Erik Tollas, artist in residence at Villa Romana: thoughts on “a house which is a home”

Exhibition and open studios launched at the historic artists’ house Villa Romana with the participation of current Villa Romana fellows and ERIAC artist in residence, Erik Tollas. Following an open call and the decision of the international jury, Erik Tollas was selected to be the artist in residence during the month of September at Villa Romana in Florence. Through this cooperation, Villa Romana and ERIAC offer the artist a grant and hospitality in Villa Romana for a period of one month.


The Open Studios program of the Villa Romana was a two-day event on 16 – 17 September 2023, as part of the accompanying exhibition ‘a house is a house is a home’, which runs until 19 November 2023.


As Erik Tollas puts his thoughts on “a house which is a home”: “I feel lucky to be part of this, which I would call a process of change. The Open Studios in Villa Romana are proof of the enormous interest of the public, which was enthusiastic and curious to learn more about the residency in general and the artistic creation taking place behind the walls. It is fantastic to see how much energy the people who live and work in the “house” are putting into making a difference, which includes a tremendous love, expertise, and understanding of the world and all creatures in it”.



a house 

       is a house 

              is a home

16.09-19.11 2023


Open Studios




exhibiting artists:


Diana Ejaita (Nigeria/Italy), Jessica Ekomane (Cameroon/France), Samuel Baah Kortey (Ghana), Pınar Öğrenci (Turkey), Emeka Ogboh (Nigeria), Shannon Bool (Germany), Archive Ensemble (Germany/Italy/Senegal), Aline Benecke (Germany), Stephany Nwobodo (Nigeria/Italy), Radio Papesse (Italy), Álvaro Urbano (Spain), Ivana Franke (Croatia), Erik Tollas (Hungary), Daniela Zambrano Almidón (Peru), Leone Contini (Italy).

Elena Agudio, Director, Villa Romana said: ‘Villa Romana is not a villa, it is not a museum, but a house. It is not an arcadia but a real place, with its challenges and its cracks; a physical and mental space where to feel safe and at times unsettled, as in life. This is the fundamental and grounding deliberation at the core of the newly started phase of this institution in becoming. Villa Romana has in fact been transforming into A House for Mending, Troubling, Repairing, unfolding a new vision and programme for the historical artist residency and artists’ house founded nearly 120 years ago by Max Klinger.’

Erik Tollas is a contemporary artist of Roma origin from Hungary, living and working in Budapest. As a former graduate of the University of Pécs, Faculty of Music and Visual Arts, his first steps as a painter were taken in the realm of figurative painting. More recently he turned towards experimenting with abstract forms, his works obtaining a more meditative and surreal character. In 2021 he was shortlisted for the Eszterházy Art Award at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest. He regularly exhibits in galleries across Hungary and participates both in solo and group exhibitions, among the latest in the NACO Gallery (Metanoia, 2022) in Budapest.