EXTENSION.RO @ Triumph Gallery
The group exhibition EXTENSION.RO, on view through March 13th, 2016, at Triumph Gallery in Moscow, highlights the Romanian contemporary art introducing the art trends from East and West Romania, from the varied, often ironic and even sarcastic approach of artists living in Bucharest, less engaged in social or political dialogue, to the artists mainly based in Cluj-Napoca, who bring together historical introspection, experiments with the classical canons of painting and conceptual ideas.
For the East section of the exhibition, Dan Popescu explains the focus on three generations of Romanian artists from Bucharest. First, there is the generation formed before 1989 in a communist social environment (Marin Gherasim, Marian Zidaru), with emphasis on spiritual and mystical themes as a way to escape the socialist-realist artistic rhetoric imposed by the political regime. The second generation, artists currently in their 40’s and early 50’s (Nicolae Comănescu, Dumitru Gorzo, Gili Mocanu or Roman Tolici) experienced both the communist era, as well as the 1989 moment and what soon followed, and according to Dan Popescu “led a schizoid life, where the social hadn’t yet forsaken tradition, where cultural life belonged to the city, but freedom was to be found in the countryside.” The context favored the rediscovery of two major traits of Romanian art – humor and archaism. Finally, the young generation (George Anghelescu, Ștefan Ungureanu and Adrian Preda) does not perceive the city as an “alienating factor”, but as “cultural game”: “If, prior to them, art was an angling tool, for fishing in the abyss beyond yourself and a scalpel for dissecting mental ‘prey’, now the theme is plucked from the world, conceptually chewed by the author, and then regurgitated in an abbreviated key, into an image as iconic as possible.”
Curator for West Romania, Yana Smurova recently discussed about the show with Ukraine Today: “For a western spectator any exhibition by an eastern European artist is still some type of exotic, this is something unexplored, curious, interesting and not fully understood. We perceive it in a different manner as something closer and more understandable for us. So, I think that the exhibition should have a very good reception with a Moscow audience.”
Artists – West Romania
Artists – East Romania
George Anghelescu (interviewed), Ion Bârlădeanu, Marin Gherasim, Dumitru Gorzo, Marian Zidaru, Nicolae Comănescu, Gili Mocanu, Anca Mureşan, Adrian Preda (interviewed), Roman Tolici (featured), Florin Ciulache, Ștefan Ungureanu (interviewed).
Dan Popescu (Bucharest), Yana Smurova (Moscow)
The project consists in a series of exhibitions under the name of EXTENSION, which will show the current art scene of different countries – in 2016, the gallery will present artists from Romania, Azerbaijan, South Korea and Iran.
“The EXTENSION project addresses artists whose work possesses distinctive local elements but at the same time is embedded in the general context of contemporary art. Each EXTENSION exhibition will acquaint spectators with well-known names, who can be encountered at international biennale and in leading global museums, and also young art and new trends. Awareness of one’s own identity and the globalization of culture will become the main topics of each project: the spectator will be confronted simultaneously by dedication to traditional techniques and searches for a new visual language.”
The exhibitions will include an educational programme with lectures by invited curators, public tours and the publication of a catalogue.
Photos: Kristina Romanova, courtesy of Triumph Gallery.
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