Critics’ Picks

View of “Marieta Chirulescu,” 2020, Galeria Plan B, Berlin.

View of “Marieta Chirulescu,” 2020, Galeria Plan B, Berlin.


Marieta Chirulescu

Galeria Plan B | Berlin
Strausberger Platz 1
November 14, 2020–February 6, 2021

In her debut exhibition here, Marieta Chirulescu traverses stylistic and political regimes through paintings that combine the analogue and the digital. The Romanian-born, Berlin-based artist employs strict grids and loose sediments to create work that expresses the mundanity of bureaucratic processes and the conversely alchemical nature of creative ones.

Close to the gallery entrance, an untitled golden trapezoidal canvas conjures an ancient stele; it is moored at its base by a rectangular grid, a Modernist trope that reoccurs throughout the exhibition and transforms a row of similarly shaped works into retro-futuristic International Style architectural models. To the left, a larger canvas comprised of three forms against a lilac background and rendered through the artist’s technically elaborate combination of scanning, editing, printing, and painting, appears to have gathered dust, incorporating those traces of time into its flat surface.

 Chirulescu’s deft use of copying and reproduction converts history into originals and allows a sense of Eastern Bloc politics to infiltrate her auratic style. Her work asserts the collapse of old artistic orders alongside the ascent of new ones and, like the most engaging abstract painting, allows viewers access to otherwise impenetrable situations. Untitled, 2015, invokes the ambition and illusion of the modern skyscraper, as Chirulescu traces the outline of a gently bowed, muted seafoam green rectangle in electric primary colors. Here and elsewhere, she both creates and disrupts form and format, inviting freefall into and beyond her enigmatic canvasses.