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Current Exhibition

03 October 2014

Maria Torp / Solo Show / The Riddle



Galleri Christoffer Egelund proudly presents the third solo exhibition with the talented Danish artist Maria Torp: The Riddle.

Mysterious stares and tell-tale faces confronts the viewer of Maria Torps photorealistic portrayals of lives in medias res. She creates fascinating, minute portraits of more og less fictive characters, with every strand of hair, every imperfection meticulously accentuated.

Maria Torp works in the tradition of the art form photorealism that gained ground in the USA of the 1960s and 70s as an offshot of Pop Art. But her working method takes the art form in new directions. The photographs, from which the pieces are painted, are staged on the basis of unrestained, idea generating drawings which forms the first step of the artist's triadic working proces. This proces ensures the paintings a dreamlike element unfamiliar to the photograph's (assumed) objective description of reality. Torp's drawings are characterised by greater abstraction: the artistic ideas are formed in the black ink.

In the piece The Verge a woman's face is seen in profile, confronting the viewer with a firm, penetrating gaze. The colours of the background seems to appease her tough appearance and suggest the possibility of a softer side to the woman portrayed. The artwork Restless depicts a woman with her back to the viewer, a motif not unfamiliar to the history of art, especially associated with the German romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. The protagonist of Torp's painting mimics Friedrich's Frau am Fenster (1822) when she leans towards the illuminated window. What she sees out there remains uncertain – perhaps a different way of life or a dream of a hopeful future? The piece presents a longing to go abroad and away from an appartment that seems dirty, water damaged and cold. The tranquility of the scene conceals an inner restlessness.

Maria Torp does not slavishly follow the limits of photorealism as a reality depicting genre. In a series of artworks she uses cast-off pieces of cardboard boxes as canvases for her photorealistic portraits. One of the pieces shows a ragged woman who seems to fit in perfectly with the raw look of the cardboard. Here and there handles show in the cardboard canvases, and the artist's carvings in the cardboard becomes part of the motifs as patterns of a shirt or as part of a face. In this way the paintings demonstrates their construction and breaks the illusionism and strict finish normally associated with photorealism.

The colours in the art of Maria Torp are some times rough and convincingly realistic and at other times almost more real than reality with their glossy notes of pastel. They are appeasing to the eye. But the artworks of Torp are so much more than that. The pieces prepare the ground for inquisitive search for a person's identity or story in the physical appearance, especially that of the face. Torp invites us to try and solve the riddle: who is this person in front of me?

Maria Torp (1975) lives and works in Copenhagen, Danmark. She graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2007 and has previously studied at the London College of Printing. Torp has exhibited her works in several galleries, museums, art institutions, art fairs national and internationel and currently also a part of the group exhibition "10.000 Hours – What is Talent?" at Tropholt Modern Museum of Art. Furthermore she has made commissioned work for corporations such as FTF, Tryg, Ferring and at the Velux Foundation and is co-founder of the artist trio MAM, with the artists Anika Lori and Mette Geisler.

Galleri Christoffer Egelund cordially invites you to the opening of Maria Torp: The Riddle on Friday the 3rd of October from 17-20. The exhibition will run until November the 1st, 2014. Opening hours: Monday - Friday from 11-18, Saturdays from 12-16. For further information and press photographs, please contact the gallery at: or at +45 33 93 92 00. Click here to view the exhibited works

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