Powerful females from Greek mythology prevail in this latest gathering of Mosonyi’s work. Medea fleeing with her murdered children seems like an acute version of the dispossessed mother and two children in Flight, and of the refugees in Exodus. In fact the most recent images of Mother and Babe strongly resemble the later more maternal Medeas. The theme continues in Demeter and Persephone, rendered as posed heads of mother and daughter serenely awaiting their seasonal reunion, but provides a sharp contrast in mood to the stressful Medeas.
None of the male gods and heroes in the chosen myths actually appears in Mosonyi’s paintings. But in alliance with Feminism, she depicts Zeus as an ungainly swan, the disguise he used to seduce the mortal Leda. In this series we see the two entwined in a space so cramped that it is hard to know who is ascendant.
The quiescent mood of Demeter and Persephone is shattered by the fearsome head of Medusa, whose gaze turned men into stone; though the eyes askew and threatening tongue are softened in later Medusas. Variants restore the Gorgon’s torso, along with Pegasus, despite the assertion that the winged horse issued forth when her head was severed. Again maternity softens the appalling vision to allow the cradling of a pet-like horse by his “domesticated” mother, including a garden.
In very recent work Mosonyi has extended the series to include Medusa’s sisters, three Gorgons, who comprise a sub-theme in their own right, a trio of hefty females, performing various acrobatics in confined quarters. Also depicted is Girl with Doves, where the artist explores the romantic side of Greek myth. The realistic figures in Woman and Man suggest a shared ascendancy in the myth of Creation. But most of the chosen subjects over the last decade affirm an abiding interest in women’s ways of surviving, since antiquity, as mothers in a hostile world.
FOREWARD by Thelma Jurgrau-Galler
Mosonyi Collection of Jurgrau & Galler
Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York
Photo Album by Temps Machine,
commande de la ville de St Ouen, janvier-février 2010
Born in Great Yarmouth in 1955. Daughter of musicians, she grew up in New York where she studied painting with Jean Liberté from the age of 9. Her family moved back to England in 1965. She has been living in the Paris area since 1973 and her studio is by the Flea Market in Saint Ouen.