ENCHANTED – Rita Mátis’s Exhibition
In any set of works of art, one may at first glance distinguish Rita Mátis’s paintings. Against the backdrop of the abstract and geometric-abstract art of recent decades and photo painting, trickling on their periphery, Rita Mátis’s loud figurative painting is an attitude worth noting in itself, far from being characterized by merely grasping the magic in reality, and not at all by the purposefulness of “Trompe-l’œil” or hyperrealism; instead, her paintings portray an outside world that also includes herself, however, this world is not external, but internal.
The viewer can see from the outside inside Rita, as the painter is exhibiting herself freely. This is candour masked by ostentation even where the painter herself is not seen in the painting, because continuous glamour is a stylistic note of portrayal: the “way” she masks “what” her paintings reveal about herself. Like a nut, the perceivable surface of the painting is rough and brutally tough, and once the viewer has overcome this shock, that is the point where Rita Mátis’s stories begin. These show her painting as capable of anything, from childish jokes, through beautiful adultness, to horror. Among the public at large, Rita is an almost indistinguishable, kind, overly attentive, polite, quiet, reliable, discreetly sociable human being, but Rita as a painter has no inhibitions.
The tendency of things to become complicated from time infinite has tried every possibility and each successful one exists to this day. Rita Mátis may remind us of the absurd but successful case of the caterpillar and the butterfly. Who is Rita Mátis and who is the painter behind Rita Mátis’s paintings?
As to their form, her works are characterized by an over-coloured, dashed painting style, the compulsive consistency of which reminds one of Cézanne. However, as opposed to Cézanne’s painting method, Rita Mátis’s attitude has not a metaphysical but a biological background, both equally effective despite their difference.
The exhibition presents all her works of the last one and a half decades, except for the dozen paintings held in private collections, and they are arranged mostly following a chronological order and according to thematic connections.
These paintings are short narratives. If you like enigmatic stories, read Rita Mátis!
Badacsonylábdihegy, 8 May 2023.
For me, art is my living space, which changes as I do. Sometimes it is instinctive, other times frivolous, sublime, or common.
through the idyllic or theatrical, dramatic situations filled with strong gestures set in the studio or landscape which I present going back to “selected traditions”: paintings by Cagnacci, Velázquez, Renoir, Vallotton, Bonnard, Ferenczy, Csernus, Konkoly all portray basic human activities, which inspire me to create my own variations. When I invent a subject, I look for the perfect form of expression: I often adopt settings and already well-established compositions. If an artistic problem arises, I invoke the painters that are important to me and use their artistic solutions in my paintings. Today I am most preoccupied with the thought how I could find the best technical solution to render my figures three-dimensional and statue-like by building on clean colours, to separate them from their background, to make them stand out against their environment.
I am a recurring character of my paintings; sometimes I am present multiply, other times together with others. The creating “ego” plays a central role in organizing dramaturgy or as the stereotype main character of the stories. Its behaviour is absolutely personal behaviour, which relates to its own condition, at the same time it is archetypal, since the stories acted out are perpetually repeated. I look for the identical in the stories; I want to see the characters, compositions and colours in the way that our great ancestors saw them. I look for similarity in their fates. Stepping into the pictures painted by the Masters means – at the same time – reliving their fate. Entering into the process of painting – becoming part of the perpetually repeated happenings – I can conjure up something that has happened before, but while I am reformulating the works of art, I also add my own story.
What I desire to find in the realm of idyllic paintings is a sense of security, that is why I have become involved in the quest for the ideal form, which has been attempted by so many, and which quest has run through the history of mankind since ancient times, to which man has always added something from his own age. I have found this sense of security, namely, the security provided by eternal existence in the nude.
I open my eyes to harmony and universal order. The physical representation of intimacy serves no other purpose than to demonstrate and render it accepted that art is about life as well as itself, and that physical and transcendental qualities in art interweave just like in the embrace of lovers.
Aknai Tamás: Nincs is részkérdés, nincs részfeladat…Mátis Rita festő. Portré. Echo, Kritikai szemle, Pécs, 2006/2. 15. o.