The quiet room

Teodora Axente / Dragoș Bădiță / Robert Fekete / Ioana Iacob / Mirela Moscu /Sergiu Toma

19.03 – 08.04 2016

Ah! The quiet corner! A place meant for relaxation and reflection; most artists need one. An isolated location, where one can sit alone, recollect and engage in contemplation. A point where one can be lost in thoughts, schemes or plots, or just consider one`s actions. Is it a shrine, a fortress, a bunker or maybe a padded cell? It could be that little gadget everybody carries with them, that window to another reality which one gets so absorbed and lost into, that object one always buttons and checks upon. Or perhaps it`s just a mindset one can slip into, remaining present physically, but mentally distant in one’s daydreams and fantasies. Perhaps. But most likely it`s the artist`s studio.

”Lateral ArtSpace presents a painting exhibition, that is more than an exhibition with artists having something in common, it is a reunion of a generation. Most artists participating in this exhibition were schoolmates at the Arts University in Cluj and are still friends, visit each other, discuss their art, but they do not form a group and do not share a common belief or a similar aesthetic. Yet there is a common ground that links the artworks in the show, and I do not speak here of the too general “figurative”, but of certain relationship with the meaning of painting and its language, with obvious connections to classical art.

In Teodora Axente’s (b. 1984) painting is a lot of scenography, the construction of images starts from either classical poses, or, in most cases from unusual and strange situations, constructed by the artist herself. The characters painted in a manner that sends you to the seventeenth century classics are “accessorized” with various modern materials, such as tinfoil or plastic wrap. It is as if we are in a fantastic dressing room, placed in an uncertain time, and Teodora Axente’s characters are disguised in outfits that are more or less fancy, in a note often playful.

Dragoș Bădiță (n. 1987) manages to convey to the viewer that what he paints is not actually what is seen, but rather what is under the skin of things or people. Simple scenes from the immediate reality of the artist or portraits of close people are translated by means of painting in a surreal dimension in which emotions, feelings or states of contemplation and meditation are dominating the image. His paintings remind us of Symbolist art or even of the Pre-Rafaelites.

The Neo-Romantic painting of Robert Fekete (b. 1987), that had as starting point a contemporary reinterpretation of Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, began to gain pop accents in the last two years. The pictures with characters that gaze meditatively at nature posters seem to be made of collages or appear to be intensely colored pieces of stained glass. His characters are synthetic now, they are not described in detail and the image has become almost flat, the artist’s interest manifesting especially in the research of artistic language.

The painting of Ioana Iacob (b. 1987) is full of sensuality and eroticism, even when the subject is not treated explicitly. Still life with feminine props, toilet paper, underwear or dildos are treated naturally, as if they were a part of the painting iconography since always. Love scenes with fiery lovers seem inspired by pornography, but without being obscene; on the contrary, they are shrouded in mystery and receive the illusion of passion.

Mirela Moscu (b. 1986) uses imagination and memory to process and transform reality in painting. Her images evoke an inner world at the boundary between reality and dream, with characters that shape from memories or scenes that seem fragments of a broader story. Mirela Moscu’s painting is free and direct, with great power despite its simplicity. Cold harmonies create an oneiric atmosphere that fits the ghostly apparition of the characters.

Sergiu Toma’s (b. 1987) painting is in a permanent dialogue with what we mean by classical art, especially Baroque art. The world of his childhood is a main theme for the artist and a pretext to recreate the atmosphere of chiaroscuro in a setting that seems also old but contemporary as well: the interior of a house from a village, an image that is so familiar to many of us. The scenes give the viewer a cinematic sensation, as if filmed in slow motion. The temporal overlap of the Baroque quotation with the almost motionless present creates a feeling of strangeness.

It is obvious that for the six artists in this exhibition Art history is a fundamental landmark of the way they shape their own artistic language, but more important is what separates them, namely the different worlds that each of them are creating with this language.” – Șerban Savu

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The event is part of the project – Contemporary Art and Culture for Communities, coordinated by The Paintbrush Factory, and supported by a grant from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Romanian Government.