Archive | September, 2010

Artist Byte: Eniko Marton and Abstract Emotion

9 Sep


Eniko Marton

Eniko Marton is undertaking a PhD in Painting at the University of Pecs, Hungary. A selection of her work was recently exhibited in the group show Parallel Worlds.  It included artwork from the Arts Faculty Doctorate candidates. Eniko commented that the students “work parallel on our different chosen theme, sometimes isolated, sometimes in a connection” so the aim of the exhibition was to investigate what different kinds of work are generated in parallel under the same system.

The follow article is the result of an interview I had with the artist Eniko Marton in July 2010. I would like to thank the artist for use of her photographs from her website.

Eniko Marton, "To supplement...", oil on canvas, 120 x 100cm,l 2010

When I look at Eniko’s paintings I think of architectural structures and the spaces between and within buildings and manmade environments. This is suggested to me by the use of angular and precise lines, and muted tones. I asked Eniko whether the source of inspiration for the geometric forms in her work was a reference to the history of painterly abstraction, or if there was a more personal consideration. Eniko is attempting to find a meeting point between the elements of her paintings, ordering a system of colour fields and forms that aim to clearly and directly communicate within the picture plane, and with the viewer. There is a gradual reductive process in which she is searching for clarity and order on a visual and personal level.

Eniko Marton, "Way", acrylic on canvas, 120x100cm, 2010.

Her work is not, however, just a formal investigation of colour and form: “I use a lot of personal inspiration, from relationships between people and transform my experiences in systems, and after that I build it on the canvas, like a model, where I try to make harmony between the elements”. Thus her work becomes a type of structural model of human relationships, at their most elemental.

I met Eniko when I participated in the 18th  European Artist’s Symposium: Art and Intercultural Dialogue, in Essen-Werden Germany, April 2010. Eniko found the group of artists at Essen to be dynamic and full of energy. This energy extended into her work, and she returned to the vibrant use of reds and oranges. By observing Eniko’s process, I began to question in what way colour and geometric or linear forms convey emotion. Is there more freedom for expression in abstraction, than other more naturalistic styles?

Eniko Marton, "Orange-Red-Blue, Triangles", acrylic on canvas, 2010.

Prior to painting, the artist photographs “structures and colour relations” existing in her immediate environment, then uses details and impressions from these images to generate new ideas. Over the last two years, the personal experiences of the artist and consequent changes in thought have shifted the focus of her work away from soft forms, and toward more refined and “concrete” arrangements. In the 2009 series, the colours are arranged in soft or circular blurred shapes that are overlayed. In the 2010 series, flat planes of colour emerge that precisely demarcate the space in V shapes or triangles. Her new work seems to play with contrasting colours and lines in order to divide the space of the canvas. The change from soft to hard was the result of careful conceptual investigation, and a reaction to personal changes in her thinking that required her to “focus” the more concrete elements of her work.

Eniko Marton, "Untitled", acrylic on canvas, 130x150cm, 2009.

 The artist’s approach is an analytical consideration of the relationship between colour, form and the lines in-between. The elements of her work are “signs” pertaining to the artist’s “meaning and feeling” but they are also specifically chosen  “for their open character”. The openness of her simplified palette and shapes allows for the audience to create what she describes as a “picture-room in his/her imagination”. The empty “light” areas of the paintings, become free spaces for the viewer to attach their own personal associations and complete the meaning of the work. Thus, it could be said that whilst the visual devices of Eniko’s work recall geometric abstraction (clean lines and crisp forms), the intention of the work is more closely aligned to painters from Lyrical Abstraction or the works of Wassily Kandinsky, who use the simplest colours, lines and forms to achieve meaning and personal expression. Eniko is an architect of emotional space, delineating the canvas in such a way as to map her own emotions, whilst painting a space for the viewer to enter and immerse themselves.