Daria Ghiu

  • Sandor Bartha, Dispozitive pentru o viață mai bună (Devices for a Better Life), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks May 11, 2019

    Sandor Bartha

    In times of political and social instability, an exhibition titled “Variable Identities” and focused on the austerity of small objects risks appearing as an ode to banality, a eulogy to daily poetry hidden behind grandness and monumentality. Indeed, there is nothing glaring in Sandor Bartha’s sly works, which demand that viewers get, and look, closer. In shy multimedia installations, the artist prods reality through particulars: Thrown and disabled stuff once functional but always of little importance is recuperated, recomposed, and assigned a new identity—art. Bartha is nothing if not a shrewd

  • Vlatka Horvat, Bent Double, 2018, concrete, metal and PVC pipes, foam and PVC tubes, insulation tape. Installation view. Photo: Miluta Flueras.

    Vlatka Horvat

    The poetic gestures in Vlatka Horvat’s exhibition “Supporting Objects” made visible the traces of the absent artist’s body while responding to the elegant interior of Eastwards Prospectus, a gallery set in a nineteenth-century villa that strikes a sumptuous, bourgeois note far from a white-cube or industrial ambience. The gallery’s three rooms each featured an installation incorporating one or more wooden tables, or parts thereof, many rescued from Bucharest flea markets and bearing marks of their previous use; several had been patched together out of different kinds of wood, witness to alterations

  • Decebal Scriba, Water-Apa, 1972, gelatin silver print, 17 1/2 x 23 1/2".
    picks May 31, 2018

    Decebal Scriba

    The works in “Memory Clouds,” a survey of photographs from the 1970s and 1980s by the Romanian artist Decebal Scriba, incorporate semiotics, structuralism, and the philosophy of language to reveal what Deleuze called “lines of flight” and “reterritorializations” in Romania under Communist rule. Contrary to common belief, ’70s Romania was marked by a certain cultural openness, as artists began to immerse themselves in both international art magazines and theory. Inspired, perhaps, by his reading, Scriba returned again and again to the deconstruction of words and signs. He also dipped a toe into

  • Ion Bitzan, Image Generator, 1972, 120 boxes, wood, wax, ink, 3 x 1 1/7 x 1/2”.
    picks February 14, 2018

    Ion Bitzan

    Aside from painting commissions under the approval of Romania’s Communist Party, Ion Bitzan independently created objects, installations, drawings, maps, books, and manuscripts. His oeuvre, made up of nearly a thousand works, could be called social realist, but also minimalist, conceptualist, functionalist, gestural, and abstract. After post-Communist years dominated by a Romanian discourse of resentment concerning art sanctioned by the Communist Party—a discourse devoid of any real criticality—now comes a moment when art historians and curators are beginning to rediscover a mass of artworks

  • Iulia Toma, KKK, 2015, embroidery, 13 x 32".
    picks July 13, 2015

    “Twilled Connections”

    In this group exhibition of contemporary textile arts by five women hailing from different generations, one realizes that the various installations have a power to break up space. Corners and ceiling are metaphorically interrogated, while innovative fabrics are integrated throughout. This is a vivid place for experiments.

    Installed on a rough wooden pillar, Dorina Horătău’s Miniatures, 2013, offers tiny, soft mosaics made of textile shreds. In a corner, Debris, 2015, by Otilia Boeru—a black assemblage made of synthetic organza, insulating foil, cotton, and polyester—seems to grow from the walls

  • Ștefan Sava, Can You Interpret this Picture?, 2015, press photos, found photographic prints, dimensions variable.
    picks April 09, 2015

    Ștefan Sava

    Ștefan Sava initiates a study of ephemerality in his latest show by presenting four installations that deconstruct the idea of the archive, a recurrent subject in contemporary art. A multiplicity of perfectly configured gestures is represented here, including White, Gray, Black, 2015, composed of a wood tray, a mound of dust, and a video. In the video, we see the archeological practice of dusting with a brush and this creates anticipation for an unearthing of artifacts from the past, but all that’s revealed is a silver gelatin print of a blank, black image. Another installation, Ruins of a Day

  • Szilárd Miklós, Stateless Anthropology, 2014, mixed media. Installation view.
    picks July 01, 2014

    “Because We Navigate on Different Lanes”

    This exhibition is both a political statement on art’s present condition in Bucharest and a reiteration of the curatorial mission of this center, which is run by the city’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, and is focused on encouraging young artists to produce art in a place that lacks such initiatives.

    Szilárd Miklós’s Video-Portrait of a Tent, 2014, documents a little-known international performance-art festival, AnnArt, that took place between 1990 and 1999 in Romania. Miklós’s hour-long video was created from a montage of the entire archive of the festival. A sketch from the same archive

  • View of “Daniel Djamo,” 2014.
    picks April 13, 2014

    Daniel Djamo

    An old showcase in the center of the gallery space, like those in jewelry shops and archaeological museums, contains nine small objects on a piece of black velvet. Nearby, a continuous line of nine fourteen-by-fourteen-inch photos, exhibited in black frames and white mats, mark two walls of the gallery space and a corner, while a third wall features nine short descriptions of each object in the showcase.

    These components are the work of Daniel Djamo, a young Bucharest-based Romanian artist. His practice sometimes incorporates his own stories and objects, which, when transformed into images (

  • Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Fictio Legis, 2012, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks September 30, 2013

    Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan

    Fictio legis neminem laedit—“a fiction of law injures no one”—could be a motto for Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan’s latest exhibition, which brings a new dimension to the duo’s previous investigations of international politics. Yet the mechanisms of their explorations remain the same. By insinuating themselves into bureaucratic and global apparatuses, and dealing with formal rules and rhetorics, the artists’ work has often revealed absurdities and instabilities in these discourses. In this show, viewers witness the duo’s precise examinations at a micro level, as the artists have changed the

  • Ioana Nemes, Untitled (Friday 9.09.2005), 2005, epoxide, paint, lacquer, 39 x 27 1/2 x 4”. From the series “Time Exposure,” 2005–2008.
    picks July 22, 2013

    Ioana Nemes

    Appearing just two years after Ioana Nemes’s sudden death in New York at age thirty-two, this exhibition focuses on the Romanian artist’s longest and most personal project, the series “The Monthly Evaluations,” 2003–11. This trenchant work offers an extensive archive that departs from Nemes’s quotidian life, which she refracted through her own system of rules and parameters. On view are wall paintings, framed digital prints, collages, a diorama, and, most notably, sculptures—including several rectangular epoxied pieces. WE CHOSE TO JUMP INTO THE CHASM is printed on the blue monument dedicated