May 20 – October 3, 2021
Curated by Sarah Quinton and organized by the Textile Museum of Canada
Permanent Danger takes its title from Anna Torma’s 2017 artwork of the same name, intimating meanings that encompass human strife and vulnerability, conditions of sustained risk, threatened natural environments, and the highs and lows of daily life. Her uniquely dense and vivid textiles are the perfect expression of such complex experiences, intensely layering details that speak to ideas of family and well-being, sexuality and identity, home and place. With a practice that is deeply embedded in her mother’s and grandmothers’ traditional embroidered Hungarian textiles, Torma takes her predecessors’ materials, motifs, and techniques into new personal, social, and cultural terrain. In the development of each narrative composition, the artist sources her materials from all over the world; the linen, cotton, silk, thread, and found materials she incorporates are selected for their distinct physical qualities as well as their cultural allusions, with references from popular culture to traditional Hungarian patterns and thrift shop aesthetics. The exhibition comprises 15 large-scale embroideries made by the artist since 2011 as she has come to terms with the world through boldly stitched statements. In Torma’s words: “…the most important things that the work must suggest are passion, freshness, and a new discovery every time for a viewer.”
Anna Torma was born in 1952 in Tarnaors, Hungary and graduated with a degree in Textile Art and Design from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts, Budapest, in 1979. She has been an exhibiting artist since that time, producing mainly large-scale hand embroidered wall hangings and collages. She immigrated to Canada in 1988 and currently lives in Baie Verte, New Brunswick. The recipient of many grants and awards in Canada and abroad, Torma is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, a recipient of the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts, and the Strathbutler Award from the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation.
SUPPORTING PARTNER: The Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation
SUPPORTING DONOR: Carole Tanenbaum
Please note: This exhibition contains images of nudity and sexual imagery, visitors wishing to preview the exhibition can view all images of the artworks with their corresponding labels and didactics in this guide
Interactive Tour | Enter the exhibition >
AGG’s interactive tours are presented with the support of the 2020 City of Guelph Emergency Fund.
Permanent Danger: In conversation with Anna Torma
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 6:30pm
Join artist Anna Torma and artist and curator Bryce Kanbara for a discussion of the ideas and issues explored in Torma’s work in advance of her solo exhibition Permanent Danger, opening this summer at the Art Gallery of Guelph. Intensely layering details that speak to ideas of family and well-being, sexuality and identity, home and place, Torma’s densely embroidered textiles reflect a distinct approach to materials as well as subject matter, with every element selected for its distinct qualities and cultural allusions. In Torma’s words: “The most important things that the work must suggest are passion, freshness, and a new discovery every time for a viewer.”
(Click to view)
Image detail: Anna Torma, Party with Dionysos (detail), 2008-2015, hand embroidered collage on linen fabric, silk thread, 185 x 150 cm. Collection of Patrick Cady / Musée d’Art Contemporain Singulier