What you will see here is a perpetual search in the way I choose to think differently and to create myself as a visual seeker. Simplicity is valuable to me. Ideas come from everywhere, but they grow best in solitude. I like to reconstruct the world, to isolate things from their context, parts and elements from my compositions, reducing everything to what is essential, so that the subject will look as if it had been there for a long time, very natural, just expecting to be seen like that. Awareness is important, also the way you think and observe the world. I like contradictions and I think freedom is not something we can achieve; it is what we choose to have from the start in creating unconventional distinctive works. - Edith Torony.
„In the "Junkyard Symphony" series I keep studying the same space from the periphery of the city where I live, space which I explore since 2012 through various techniques: photography, digital manipulation or painting. Between 2013 and 2014 I studied in this area the animal trough, as an element that is found in almost all the works from the "Vertical Absorption" series. As I ended the series, consistent with the changes that have undergone to this space, after the expansion of the city and the inhabitation area which now is more accessible to humans, there began to appear all kinds of plastic waste, synthetic residues, from bright and colorful packaging, to plastic tubes, unaesthetic power poles and wires, all kinds of objects that caught my eye, everything what was thrown away or not integrated in the view.
Although I start from a real, existing place that is very close to me, I transform it through my work according to certain events, to everything that I collect during the days. Therefore the name of "junkyard", a sort of recycle bin of the memory, of the unconscious, sometimes these elements are indescribable, to which I do not find meaning or the origin. A sort of personal archeology as a chaotic landscape, populated with all kinds of rejected objects that we no longer need, abstract representations, sometimes with figurative origins, always at the edge. An apparent beauty of everything that is residue, attractive packaging, but lacking content. A desolate space, invaded by everything we don`t need anymore, which we can't get rid of easily.
Beginning with the two works with the title "Party Is Over" in 2015, which represent the debris left by people on the beach after they had a good time, I went ahead with the same subject in the "Periphery of Memory" series, thus symbolically transmitting to a mental dimension and gradually reaching the series "Junkyard Symphony" , an ode to chaos and reconstruction, to recomposition, reducing everything to a recycled playground so typical for a second-hand world of our time, from which we can not recant.” - Edith Torony
The Condition of Necessity of the Possible Worlds in Edith Torony’s Painting
The first encounter with Edith Torony’s painting is an experience that is better described in these terms: “either... or”. And “either... or” again. For me, it was intriguing, mostly because I became acquainted with her works after having seen Richter’s, Ghenie’s and Kiefer’s art and at that time I was somehow imbued with painting. Nevertheless, I immediately felt contaminated by her work, her experiences bordering imagination and caught between two possible worlds; it seemed very difficult to locate these experiences in the right place. Edith Torony’s painting is far from being facile. It is a standing, coherent whole, an act that requires probing, break times and very much imagination and, most importantly, must be examined by series (Vertical Absorption, Error, Pipes, Debris Field etc.).
Edith employs the fragmentation technique. She masters an instrument that is capable of transposing the altered reality artistically, by purging the connotation fields, through forms projected on the texture of reality and a reduced narrative plot – all this reconfigures the semantic components of matter, as if the world were made of frames. The whole is trivial, insignificant, what matters is the part. This is what the first attempt of “reading” Edith’s art suggests.
In the deeper layers of the paintings lies, however, a malentendu and this is what must have intrigued me in the first place. I had the sensation of a space that was hungry for expansion, lacking a generic identity, as if the works, all of them, were unfinished. Deliberately! I saw a picture placed within a fragment, either a spatial or a temporary fragment, a potential episode of the best of possible worlds, albeit a world of anomalies or, as Hegel said, one where the negative is at home.
