Carnival of Allegory
Dry Pastels & Paintings by
Magda Mraz

New Haven Free Public Library Gallery
133 Elm Street (Lower Level) New Haven, CT

Artist Reception: Saturday, June 12, 2010, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Exhibition: June 3 to July 19, 2010
Magda Mraz' work has been a spiritual quest into the purpose of our existence and the nature of our consciousness. Her works develop a contrast between the disintegrating environment of public places and the focused figures of young people facing the viewer. The transient reality of existence is brought to focus in painted and sculpted figures who attempt to escape the limitations of their physical boundaries.

The artist’s search for freedom and stability has been underscored by her youth spent under the totalitarian regime in former Czechoslovakia. Now a more profound search for liberation is taking place in her artwork. The artist explores her themes in the rich and deeply hued textures of these mysterious tall paintings using dry pastels. Her precise skill has enabled her to dramatize her early feelings of imprisonment, which are then built up into the forceful breakthrough of a spirit from its material confines.

Magdalena Mraz holds an M.F.A. from the Queens College of the City University of New York, as well as D. Min degree from the Wisdom University in San Francisco, California. She has painted, exhibited and taught art both in the USA and Europe, and lives in Connecticut.

"In several types of settings, the pathos of a disintegrating old, worn or broken object -- or a life situation -- can be turned into a study of creative impermanence, generating a new view point, " she writes. "Our physical world seems to be founded on a preexisting blueprint which enables constant change and restructuring, an observation that contemplates the masks of many indigenous cultures, created centuries ago which yet retain the fresh vitality of their captured expression. By converting part of a face into human features, the artist has created the mysterious ‘shamans‘, whose facial expressions were based on timeless human archetypes."

Her groups of triptychs explore the purifying and revitalizing purpose of ancient gatherings. "The cycle of the carnival represents the allegory of human journey from the bondage to the carnal aspect of our existence to the spiritual liberation and an enlarged compassion including all of creation. The cycle suggests the possibility of a renewal through the conquest of our negative qualities or outworn structures.

"The idea of a cosmic or a ’sacred geometry’ underlying all matter in the universe is demonstrated by the numerical sequence of seven developmental stages of human consciousness. This allegories in this new series resonates from the Egyptian creation myth to the stories of human origin on a global scale. Each painting is based on the geometric pattern and symbolism of the numbers one to seven. which are revealed in the developmental patterns of various cultures. We become aware of the deep and universal interconnectedness of all things physical and spiritual, and their ongoing evolution."