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ANNA TORMA, ISTVAN ZSAKO, BALINT ZSAKO
June 20 – July 19, 2009
Vernissage: Friday, June 19, 2009 from 19 h
WILDE GALLERY is pleased to announce a group exhibition featuring the work of Anna Torma, Istvan Zsako and Balint Zsako, a family of artists originally from Hungary who fled to Munich as political refugees before settling in North America in 1989. In each of their artistic practices, all deeply embedded in the tradition of narrative myths, their respective personal histories are intertwined with more archetypal human experiences, exploring primitive desires, notions of identity, social constructs and the childlike psyche.
Anna Torma works with narrative textiles and her contemporary appropriation of this inherently traditional, feminine craft reads more as collages than tapestries. Assembled from pieces of silk and sentimental scraps of fabric, found cloth and clothing, as well as personal poems, intimate letters and the childhood drawings of her two sons, Torma weaves these fragments of her own biography together and finishes her works in the style of a traditional kantha quilt (a rural Indian embroidered hanging). Anna has exhibited her work throughout Canada, England, Hungary, France, the Netherlands and the United States and her work is represented in numerous public collections.
Istvan Zsako’s paintings are literal references to the language barriers that inevitably accompany the cultural diaspora. The paintings on view take a humerous position on empirical logic, easily recognizable emblems of common knowledge such as systems of measurements and calculation of mass, whilst retaining a childlike and naive approach to image making. According to his son, Balint, „learning English has been a long and often comical process for him. In his new paintings he tries to sort out the relationships between image and word and all of the absurdist logic one finds in a new language.“ Istvan’s work has been exhibited throughout Hungary, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Slovakia and his work is included in the public collections of multiple Hungarian museums, as well as the Hungarian Ministry of Culture.
Balint Zsako’s delicate watercolours are whimsical sojourns into the complex landscape of the human imagination. The colorful characters that inhabit his compositions invoke a fanciful, occasionally dark romanticism, surreal in their misleading simplicity. Mechanical gears and tokens of nature form unlikely human appendages, suggesting a harmonious co-dependence without cynicism or judgment. The folkloreBalint invents through his careful renderings is an expression of the artist’s own subconscious, but alludes to deeper psychic currents of collective experience and emotional states of being. His drawings have been widely exhibited internationally and have been featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. A fully-illustrated monograph was recently published to accompany his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and is available through the gallery.
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