Edith’s painting does not prompt symbolic readings. Within its own context, it focuses on details; it is a matter of dosage, without an entropic, aesthetical or metaphorical solution. The challenge lies in the opposites, the contrasts or the contexts, by virtue of a constantly delayed promise. It does not suggest simplified or laconic approaches, but an opening towards the shades of a universe dominated by artificiality and accidents. A dialogue takes place between possible universes and reality and illusion are generated mutually and fade from tautology to paradox. Edith Torony’s conceptualism becomes operational in a construction assimilated through the dimensions of the photographic experiment, the subtle evocation- and transfer-based connection between the functions of sensitivity and the reference points of the visual. The artist’s refusal to display the whole is neither a mere aesthetic whim, nor the incapacity to deal with it. It is, if you like, that detail – the condition of necessity of one of the trivial, de-concentrated possible worlds where concepts reflect one another through the same mechanism: we watch the real, we become involved in it subjectively, we create the illusion. Edith’s world is a resource of functions that she employs abstractly, without emotion or attachment.
The consequence is positive. While leaving the huge stock of ignored images and the inventory of the superfluous experiences or states aside, the artist masters the colour and works imperturbably on the canvas, without sentimentalism, artistic coquetry or pathos.
An Exile to and from the World
The first time I saw Edith Torony’s works I was almost sure she was an oneiric surrealist artist like Yves Tanguy who in my adolescence fascinated me with a painting whose title I remember even today: Mama, Papa is wounded. Of course I had not seen the real painting, of course I did not know more about him or his art than that picture I saw in The Illustrated History of Painting. 1,000 Colour Reproductions, a wonderful book published in 1973. But the feeling of déjà-vu usually persists and oddly enough, I was not at all attracted by Dali or Chirico, because I thought their works were not so much paintings as stories. Edith Torony’s works reminded me of a sublunary world of striking body-like objects, uncertain distances or the sensation of slight dizziness subtly induced by the combination of several perspectives. Plus the impression that we are the prisoners of an almost childish game of colours that often coexist based on the surprising logic of dreams.
However, Edith Torony’s works do not deal with dreams. Although everything I have described above can be found in surreal creations, although the effects of her paintings re-create areas of a crepuscular memory, of a half-awake state, the real issue of her art is not to leave reality, but to reconfigure it. I should add further nuance to the word “reality”, as it sounds too abstract and even vague, and complete it with a more explicit and warmer expression: the everyday existence.
A vigilant eye will therefore notice, beyond the masks of the colours and the composition, the transfigured signs of a humble, exiled domestic reality. Or a world polluted with various “freaks” living at the periphery of a civilisation, the stupid and improbable end of technical accidents. A world of pipes, troughs, PET bottles, unmatched plastic shoes, rust and wires. Somebody is missing from this world, somebody unimportant: Man. Why unimportant? Because Edith Torony, with a discrete and tempered pathos, encourages us to believe that the world has left its place and is no longer what it should be like. Not because entropy is a natural physical process, but the outcome of indifference. Of a malady. Of desertion. Of de-centering. (It is not accidental that one of her works is entitled Axis mundi!). It is precisely in this intense point of understanding existence – because this is what it is about – that Edith Torony’s source of inspiration should be sought for. Whether we speak of her paintings or her photographs that bear a striking resemblance to a safari, a search for the great Objectual Dead Bodies, Edith Torony’s profound approach is not to show what the world is like, but to wonder or, better said, to understand what has happened to the world in the meantime.
It is a tough question because generally such interrogations do not come from the artists, but from other individuals who are “responsible” with maintaining the order around us: philosophers, clerics, sociologists. So I think I am entitled to remark that Edith Torony has the courage to put forward a vision (I apologise for being so emphatic, but this is the right word here) that does not refer strictly to the manner of transposing the world, but to the manner of reformulating it. And by this true poetics of reformulation I mean both a process of encoding, of hiding, and one of transfiguration at the same time. You will understand this seeming paradox the moment you have noticed, beyond the representations provided with artistic meanings, only abandoned trivial objects. “Orphans” that would not have made any sense without the artist’s presence and keen sense of observation. In my opinion, this is the exactly the beginning of the effort to extract (in the obstetric sense) common, anonymous forms lacking any symbolic or allegorical significance from their condition and to remodel them and provide them with a basic meaning. Just a basic meaning, not something invested with symbolic, metaphysical or moral weight. Just the shadow of a meaning, given through a kind of contextualization. It is the natural meaning that any photographer gives to the most inconsequential detail when he decides to immortalise it in a photograph.
