Petrica Ștefan, Topographic Circles, 2016,
oil on canvas, 150×200 cm
Curator: SIMONA VILĂU
The exhibition An Abstract Feeling gathers the artworks of six young Romanian artists from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timișoara, involved in the meanders of abstraction, in a context so far dominated by narrative and figuration.
The modern Western field of Abstraction, be it Lyric Abstraction, Geometric Abstraction, Constructivism, Neo-Plasticism or Rayonnismis based on different premises than the post-War, Eastern European Abstraction beneath the Iron Curtain. In Communist Romania, for example, Abstraction had been, for such a long time, a reaction to Socialist Realism and state commissions.
During post-Communist times in Romania, Abstract painting was considered decorative, predictible art fitting domestic environments, without any ideological meaning. Thus, the philosophy behind disappeared and has been replaced with the prejudice of a very simple joy of watching and embellishing, without any psychological turns, a comfortable place.
The image, when stranded from its context, betrays and becomes a common good, made for anyone’s power to criticize, value or perceive in a wrong, subjective way. As an answer to the very common question, What is Abstract Art?, I am going to quote Rosalind Krauss in The Originality of the Avant-Garde – “The absolute stasis of the grid, its lack of hierarchy, of center, of inflection, emphasizes not only its anti-referential character, but – more importantly – its hostility to narrative. This structure, impervious both to time and to incident, will not permit the projection of language into the domain of the visual, and the result is silence.”
The return of young artists to an important chapter of Modern art and the restoration of an already established, museum-like inventory is a phenomenon that sprang in the first decades of the 21st century. (curatorial text ⒸSimona Vilău)