top of page

among these trees is my hiding spot, curva pura, roma, it 2024
 

Echoes of forests 

by Nicoletta Provenzano 

 

«The tree, root and form.

Root that dreams the form.

Form that thinks root.

And sky in the branches.

Clouds of thoughts in the sap.

Watermark of the wind.

Irony of movement».

Antonio Prete, The tree, in Menhir, Donzelli Editore, Rome 2007

 

In the tangle of a forest thick with elusive secrets, incomparable colours and continuous renewals, memories and rebirths, inspirations and vital foundations are enclosed: from this sylvan propagation, between foliage and winds, roots and humus of hidden forms, Helen Tóth's exhibition Among These Trees Is My Hiding Spot traverses woodland wonders and enchantments as places of reciprocity between the inner world and natural reality. 

Wild harmony, in an uninterrupted and synchronic dialectic with the perceptive dimension, becomes a pulsating pictorial gesture, a poetic matrix that unfolds as a vibrant atmospheric dance, where colour is generative substance, sensitive space in the narrative interweaving of tree forms and humours of the subsoil, caught in the flow of time, in the incessant becoming of nature. 

Coinciding with a circle of infinite transformations in the ancestral immersion with the immensity of the forest, the artist's works are real, dreamlike and mnestic natural universes, as indomitable as they are enclosed in minimal units. A refuge of shadow and light, a territory of the uncontrollable and of mystery, a whisper of a symbiotic and multiform system, Helen Tóth's poetics is the custodian of the inviolable stories and memories of the forest that appears in the swarming of breezes and mists, in the silhouette of foliage against atmospheric nudity, in the intimist archive of sylvan fragments.

In the oil on canvas The scent of soil under the broken trees smells comforting, the olfactory sphere is traversed as a secret abode of striking and surprising colours; the lashing and energetic brushstrokes transpose the transformative and metamorphic power of plant life in rich colouristic fervours, unleashing the dynamism of nature's balances even from the decaying trunks, which become the nourishment and habitat of an unstoppable biotic system.

The resin I feel you Friedrich, the luministic element predominates as a contemplative dimension in the purity of an intimate recollection, sublimated in the image that is accentuated as a suggestive irradiation, welcoming both the object of the painting and the gaze of the observer, enveloped in luminescent depths on which the vegetative profile and the imaginary landscape refracted in the glance of a melancholic, ideally romantic inspiration takes shape.

The overlapping, combining and at the same time intricate work I will grow with my twings bound, the oscillation of branches, silhouetted in the vaporous and caliginous fraction of sky, is configured as an implacable elegy on the enigma of growth and its tangle of thorns, along the intersecting plots in a tremor that unravels and tightens. In the soft, muted background of the pearly light of the oil on canvas Tokyo Love, a solitary tree in the electric brilliance of surreal blue is witness to the story of a part of the world, which observes in the comings and goings of order and chaos, resisting the silence, the winds, the fluttering, blossoming every spring, quieting down in winter, outlining itself as a free form open to the sunlight.  

In the collection of vegetable wonders and small surprising arthropods of the installation My collection of forest, the artist composes a naturalistic sampler, a sentimental archive of forest life that takes on voice as a deep echo and vital breath, collected in intimate portions, narratives of a life cycle, a conceptual symbol of a vegetative universe, known and unknown at the same time. In a dialogue between installation and painting, the exhibition Among These Trees Is My Hiding Spot is a wandering along surfaces and semiotic stratifications of sylvan rhythms, in which to penetrate, dilating one's breath and letting one's gaze be seduced by the inextricable identity of leaf and root.

Echi di foreste
di Nicoletta Provenzano

 

«L’albero, radice e forma.
Radice che sogna la forma.
Forma che pensa la radice.
E cielo tra i rami.
Nubi di pensieri nella linfa.
Filigrana del vento.
Ironia del movimento»
.
Antonio Prete, L’albero, in Menhir, Donzelli Editore, Roma 2007

Nell’intrico di una foresta fitta di segreti sfuggenti, di colori incomparabili e di continui rinnovamenti, si racchiudono memorie e rinascite, ispirazioni e fondamenta vitali: da questo propagarsi silvestre, tra fronde e venti, radici e humus di forme nascoste, la mostra Among These Trees Is My Hiding Spot di Helen Tóth attraversa prodigi e incanti boschivi come luoghi di reciprocità tra il mondo interiore e la realtà naturale.