While I know almost nothing about the person named Edith Torony, it seems to me that the artist who signs such painting has an innate fear of disorder. I say this because initially her canvases seem to have been an indistinct, entropic agglomeration and the artist’s role is to find their most fragile balance just for a moment. After that, their contents returns to its natural disorder. Consequently, I find that, at least in some canvases, there is a subtle dialogue between the wild indifference of nature (a pleonasm) and artefacts. I have already mentioned the few artefacts, but I should add the straight line (there is no straight line in nature!) and several cubes to the objects lost in the distressing nature. Obviously, these two appear to be later additions to the initial landscape, ingredients for intersecting the real with the imagination. And the only living characters are a kind of faulty anamorphoses that we can guess not because we are perceptive, but because we know the title of the works: Nocturne 1. The dreaming dog.
Last but not least, what reorganises the universe of the abandoned objects is, above all, the colour. More precisely, the colouring. Yes, the colours. Not the refined and artificial hues, but those recalling a prejuvenile innocence (pink, orange, raw green) and seem desperate to compensate the lack of meaning in the thrown, abandoned, exiled objects. It is the colour that induces the idea of composition, even despite the surfaces. Every now and then, a geometrical representation rendered in bright red, lacking volume, changes the game of perspectives and gives the sensation that the microcosm on the canvas is sheltered within a diaporama seen through a colour and damaged magnifying glass.
I think Edith Torony is an artist who follows her destiny with a type of special, therefore rare and precious intelligence. I say this because she does not paint, she does not operate on the visual level driven by an instinct, whim, talent or the naiveté that characterises those who want to be liked. She does it by virtue of an old bet with herself: to do nothing more and nothing less than what happens, to her understanding, when one is exiled to and from the world.
Date of birth: December 1st 1988
Place of birth: Timisoara
Member of the Union of Romanian Plastic Artists (URPA), Painting Section, Timisoara Branch, since 2011.
2010 – 2012 West University of Timisoara,
Faculty of Arts and Design, Master’s Degree
2007 – 2012 West University of Timisoara,
Faculty of Arts and Design, Bachelor’s Degree
2003 – 2007 Fine Arts High School Timisoara
2006 Timisoara: “Pro Armia” Gallery, Papillon Café
2014 Timisoara: “Calpe” Gallery
2016 Timisoara: “Zid” Gallery
2006 Timisoara: “Joc Secund” Bookshop
2007 Timisoara: “Pro Armia” Gallery
2009 Timisoara: “Helios” Gallery
2010 Timisoara: “Casa Artelor” Gallery, URPA Visual Arts Salon - The Baroque Palace, “Helios” Gallery; Bucharest: “UnaGaleria”
2011 Timisoara: URPA Visual Arts Salon, The Baroque Palace
2012 Timisoara: “Helios” Gallery, URPA Visual Arts Salon - The Baroque Palace
2013 Timisoara: “Triade” Gallery, “Helios” Gallery, URPA Visual Arts Salon - The Baroque Palace; Szeged, Faculty of Art Gallery
2014 Budapest: “IX-XI” Gallery; Timisoara, “Helios” Gallery, Administrative Palace; Brussels: European Parliament
2015 Constanta: Museum of Art ; Arad: ”Delta” Gallery – International Bienale: Meeting Point
2016 Constanta: Museum of Art; Cluj: Museum of Art; Bucharest: “Senso” Gallery; Berlin: Marzia Frozen Gallery
2013 Jimbolia, Csongrad, Gârnic
2015 European Bridges Eforie Sud; Csongrad; Gârnic; Pastel Urban Timisoara
2016 European Bridges Eforie Sud; Dubova
2013 Timisoara, “Calpe” Gallery Award at the URPA Visual Arts Salon
2015 Timisoara, “Pro Cultura Timisiensis – Certitudes” Award
The Secret Sky, Excelsior Art, 2006
15 Stories High, Brumar, 2007
George Schinteie, 67 – poeme deznodate, Artpress, 2016