“Galya Pillin Tarmu is an artist whose paintings manifest an extensive use of color, energy and emotion. While viewing her imagery, you are immediately swept up in the complex structure of the picture plane. This is especially true of her figurative subjects; it is as though they are communicating their immediate feelings; and the observer is interacting with the painting. It can be disconcerting and stimulating at the same time, depending on the subject matter. Becoming one with the picture is what very few artists can ever hope to achieve for their audience.

At 88, she is as vibrant as ever; painting is her life and she cherishes every moment. Mrs. Tarmu still paints almost every day, not wanting to be interrupted she locks herself into her studio and takes the phone off the hook. Although a contemporary, her expressive style of painting seems to have a connection to an earlier period.

Her expressionist voice is analogous to the German movement that took place at the turn of the century. Die Brücke (The Bridge) was a small group of painters (Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller) that transformed the world of painting. Die Brücke is sometimes compared to the Fauves. Both movements shared interests in primitivist art. Both shared an interest in the expressing of extreme emotion through high-keyed color that was very often non-naturalistic. Both movements employed a drawing technique that was crude, and both groups shared an antipathy to a complete abstraction.”

Lawrence Cantor

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