L’armonia selvatica, in una dialettica ininterrotta e sincronica con la dimensione percettiva, diviene gesto pittorico pulsante, matrice poetica che si dispiega come danza atmosferica vibrante, dove il colore è sostanza generativa, spazio sensibile nell’intreccio narrativo di forme arboree e umori del sottosuolo, colti nel fluire del tempo, nel divenire incessante della natura.
Coincidenti con un circolo di infinite trasformazioni nell’ancestrale immersione con l’immensità della foresta, le opere dell’artista sono universi naturali reali, onirici e mnestici, tanto indomabili quanto racchiusi in unità minime. Rifugio di ombra e di luce, territorio dell’incontrollabile e del mistero, sussurro di un sistema 
simbiotico e multiforme, la poetica di Helen Tóth è custode delle storie e delle memorie inviolabili del bosco che appare nel brulicare di brezze e brume, nello stagliarsi di fronde contro la nudità atmosferica, nell’archivio intimista di frammenti silvestri. Nell’olio su tela The scent of soil under the broken trees smells comforting la sfera olfattiva è percorsa come dimora segreta di cromie appariscenti e sorprendenti; le pennellate sferzanti ed energiche traspongono il potere trasformativo e metamorfico della vita vegetale in ricchi fervori coloristici, sprigionando il dinamismo degli equilibri della natura anche dai tronchi in disfacimento, che si rendono nutrimento e habitat di un sistema biotico inarrestabile.


Nella resina I feel you Friedrich l’elemento luministico predomina come dimensione contemplativa nella purezza di un intimo raccoglimento, sublimato nell’immagine che si accentua come irraggiamento suggestivo, accogliente tanto l’oggetto del quadro quanto lo sguardo dell’osservatore, avvolto in profondità luminescenti su cui prende corpo il profilo vegetativo e l’immaginario paesaggistico rifratto nel colpo d’occhio di una ispirazione malinconica, idealmente romantica. Nel sovrapporsi, combinarsi e insieme intricarsi dell’opera I will grow with my twings bound, l’oscillare di rami, stagliati nella vaporosa e caliginosa frazione di cielo, si configura come implacabile elegia sull’enigma della crescita e il suo viluppo di spine, lungo le trame intersecate in un tremito che si disfa e si stringe.


Nel fondo morbido e tenue di una luce sfumata e perlacea dell’olio su tela Tokyo love, un albero solitario nell’elettrica brillantezza del blu surreale è testimone della storia di una parte di mondo, che osserva nell’andirivieni di ordine e caos, resistendo al silenzio, ai venti, allo stormire, rigogliendo a ogni primavera, quietandosi in inverno, delineandosi come forma libera e aperta alla luce del sole. Nella raccolta di meraviglie vegetali e piccoli sorprendenti artropodi dell’installazione My collection of forest l’artista compone un campionario naturalistico, un archivio sentimentale di vita boschiva che prende voce come eco profonda e respiro vitale, raccolto in porzioni intime, narrazioni di un ciclo vitale, simbolo concettuale di un universo vegetante, conosciuto e sconosciuto ad un tempo. In un dialogo tra installazione e pittura la mostra Among These Trees Is My Hiding Spot è un vagare ramingo lungo superfici e stratificazioni semiotiche di ritmi silvestri, in cui addentrarsi dilatando il respiro e lasciando sedurre il proprio sguardo dall’inestricabile identità di fronda e radice.

images (1).png
images.png

supported by

image_edited_edited.jpg
slovak-institute-750x192.png

in cooperation 

open-house-roma-2024-graphic.jpg

part of 

línia lesa, nitrianska galéria, sk 2024
 

Earth’s climate changes tend to trigger various processes in nature. Some of them are more apparent than others, but one thing is certain. Everything is changing at a rapidly increasing pace. Often it is too late to do anything about it, and thus we become witnesses to a constant extinction of old life forms and inception of new ones. 

The exhibition project titled Forest Line presents nine contemporary visual artists and their works that reflect upon the mentioned changes. The exhibition features a wide spectrum of artistic media forms, from drawings and paintings to objects, site-specific installations and all the way to video and audio installations. 

