From the "Thousand and One Nights" painting series, with individual plastic Technique, Erika Baktay.
The paintings of Erika Baktay have long been admired by the public in her exhibitions in Budapest, Bolzano, Merano, Verona, Milano, New York, Paris, Grenoble and Dubai. The artist spent several decades in Italy where she still lives and works. The figurative paintings from her first period show the inspiration that she got by studying the works of the great Italian masters, and the effect of the art of the middle Ages. This can be the reason why she often used wood or handmade paper instead of canvas. Gold, which was favored and extensively used by the old masters, also appears on her pictures mysteriously and delicately, expanding the bounds of colors. As a genuine artist with her own methods of representation and artistic means she associates the different ages by showing only the essence. In her paintings she simplifies and recreates the Baroque still lives and the finely detailed colorist rich Italian Venetian landscapes just as the lively scenes and genres inspired by the carnival. In the majority of her paintings and works of other techniques she captures atmospheres and impressions, which shows her emotionally rich lyric approach. Her oeuvre ¬ including the works of the last decades – shows a variety of topics, which is enhanced by her craftsmanship. Her sense of color and the Fine color schemes she uses characterize all her pictures regardless of their different styles. Her paintings and other three-dimensional pieces are the works of a genuine colorist. She richly alternates her colors and ripens them into finely tuned harmony within each of her pieces. She builds up her works – the abstract representation of plants, natural landscape most often of Toscana – by experimenting with the colors and their different shades. Determined by her message sometimes she paints strong contrasts and at other times softly sensitive differences of shades.
Her compositional elements derive from natural forms which are altered to abstraction. A budding plant, a blooming flower, a spiral line, or even the complete cosmic world comprising individual living entities becomes an organic entirety in Erika Baktay’s art. Her depiction becomes richer and richer theme concerned not only with Nature but also with the plane representation of space and time. Her works address the people of the 21st century. Her compositions are closed but enclosed within the disciplined outlines we encounter exciting surfaces, inner structures, which due to their variety never become boring though often simplified in form. Her works are characterized by an individual painting technique with a plastic effect and by a manual method which gives her pictures a peculiar texture. Due to the plastic surface the spectacle often renews its colors as a result of the reflection of the light rays or by altering the angle of incidence ¬ similar to the shiny eosin coating of ceramic pieces. This colour-changing plastic effect in plane is not incidental since Erika Baktay is not only a painter, but a dedicated expert in ceramics as well. Her latest plastic ¬ mainly spherical ¬ spatial pieces, which she often pairs with her plane works, may come from this early period. She keeps experimenting and renewing her techniques. Her works are mostly geometric abstractions. Simultaneously with the plastic method the darker tone monochromy of her earlier pictures changes to more pastose brush strokes. Her colorist is enriched by color harmonies ordered in geometric patterns sometimes only finely sometimes more strongly complemented by gold which illuminates the surface of the pictures. She works with innumerable variations extensively widening her Fine art properties. Decoratively and peculiar texture characterize her pictures where the plastic forms are ordered into geometric or organic patterns. She creates her individual style by the plastic effect and by the force of her colors. Her art becomes purer and simpler; Constructing from abstract forms gets more emphasis while still abundant in intellectuality. Beside their aesthetic effect, her works offer the possibility of the experience of being absorbed in them. She invites her audience to active appreciation and contemplation, who while observing her paintings become part of shaping the order, rhythm, and relation of quantities encoded in them.
In her latest pictures we can discern a special combination of past and present. The natural motifs disappear completely giving way to abstraction. In her recent works she constructs autonomous nonfigurative artistic Formations thereby widening the perspectives of her creative art. These pieces can be defined as lyrical non-figurative. With her deep knowledge in Classic arts and with her expertise she is continually in quest of new ways and possibilities for innovation. In the present stage of this process, researching the pictorial representation of the universe she wishes to depict its dramatic motive forces. Rich colorist nonfigurative forms flash from the black and white basic tone background representing the infinity of the intellectually comprehensible universe. Parallel to this she creates spheres of different colors which almost become alive to live a life of their own. With this the unification of plastic and pictorial, in a spherical form, the spatial representation of the earlier plane content appears as a new phenomenon in Erika Baktay’s art. These pieces are on the borderline of plastic art and painting. Their elements provide the possibility for the visual representation of movement and light thereby creating her own microcosmos. Erika Baktay’s works of art are excellent documents of the outstanding achievements of a sensitive artist. Dr. Maria Anka Art historian.