CRITICAL REVIEW

Conceptual artist, beginning as a painter, he sees his creation as a continuous process of defining a privileged, symbolic topos. Synecdoche of the universe, the space of the natal village reveals itself as a perfectly articulated system of significations and ways of signifying, from the behaviours in which ritual and functionality mingle, to words, objects and images. All along his creative experience, the artist deepens the important levels surrounding these semantic nuclei in works of graphic, painting, movie, photography and objects. In 1992 he exhibits a synthesis object (The Universal Village), created as a whirligig and covered with symbolic images of this privileged space, which places it in provisionality between stillness and movement (becoming). Between 1993-1997 he transposes this entire system of signs into an ample installation on a hill from his natal village Tăușeni. Gravitating along the theme of the High Architect/High Geometrist (Masonic theme) and of creation as expression of a geometric architecture, his system of signs and spatial sequences, symbolic morphologies (The Shepherd’s House, The Well, The Rainbow-Passage-arch) display, in an itinerary that includes standpoints such as the church, the community centre and the village itself, a series of traces that fold and unfold the becoming, the road as process. Within the cultural geography, Tăușeni becomes one of the most important spatial complexes, by fundamentally modifying the signification of implanting monumental ensembles. The installation De-signs towards the Sky, for Rain and Rainbow is not commemorative, although it displays the features of an archaic culture, rebranded through the message of a symbolic totally different way of thinking, while the type of formalisation is far from similar to that of sculpture, actually being a materialisation of a drawing, such as it is for the artist’s entire oeuvre.
 
Alexandra Titu


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    BIOGRAPHY

    (Tăușeni, Cluj-Napoca, 1947 - Bucharest, 2011)
     
    Academic studies:
    1966 - 1968 – Institute of Fine Arts „Ion Andreescu”, Painting department, Cluj-Napoca;
    1968 - 1972 – Institute of Fine Arts „Nicolae Grigorescu”, Painting department, Bucharest;
    2006 – PhD in visual arts.

    Professional activity:
    1993 - today – Academic lecturer at the Painting Department of the Fine Arts Faculty of the National Art University, Bucharest;  
    1999 – President of the Cultural Foundation ALCHIRA;
    2000 - 2004 – Head of the Painting Department, Faculty of Fine Arts of the Art University, Bucharest;
    2009 – Academic professor at the Painting Department of the Fine Arts Faculty of the National Art University, Bucharest.

    since 1974 – Member of the Plastic Artists Union of Romania;
    1994 - 2002 – Member in the National Council, Painting Section;
                         - Member in the Board Council of the Plastic Artists Union of Romania, Bucharest branch;
    2006 - today – Member in the Board Council of the Painting Branch of the Plastic Artists Union in Romania.
     


    PROJECTS

    Solo exhibitions:
    1968 - Painting, Students House, Cluj-Napoca;
    1972 – Painting and drawings, Kalinderu Gallery, Bucharest;
    1973 – Project-drawings, package-poems, picture-poems, Orizont Gallery, Bucharest;
    1979 - Tăușeni 124, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest;
    1980 – Art Museum, Galați;
             - Plastic Artist Union Galleries, Cluj-Napoca;
    1982 - Pro Arte Gallery, Lugoj;
             - Studies for an exhibition, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest;
    1983 - Studies for an exhibition, Bastion Gallery, Timișoara;
    1984 – Micro-retrospective, Romanian Public Library, New York, USA;
    1992 – Interior de-sign (retrospective), ¾ Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest;
    1993 – Interior de-sign, House of Culture, Bratislava, Slovakia;
             - State Museum, Nitra, Slovakia;
             - County Museum, Bistrița-Năsăud;
             - National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca;
    1994 - 1995 - De-signs towards the Sky, for Rain and Rainbow (monumental ensemble), Cluj-Napoca;
    1998 - Exhibition - installation The Earth and Art, The Museum of Agriculture in Romania, Slobozia;
    2007 - Exhibition pre-text (painting/drawing/object/film/photography and book launch), Luchian 12 Gallery, Bucharest.
     