The suggested beginning of the exhibition is toward the end of the ice age, approx. 10,000 B.C., as we learn from the works by Michal Machciník. This historical period is also the approximate beginning of the story of a certain forest in eastern Slovakia which is narrated in Denis Kozerawski and Peter Kašpar’s docu-fiction by the rapper Čavalenky. The film also reflects upon the current society and its position toward forests and nature. The extinction of certain plant species and the alarming state of nature are themes which have become the focus of a large-format painting/installation by Michal Czinege. Walks around her hometown forests, listening to nature and new hybrid forms of trees are some of the leitmotifs of works by Helen Tóth. Mutual exchange of information, the flow of life-giving force among natural species and the feeling that something is bigger than us are some of the themes the Finnish visual artist Maija Laurinen reflects upon and tries to bring them into the gallery space. Leaving the forest environment and moving closer to people’s homes, to agriculture and orcharding in current climate conditions, these are the topics presented by Martin Piaček’s works. An important part of our landscape is also water which penetrates into the soil and irrigates it. Martin Bízik’s work opens up themes related to soil and water pollution and water flow regulation in our region. At the end, Jozef Suchoža brings up the matters of our uncertain future along with some hope for rescuing forests in our country.

 

The exhibition is not just a simple tale of a forest, it talks about exploring the landscape and vegetation, its ancient history, recent history and life and death which it is closely related to. It tries to educate visitors on matters of the protection of nature and brings up many questions on this topic that will matter in the future. It is a place for self-reflection and evaluation of our approach to natural environment. Forest Line is also a space of aesthetic experience with elements of playfulness, providing an opportunity to dive deep into the forest and into ourselves. 

With financial support of the Slovak Arts Council public funds. The Council is the leading partner of the project.

Exhibition: Forest Line

Exhibiting Artists: Martin Bízik, Michal Czinege, Denis Kozerawski a Peter Kašpar, Maija Laurinen, Michal Machciník, Martin Piaček, Jozef Suchoža, Helen Tóth

Curator: Dominika Chrzanová

Exhibition duration: December 1, 2023 – February 25, 2024

Photos: Michal Juhás

Venue: Representative Halls, Nitra Gallery 

Virtual Tour: https://nitrianskagaleria.sk/event/linia-lesa/#virtualna-prehliadka

Zmeny klimatických podmienok na Zemi spúšťajú rôznorodé procesy v prírode. Niektoré z nich sú viditeľnejšie než iné, no jedno je isté. Všetko sa mení a rýchlosť zmien naberá na obrátkach. Často je už príliš neskoro na záchranu a tak sme svedkami neustáleho zániku starých a vzniku nových foriem života.

 

Výstavný projekt Línia lesa prezentuje tvorbu deviatich súčasných vizuálnych umelcov, ktorí svojimi dielami reflektujú na spomínané zmeny. Vo výstave je zastúpené široké spektrum výtvarných médií a foriem od kresby a maľby, cez objekty, site-specific inštalácie až po video a audio inštalácie. 

Výstava pomyselne začína v závere doby ľadovej, cca 10 000 rokov pred našim letopočtom, o ktorej sa dozvedáme prostredníctvom diel Michala Machciníka. Definitívny zánik určitých druhov rastlín a alarmujúca situácia v prírode sú témy, na ktoré poukazuje vo svojej veľkoformátovej maľbe/inštalácii Michal Czinege. História lesa a príbeh jedného stromu na Slovensku a náš postoj k nim v súčasnej dobe, reflektuje krátky film od dvojice Denis Kozerawski a Peter Kašpar. Potulky po domácom lesnom prostredí, načúvanie prírode, či nové hybridné formy stromov sú leitmotívom tvorby Helen Tóth. Výmena informácií, prúdenie životodarnej sily medzi prírodnými druhmi a pocit niečoho, čo je väčšie ako my samotní, sa do priestoru galérie snaží autorsky preniesť fínska vizuálny umelkyňa, Maija Laurinen. Opustenie lesného prostredia a približovanie sa k ľudským obydliam, k pestovateľstvu a sadárstvu v súčasných klimatických podmienkach prezentuje svojim dielom Martin Piaček. Dôležitou súčasťou krajiny je aj voda, ktorá preniká do pôdy a zavlažuje ju. Dielo Martina Bízika otvára témy znečistenia pôdy a vody, či regulácie vodných tokov na našom území. Na záver do výstavy prináša otázky o nejasnej budúcnosti a prichádza s nádejou o záchranu lesov na našom území Jozef Suchoža. 

