Roses of white and indigo in a tall orange vase are framed by passages of green, sky blue, walnut brown and grey dotted with black. The vertical format of the work and flattened space enhances the abstract quality of this expressive still life.
The bold colours and flattened picture plane in Hornyak's work reveal the influence of the modern French Fauvist masters including Henri Matisse and Andre Derain. Dubbed "fauve" or wild beast by the media, these early 20th century painters were known for their vivid even potent colors and energetic brushwork. Equally, Hornyak's work takes inspiration from the German expressionist painters such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Die Brucke, the metaphoric "bridge". Like Kirchner's expressive later work, Hornyak's canvases may remind us of the impermanence of existence. Her restless approach to painting has meant a constant reworking of their oil surfaces over time, some of which are as thick as a centimetre. The impermanent bouquet thus becomes a kind of momento mori, a testament to the human condition.
Jennifer Hornyak was born in England where she studied at the Grimsby School of Art before coming to Canada in 1961. In Canada, she continued her studies at McGill University, the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal and the Centre Saidye Bronfman.
Hornyak was invited to participate in the World Exhibition in Paris in 1987 along with Modigliani, Picasso and van Dongen. Her work has been exhibited throughout Europe and North America. Her portrait paintings were recently featured in a public exhibition in Montreal at the McClure Gallery for the Visual Arts. Hornyak's work is represented in many private and corporate collections.
"We cannot reproduce nature, nor should we want to. All we can do is see and feel, and aim to transcend ourselves." Jennifer Hornyak