), Is the Future Boring?, Gallery HIT, Bratislava, 2014
Jaro Varga, Untitled. Artist Book, 2014


2017 – 1st prize NOVUM Foundation, Slovakia
2015 – Award for Art, Young Artist under 35 category, awarded by Tatrabanka Foundation in Slovakia
2012 – Slovak winner of Henkel Award
2010 – Finalist of “Oskar Cepan” Award (Young Visual Artist Award)
2010 – Finalist of Start Point, Gask, Czech Republic
2008 – Finalist of “Oskar Cepan” Award (Young Visual Artist Award)

Art Residencies

2022 – Headlands Art Residency San. Francisco, USA
2022 – Sa Sa Art Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2019 –  Delfina Foundation London, UK
2015 – Imago Mundi Fundation, Krakow
2014 – Center for Art and Architecture ZK/U, Berlin
2014 – Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica
2013 – Center for Art and Architecture ZK/U, Berlin
2013 – National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, National Art Studio, South Korea
2013 – Triangle Art Association, New York City
2012 – Visegrad Artist Residency at Gallery Heppen Transfer, Warsaw
2012 – AIR Krems
2012 – Flow – Festival of conversation for culture and science, Ruse
2011 – XEROX – short art residency at Banska Stanica, Slovakia
2011 – Enter Cartography, Zentrum fur Kunst und Wissenstransfer, Vienna
2010 – Gallery Futura, Prague
2010 – Museums Quartier 21 Vienna
2010 – Flow – Festival of conversation for culture and science, Chișinău
2009 – Castel Trebesice, Czech Republic