The exhibition presents a selection of works by eight Romanian figurative painters from a younger generation of Romanian artists who have gained international attention over the last decade. Primarily from the country’s two largest cities, Cluj- Napoca and Bucharest, these artists embrace a traditional approach to painting, a medium widely proclaimed obsolete by the latter part of Western 20th-century art history. The artists testify to an intrinsic value of painting by demonstrating the ability of the medium to reinvent itself.
Born in the shadow of the Iron Curtain and witness to its brutal demise in 1989, this generation, now in their 30s-40s, shares the experience of growing up in a post-communist society that saw a sudden onset of consumerism. While each artist adopts a distinct style and ideology, references to Romania’s past and present are integrated into the imagined realities in all of their work.
The paintings comfortably navigate between chaos and order, abstraction and figuration, utopia and dystopia, and past and present. Boiling with palpable tension, many of the works present uneasy subjects and charged exchanges between fragmented spaces and bodies. Remnants of the communist regime are layered with images from art history, films, literature and the Internet.
The selection of paintings conveys the shared tendency of these artists to cover, blur, or subvert the faces of figures. Faces are buried under paint; positioned to distort a full view; and even completely abstracted, leaving the figure intentionally anonymous. The characters are fully absorbed in a world that we cannot access, but there is a sense of isolation and insecurity that is relatable. The works are purposefully unresolved, and the only answer they are willing to give us is that human nature is inevitably fallible.
Thursday, October 2
5:30 members preview
6:30-9pm free public reception