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.

And, if truth be told, a complete, well-shaped and spotless painting resembling a sanatorium would make anyone sleepy!


Dana Sarmeș