Updated: Feb 22
Allied Artist is proud to select artist, Elizabeth Torak, as our first featured Elected Member. Elizabeth's work can be viewed on her member's page in the Allied Artists Members Galleries, on her website https://elizabethtorak.com, and on elizabethtorak.blogspot.com.
Elizabeth has been an elected member of Allied Artists of America since 2000. She has exhibited in 15 Allied Artists Annual Exhibitions, starting in 1996 and has won awards from three Allied Annuals. Her work has also been included in the invitational Allied show at the Butler in ’01, the museum tour from ’03 to ’05, the invitational in Bennington, Vt in in ’07 and the 2015 exhibit at the Canton Museum of Art in Canton, OH.
The Feast of Venus I is the first piece in a projected series, The Feast of Venus. The Feast of Venus is a celebration of women, a consideration of the relationship between women and food, and a meditation on the mystery of creativity. The preparation of food, for much of human history the primary creative product of women, serves as a metaphor for the forging of female identity. (Catalog Essay- Elizabeth Torak Exhibition)
Creation- oil- linen- 40 x 34, Nocturne 3 ‐ oil- linen-14 x 12, Shaft of Light- oil- linen- 48 x 32
Elizabeth's Artist Statement beautifully explains the evolution of her work and the balance that she has achieved.
I began my career as a representational artist devoted to Old Master technique. For decades, I honed my skill in rendering color, form, and light on canvas. The canvas itself was Belgian linen that I carefully prepared by hand with layers of rabbit-skin glue and white lead; I also ground my own paint and prepared mediums and varnishes. With these beautiful materials, I painted luminous still lifes, landscapes and figure paintings. As my vision grew, I deployed paint in increasingly complex harmonies and delved deeper and deeper into artistic space.
This phase of my work culminated in a monumental oil, the 5’ x 9’ Feast of Venus I, a complex figure piece on the theme of women, food, and creativity. In 2011 The Feast of Venus I, was the centerpiece of a solo exhibit, The Feast of Venus I: The Artist’s Process at the Wilson Museum in Manchester, Vermont. The exhibit included eight oil studies and thirty-seven preparatory drawings. The Feast of Venus I was the subject of a feature article in October 2012 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.
Even as I worked on the Feast of Venus, a new vision was developing in my work. In 2010, the complex color harmonies I had been mixing on the palette moved to the canvas, and I began to paint semi-abstractions. This new body of work is based on a perception of the world as an ever-changing matrix of vibrations in which solidity of form is an illusion. Employing the same level of craftsmanship as my representational work, these pieces shimmer with energy and life.
Today I enjoy a sense of freedom from the restriction of classifying myself as either a representational or abstract painter. I have confidence in my ability to move fluidly from realism to abstraction and back again – often within the same painting. My style of painting, a style which juxtaposes and interweaves these different traditions of visual language, provides me with the perfect metaphor for my perception of reality as an infinite and mysterious construction of differing paradigms.