Magdalena Torma
(Lali Torma)


Romanian-Canadian, b. 1975, Oneşti, Romania, lived in Montreal, Canada, based in Berlin, Germany.

Artistic currents: abstract expressionism, minimalism, post-painterly abstraction, conceptual art, primitive art, aboriginal art
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Influences: Yayoi Kusama, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Sol le Witt , Gerhard Richter, Jason Pollock, Mark Rothko

In my calligraphic drawings, I generate images from repetitive movements as representations of the subconscious. The movements are simple, looking for primal impulses of expression to dissolve the restrictiveness and ambiguity of the language. It is a drawing of language away from its intellectual meaning but closer to its transcendental form. The result resembles a “surface”, or a “membrane” with a profound emotional behavior. There is no figurative interpretation, the artworks are abstract and may remind the viewer of landscapes, geological formations, elemental structures, organic membranes, or vibrational fields. But, in the end, they are only inner states which crave being discovered.

Born in 1975 in communist Romania, I immigrated to Canada at the age of 19 years old. From political restrictions to excessive economic focus, survival seemed to be a function of skilful ideological understanding and adaptability to the system. My mathematical training became a foundation for a career in finance and this time consuming trade let little time for a deeper personal inquiry. Nevertheless, the inquiry came (and it is still going on). I turned to art in 2003 at the age of 28. It was at first a desire to find more balance in my life, but it gradually became my main internal questioning method.

My journey was arduous and instinctive, or otherwise called “art by doing”. Obsessed with color and gesture, my first experiments were influenced by the North American Abstract Expressionists. Later on, I got closer to Minimalism and post-Painterly Abstraction only to arrive back to nature and to the intuitive gestures of aboriginal art, as a shamanic approach to bring back from the subconscious answers to my explorations. I finally feel closer to some kind of understanding: I do not draw to render an image, but to ask a question.


Three Worlded Rain

Technique: Ink
Year: 2019

Story: Part of the “Dünne Felle” series, the artwork is a subconscious representation. The repetitive calligraphic movement has three variations and, the end result, resembles a fluid energetic field. It is “three worlded” in the sense that it has three different calligraphic patterns. And it is “rainy” because it has a water energy with the blue ink and a certain vertical fluidity.