Galerie Toplev, Kaigasse 40, Salzburg Where does the ship go when the helmsman had to leave?

This is the existentially challenging situation painter Monika Toplev finds herself in, with her art gallery in Kaigasse, in Salzburg, Austria.

Her husband Nikola Toplev, also painter and gallery director, passed away in the autumn of 2013. And Monika Toplev is now facing this harsh reality as a single fighter, counteracting with mobilized creativity.

It is her declared goal to paint professionally herself and to develop her own, distinct style, still maintaining the framework of classical modernism, yet meeting the taste preferences in the tradition of the gallery at the same time.

Monika Toplev is mastering this balancing act successfully and convincingly. Not only do her new paintings carry on the very special painting culture of her soul mate, they also sense, conquer and express fundamental themes of nature in their own picturesque voice.

»jungle of life« is telling of impenetrability and surprise, of chaos as well as of bright and beautiful moments. Iridescent colour surfaces, translucent structures, wild clusters and lyrical islands - these all are the elements of an impressive, artistic process of selfdiscovery which is arousing curiosity and interest.

Anton Gugg