GÁBOR TŐRÖS was born at Torda, on the 12th of June 1934, but he finished high school at Nagybánya, and after graduating from the Ion Andreescu Art Academy at Kolozsvár (having been the student of Jenő Szervatiusz and András Kós), he started working as a professor at the Art Lyceum of Nagybánya.
Although his earliest works already presented exciting problems of shape and form, the arch of the oeuvre spans between two major, fundamental works. One is the large scale sculpture called "Hockey Players", made of inox steel in 1978, standing in front of the Ice Stadium of Csíkszereda (it is worth noting that the artist has strong connections to sports, in the 1950's, he was many times member of the national wrestling team). The other is a bronze "Tree of Life" pillar recently erected in the building of the Electric Power Company in Nagybánya. Upon the latter, functionality and poetry harmonically mingle into each other.
TŐRÖS, like the majority of genuine artists, had never made any kind of compromise to politics, He has been (and still is) working under hard conditions, in his studio at the artists' colony of Nagybánya, a kind of spiritual island, with a certainty of a nameless organising power that sometimes, in moments of grace, moves the sculpting hand. The fact that he has created his own foundry, provided him with professional independence.
At times when he had no commissions, he created plaquettes representing the greatest personalities of Hungarian cultural history. The sculptures constituting the majority of his works, are created by a technique known since the age of the Renaissance – lost wax process (cire perdue). This high quality and noble method does not allow for faults, but it offers some room for chance.
Intuition, controlled coincidences have always been an important element in the art of Gábor TŐRÖS. The master himself wrote about this in the following words, "As I always modelled my ideas in wax, I always kept a large quantity of molten wax in my studio. I gradually learned the nature of this extraordinary substance, the interaction of liquid wax and water. If the quality and the temperature of wax is just right, a kind of film, a membrane is created between the two. As wax and water do not mix, the interplay and the tension between the of the two kinds of liquid is drawn like a diagram. Forms preserve the drama of creation, like basalt preserves the drama of erstwhile volcano eruptions.
"Starting from here, in the course of years and decades, experimentation with forms practically redefined my relationship with the world. This technique is like meditation, it keeps one's creative attitude constantly awake."
TŐRÖS has been walking on a narrow and secure path. To meditate and to "investigate", to create and to be created, representation, pseudorepresentation, and abstraction, these are the posts marking his way.
In the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Art in Romania (Enciclopedia Artistilor Romani Contemporani, vol. III, Editura Arc 2000, Bucharest), József Mezei associates TŐRÖS with Étienne Hajdu, Zoltán Banner, Zadkin, H. Moore, and Archipenko.
As far as quality is concerned, the mention of these names is by all means justified, although there are substantial differences in artistic methodology. A statement of Max Ernst can be aptly quoted here, not only because some surrealistic traits can also be discerned in the works of TŐRÖS, but also because these words are unconditionally true for the art of Gábor TŐRÖS. In 1937, in the special issue of the Cahiers d'Art, M. Ernst wrote, that the role of the artist is to project whatever is visible inside him. Moreover, "despite being a blind swimmer, I have made myself visible. I saw, and I see." Naturally, things are not at all that simple. TŐRÖS plays with his material, and also wrestles with it.
Creation is their common work.
And their common triumph too.