Being & Nothingness | Inspiration (2011) | 60×60 cm
Irma Michaela Szalkay
“The modern artist, it seems to me, is working and expressing an inner world; in other words, expressing the energy, the motion and other inner forces” Jackson Pollock once said. Contemporary artist Irma Michaela Szalkay creates colorful mixed-media masterpieces exploring art’s physical, mental, and emotional dimensions, reflecting those meanings together and in depth. Fascinated by the way the paint and colors and different materials interact with each other, Ms. Szalkay has developed her own revolutionary style which she describes as Reflexionism: a process which starts with a theme, from which the artist will imagine that theme’s “philosophy of shape“, or the way the work’s form interacts with its message. The artist collects pertinent material and creates a mental concept and plan for visualization of the theme.
Ms. Szalkay often paints in “Cycles” theories on philosophical themes, exploring ideas such as chaos, cognition, entropy, hope, and love. The colors, materials and structure of her paintings are intended to evoke a sense of passion in the viewer, demanding that the viewer examine his or her own perceptions of these aspects of the mind. The artist works to dispel the myth that abstract art cannot express pathos, the element of connecting with an audience’s emotions and evoking compassion. Ms. Szalkay believes that abstract elements can inspire reflection on the deepest aspects of humanity. Indeed, her work resonates in the viewer, inspiring meditation on the association between paint and canvas, between conception and creation.
Ms. Szalkay’s range of skills is amazingly broad, her work ranging from exquisite verre eglomise portraits and figurative pieces, to sculptural installations, to shockingly abstract paintings in the vein of Jackson Pollock but incorporating elements of assemblage. These abstract pieces are richly colorful, harmonious compositions of splattered paint interspersed with assemblage objects both natural and manmade. Ms. Szalkay uses music as an influence in the act of creating her artwork, thus her work reverberates with animation. Her work evokes life by representing not only an idea but the very process of painting itself, the symbiosis between thought and action. The application of paint feels both organic and deliberate, as if it sprang from the canvas in perfect rhythm. Assemblage objects ground each work in a concrete, tangible world, while entrancing, abstract compositions transport each work to the realm of the sublime.
Irma received her Ph.D. in 1993 from the University of Graz, Austria, and her work is heavily influenced by her background as a university-trained philosopher. She has exhibited extensively in both the US and Europe, including Germany, Austria, Italy, New York, and Washington, D.C.
From: Ruthie Tucker
Executive Director and Curator
In: Art Acquisitor Magazine 7/1, 2009