Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anna Torma @ Espace Robert Poulin

Party with Dionysus, Anna Torma, 2011

On a recent tour of the galleries in Montreal's Belgo Building, I came upon the work of Anna Torma at Espace Robert Poulin, on display until April 18, 2015.

I always find it exciting to see needlework exhibited in art galleries, and this particular show was perhaps the highlight of the tour. Torma's work is being shown with that of her son, Balint Zsako.

Metamorphosis, Anna Torma, 2008 (diptych)

Anna Torma was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 2012. She received the Lieutenant-General's Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts in 2014. Currently a resident of New Brunswick, her work draws on the embroidery traditions of her native Hungary.

detail, Metamorphosis, Anna Torma 2008

detail, Metamorphosis, Anna Torma, 2008

These detail shots might allow you to appreciate the many techniques Torma incorporates into her work: crewel-type embroidery, rustic stitching, silkscreened images, painting, and the use of "found" textiles among them. Torma describes her medium as "technique mixte sur tissu".

The overall impression is one of exuberant abundance, with a suggestion of narrative and fantasy. Because of my own tendencies to minimalism, I sometimes find this aesthetic a bit schizophrenic, bordering on madness, but I am working hard on overcoming my own limitations in this regard!

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