Výstava nie je len príbehom o lese, ale hovorí o poznávaní krajiny a vegetácie, jej prastarej histórii, nedávnej minulosti, o živote a smrti, s ktorými je úzko spätá. Snaží sa o edukáciu návštevníkov v oblasti ochrany prírody a prináša tiež mnohé otázky v tejto oblasti do budúcnosti. Je priestorom na sebareflexiu a zhodnotenie nášho postoja voči životnému prostrediu. Línia lesa je tiež priestorom estetického zážitku s prvkami hravosti a možnosťou ponorenia sa do útrob lesa aj do samých seba.

Toto podujatie z verejných zdrojov podporil Fond na podporu umenia. Fond na podporu umenia je hlavným partnerom projektu.

Výstava: Línia lesa

Vystavujúci: Martin Bízik, Michal Czinege, Denis Kozerawski a Peter Kašpar, Maija Laurinen, Michal Machciník, Martin Piaček, Jozef Suchoža, Helen Tóth

Kurátorka: Dominika Chrzanová

Trvanie výstavy: 1. 12. 2023—25. 2. 2024

Fotky: Michal Juhás

Miesto konania: Reprezentačné sály, Nitrianska galéria

Virtuálna prehliadka: https://nitrianskagaleria.sk/event/linia-lesa/#virtualna-prehliadka

na chrbte nosím paprade, galéria sumec, bratislava, sk 2023
 

Helen Tóth's exhibition at the Sumec Gallery presents her most recent and recent paintings, objects and land art activities, which are related to the artist's long-standing interest in themes related to the forest and nature, their essential nature, their perception and experience by humans, but also to our (in)ability to testify about it. Helen Tóth says in this context that "the forest mediated by language remains only thought. If we are present in it, we do not have to think it, we do not have to try to understand it, because then it shows itself to us, it gives itself to us whole and exactly as it is. Try as we may, we can never succeed in expressing in words how the mountain air smells. There is only one idea of the forest, but there are infinite ways in which the forest gives itself to us. Only our bodily presence will allow us to experience the scent of the forest. To convey this experience in language to someone else is impossible. We thereby simplify it into a banal meaning. But we miss the core of the forest, the interior, which is hidden by the undergrowth and the treetops. Our senses are always limited, disturbed by something. What happens after sunset? Does the forest appear to us even in the dark? Do we catch its showing only by sight, or is it also given to us in some other way?"

 

Helen's reflection and means of considering these themes is primarily painting, motivated by movement and being in the forest ecosystem, into which she occasionally brings, or returns, branches and tree stumps that come from it. She works exclusively with found material, fallen branches or dead wood, discarded Christmas trees, which become vehicles for her painting. She then returns the found natural materials, which have become the medium for her painting, to the forest, but with her painterly input she creates situations that we could not experience under real circumstances, thus upsetting our stereotypical view and stimulating us to think and see anew and differently.

 

While walking through the woods, but also as a painter, Helen is particularly interested in the diseased, weakened, fallen trees, which, though often ignored by humans, also belong in the forest, their otherness and flawedness carrying an overlooked potential for drama and disturbance, or melancholy, stemming from their presumed demise, decay, absorption by the earth and return to the ecosystem in a new form, say ferns that grow out of the dirt or subsoil, the "back" of the forest, in which life is constantly ongoing, at once changing and renewing itself.

 

Helen's work, and the movement through the current exhibition, also helps us to consider the symbolism of the relationship between what is below and what is above, the horizontal-vertical tension of the forest and life. Helen Tóth's paintings lead us from the dark layers of dirt below, swamps, fallen branches and decaying trees, through the verticality of trunks and wind-chewed crowns, to the heights above and the view of the sky from a mountaintop or suddenly discovered clearing.

Helen's paintings lead us to an awareness and fuller experience not only of the forest, its essential nature and its various aspects, including its diversity, vulnerability, or capacity for renewal, but also to an awareness of their life-human contexts, which, viewed from the bottom up, we feel as we walk through the forest and among the artist's works.

 

Project funded by Minority Culture Fund - Kultminor.

