European Artists e.V.


Esther Tornai Thyssen

Fehlendes Portraitfoto

Curator, Mixed Media
Born 09.07.1954
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Member since 2012


The landscape and man’s mark upon it are the subjects of my collages and paintings. I often rework prints and paintings depicting the landscape. I select existing compositions for historical reasons and as acknowledgement of previous intellectual remarking on the land. I also seek out cities to study buildings and networks of streets for clues to its structure. Street views I select range between eye level, the bird’s eye view, and even the satellite view. I also use maps and atlases to guide my investigation. The images I create imply the agency of man.


Tornai earned the bachelor of art at Lake Forest College and the MA and PhD at Yale University in the history of art, architecture and material culture. She has been teaching art history since 1995, and has participated in curatorial projects both in academia and in the contemporary gallery. Her research interests are in American art and artists and movements of former Soviet block countries. She writes for contemporary artists’ catalogues and manages exhibition projects from concept formation to opening reception.

Most important awards/symposiums

2012 European Artists e.v. Residency, Essen August

2006-2007 Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship, Debrecen

2006 the Sage Colleges Summer research Grant

2004 National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship, Ferrum

  1987-88 Henry Luce Fellowship in American Art and Exhibition Research