    Group exhibitions:
    1973 – Figurative aspects, Workshop ’35 Gallery, Bucharest;
             - Expressionism as attitude, Workshop ’35 Gallery, Bucharest;
    1974 – The Fantastic, New Gallery, Bucharest;
             - Juan Miro Drawing Contest, Barcelona, Spain;
    1975 – The Thing, the Image and the Sign, New Gallery, Bucharest:
             - Juan Miro Drawing Contest, Barcelona, Spain;
             - Still Life, Workshop ’35 Gallery, Bucharest;
             - The Human Body, Faculty of Medicine, Bucharest;
             - Contemporary Messages, New Gallery, Bucharest;
    1976 - Art and Nature, New Gallery, Bucharest;
    1978 - Study I, Bastion Gallery, Timișoara;
             - Imaginary and I-realised objects, Hanul cu Tei Gallery, Bucharest;
    1979 – Photography and Experimental Movie, Community Centre of Art Gallery, Bucharest;
    1980 - Writing, „Ion Mincu“ Academy of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest;
    1981 - Medium, Covasna County Museum, Sfântu Gheorghe, Covasna;
             - International Biennale of Visual Poetry, Sao Paulo, Brasil;
             - Study II, Bastion Gallery, Timișoara;
    1982 – Geometry and Sensibility, Brukenthal National Musem, Sibiu;
    1983 - Space – Act and Metaphor, Museum of the Village, Bucharest;
             - 13 Romanian Contemporary Artists, Community Centre of Art Gallery, Bucharest;
    1984 – Artist Book, Very Small Theatre, Bucharest;
             - The Bakestone, Museum of the Village, Bucharest;
    1985 - Mail art, ’35 Gallery, Bucharest;
             - Cagnes-sur-Mer International Festival, France;
    1986 – Space-Mirror, „Ion Mincu“ University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest;
    1988 – Exhibition of original paintings, Rijeka, Yugoslavia;
             - Rumenische Malerei der Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany;
    1990 - Filocalia, ArtExpo Gallery, Bucharest;
    1992 - Filocalia, ¾ Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest;
             - Transparency, Attic Gallery, Bucharest;
    1993 - European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany;
    1994 - 010101, Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest;
    1995 – Romanian Artists of Today, Latin America House, Bucharest;
    1996 - INTERARTeast open studio, Atelier Gallery, Târgu Mureș;
             - Experiment, ArtExpo Gallery, Bucharest;
    1997 – The Sacred in Art, Parliament Palace, Bucharest;
    1998 – Art Salon Subjective Space, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest (project author and coordinator);
    1999 – Romanian Contemporary Painters, Romanian Cultural Centre, Vienna, Austria;
             - The Sacred in Art, Parliament Palace, Bucharest;
             - Art Salon. Time in the Arts of Space, Apollo Gallery, G.A.M.B., Bucharest (project author and programme manager);
    2000 – Bucharest Art Salon. Signs of the Year 2000, Apollo Gallery, Bucharest;
    2001 - Millennium III Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Parliament Palace, Bucharest;
             - Romexpo National Salon of Art, Bucharest;
    2003 – Cultural Exchange between Romania - Japan, Metropolitan Art Gallery Pace, Tokyo, Japan;
    2005 , 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 – Group Exhibition, Galateca Gallery, Bucharest.

    International symposia:
    1992 - Riesa, Germany;
    1980 - Targoszin, Poland Republic;
    1980 - Bojenci, Bulgaria;
    1978 - Białowieża, Poland Republic;
    2008 - Mesta (Chios Island), Greece.

    Monumental works:
    1994 - 2004 – Monumental ensemble De-signs towards the Sky, for Rain and Rainbow, Tăuşeni, Cluj-Napoca.

     Installations:
    1994 – Installation for Recalling, Suggesting Rain and Rainbow/ Installation pour remémorer, pour suggestionner la pluie et l’arc-en-ciel, Tăușeni, Cluj.

    Writings:
    1987 – Rediscovering words: words for blind people, in Arta, no. 9;
    1990 – Symmetry after the human face and similitude, in Arta, no. 2, p. 12 - 13;
             - interviews: in Arta, no. 9 - 10, p. 23 - 24;
    1992 - no. 6, p. 20 - 24;
    2006 – PhD thesis: Project and utopia in art. Self-poetic endeavour;
    2007 – Words for eyes, Carmides, Bucharest.

    Museums:
     - National Museum of Contemporary Art;
      - National Museum of Agriculture, Slobozia, Ialomița.

    Distinctions:
    1974 – Grant by the Plastic Artists Union of Romania;
    1993 - Grant by the Plastic Artists Union of Romania for painting;
    1994 – Prize of the Soros Foundation, Bucharest;
             - Prize of the International Centre for Contemporary Art;
    1996 – Prize of the Romanian Academy;
    1999 – Prize of the Plastic Artists Union for painting;
    2004 – Order Cultural Merit as Commander, granted by the Romanian Presidency.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Fundația Culturală META, Un secol de sculptură românească. Dicționar A-D, Colecția SINTEZE, Editura META, 2001, pp. 118 - 120.
    Titu, Alexandra, 13 pictori români contemporani, Editura Meridiane, București, 1982.
    Titu, Alexandra, Experiment în arta românească după 1960 / Experiment in Romanian Art since 1960 (catalog), Centrul Soros pentru Artă Contemporană, București, 1997.

    01, 01, 01… (catalogul expoziției), Muzeul Ţăranului Român, Bucureşti, 1994.
    Alexandru Chira, în dialog cu Radu Propovici şi Teodor Redlow, Simeza, 1982.
    De-semnul interior (catalogul expoziţiei), Bucureşti, 1992.
    De-semne spre cer (catalogul instalaţiei de la Tăuşeni), 1995.
    Hăulică, Dan, Studii pentru o expoziţie (catalogul expoziţiei omonime), Simeza, 1982.
    Kardosova, Gita, text - catalogul expoziţiei Dom umenia, Bratislava, 1993.
    L’Art Roumain - Repères contemporaines (catalog), editura Uniunii Artiștilor Plastici, 1995.
    Redlow, Teodor, Patru dialoguri despre desen, „Arta“, nr. 4/1982.
    Texte de artist, Bienala São Paulo (catalog), 1981.

    Surse web:
    http://www.alexandruchira.ro/