Exhibition: I carry fern on my shoulders

Author: Helen Tóth

Curator: Ľuboš Lehocký

Exhibition duration: from 14 November 2023 to 8 December 2023

Photos: Adam Kamenský

Venue: Sumec Gallery, School of Design, Ivanská cesta 21, Bratislava

Výstava Helen Tóth v Galérii Sumec predstavuje jej najnovšie i nedávne maľby, objekty a landartové aktivity, ktoré súvisia s autorkiným dlhodobým záujmom o témy spojené s lesom a prírodou, ich bytostnou povahou, ich vnímaním a prežívaním človekom, ale aj s našou (ne)schopnosťou vypovedať o tom. Helen Tóth v tomto kontexte hovorí, že „les sprostredkovaný jazykom zostáva len myslený. Ak sme v ňom prítomní, nemusíme ho myslieť, nemusíme sa snažiť rozumieť mu, pretože vtedy sa nám ukazuje, dáva sa nám celý a presne taký aký je. Akokoľvek sa budeme snažiť, nikdy sa nám nepodarí slovami vyjadriť ako voňal horský vzduch. Idea lesa je len jedna, ale je nekonečno spôsobov ako sa nám les dáva. Jedine naša telesná prítomnosť nám umožní zacítiť vôňu lesa. Sprostredkovať jazykom túto skúsenosť niekomu inému je nemožné. Zjednodušujeme ho tým do banálneho významu. Celkom nám však uniká jeho jadro, vnútro, ktoré zakrývajú porasty a koruny stromov. Naše zmysly sú vždy niečím limitované, rušené. Čo sa odohráva po západe slnka? Ukazuje sa nám les aj v tme? Zachycujeme jeho ukazovanie sa len zrakom, alebo sa nám dáva aj nejako inak?“

Heleninou reflexiou a prostriedkom uvažovania o týchto témach je primárne maľba, motivovaná pohybom a pobytom v lesnom ekosystéme, do ktorého občas vnáša, respektíve vracia konáre a pahýle stromov, ktoré z neho pochádzajú. Pracuje výlučne s nájdeným materiálom, s odpadnutými konármi, alebo mŕtvym drevom, vyhodenými vianočnými stromčekmi, ktoré sa stávajú nosičmi pre jej maľbu. Nájdené prírodniny, ktoré sa jej stali médiom pre maľbu, následne navracia do lesa, pričom však svojim maliarskym vstupom vytvára situácie, ktoré by sme za reálnych okolností nemohli zažiť, čím rozrušuje náš stereotypný pohľad a podnecuje nás k opätovnému a inému uvažovaniu a videniu.

Helen pri prechádzke lesom, ale aj ako maliarku zaujímajú najmä choré, oslabené, spadnuté stromy, ktoré, aj keď sú človekom často ignorované, tiež patria do lesa, pričom ich inakosť a chybovosť v sebe nesie prehliadaný potenciál dramatickosti, znepokojenia, alebo melancholickosti prameniacej z ich tušeného zániku, rozkladu, absorbovania zemou a návratu do ekosystému v novej podobe, povedzme papradí, ktoré vyrastajú z hliny alebo podložia, z „chrbta“ lesa, v ktorom život neustále trvá, zároveň sa mení a obnovuje.

Helenina tvorba a zároveň pohyb aktuálnou výstavou nám zároveň pomáha uvažovať o symbolike vzťahu toho, čo je dole a toho, čo je hore, o horizontálno-vertikálnom pnutí lesa a života. Obrazy Helen Tóth nás vedú od spodných temných vrstiev hliny, močiarov, popadaných konárov a rozkladajúcich sa stromov cez vertikalitu kmeňov a vetrom ohlodaných korún až k výškam nad nimi a pohľadu na nebo z vrcholu hory, alebo zrazu objavenej čistiny.

Helenine obrazy nás vedú k uvedomeniu si a plnšiemu prežívaniu nie len lesa, jeho bytostnej povahy a rôznych aspektov vrátane jeho rozmanitosti, zraniteľnosti či schopnosti obnovy, ale aj k uvedomeniu si ich životných - ľudských súvislostí, ktoré pri pohľade zdola nahor cítime prechádzajúc sa lesom i medzi dielami autorky.
 

Realizované s finančnou podporou Fondu na podporu kultúry národnostných menšín.

Výstava: Na chrbte nosím paprade

Autorka: Helen Tóth

Kurátor: Ľuboš Lehocký

Trvanie výstavy: od 14. 11. 2023 do 8. 12. 2023

Fotky: Adam Kamenský

Miesto konania: Galéria Sumec, Škola dizajnu, Ivanská cesta 21, Bratislava