GUIREY, Sylvia

Sylvia Guirey - Blue Upright

Artist Biography


Sylvia Guirey, nee Princess Sylvia Obolensky, was born in Austria to an American heiress mother, Ave Astor, who was married to an exiled Russian prince. She was educated in New York and began working with stage designer Eugene Berman in the 1950s. After a first marriage ended, she in 1957 married a Tatar prince Azamat Guirey and the couple moved to London. Guirey took her first studio in 1958 and began painting whilst at the same time running art salons in support of British contemporary artists.

Her work was largely abstract though it also contained representational imagery and was noted for its use of vibrant colours. Guirey exhibited at the John Moores Exhibition in Liverpool in 1969-70, the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1973, Serpentine Gallery in 1976 and the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York in 1976 and 1981. She was also part of a four-person show at the Benjamin Rhodes Gallery in London in 1985. The Morley Gallery in Westminster held a retrospective in 2005. Contemporary Art Society bought one of her paintings in 1975 and the Lannan Foundation in the United States also holds her work, whilst one of Guirey’s paintings is also part of the Royal Marsden’s Paintings in Hospitals collection.

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