THE WANDERERS: Contemporary Painting from Cluj

The Wanderers: Contemporary Painting from Cluj

Curated by Maria Rus Bajan

January 11th - February 19th, 2017

at The Richard Taittinger Gallery

154 Ludlow St, NYC 

For more than a decade, Cluj-Napoca, the capital of Transylvania, has been a thriving Contemporary art center for Romania and the international art world. This trend’s inception was founded upon a call for change on behalf of the representation of a group of painters, a group that has since been identified as the “Cluj School.” These young artists dared to assume a different artistic paradigm; one that combined the conceptual art trends of the West with traditional figurative painting.

Aiming to explore the outstanding conditions behind the emergence of such a complex artistic climate, Richard Taittinger Gallery is honored to have leading Romanian art historian Maria Rus Bojan, to curate the exhibition: THE WANDERERS: Contemporary Painting from Cluj.

For this exhibition, the curator has endeavored to make visible that, beyond the ascribed label of the Cluj School by way of international media, there is much more to be explored when considering this group of artists. Therefore, this multigenerational exhibition tracks a shared dialogue between masters and students in order to define certain Romanian traditions. Traditions, that has within the last decade, projected the painters of Cluj-Napoca, into the limelight, astounding the international art world. The artists of this exhibition include; Cornel Brudașcu (1937), Ioan Sbârciu (1948), Victor Răcătău (1967), Aurelian Piroșcă (1973), Marius Bercea (1979), Oana Fărcaș (1981), Alin Bozbiciu (1989), Robert Fekete (1987), and Sergiu Toma (1987).

By bringing together these generations of artists, with different positions, conceptual principle, and pictorial approaches, this show proposes a reevaluation of the very notion of the school. In doing so, it presents a multifaceted and interrelated phenomenon. The success of Cluj lies within a reflexive attitude that involves not only a filtering of past ruptures between history and time, presence and memory, but also a process of transfiguration that aims at self-rediscovery. 

The romantic metaphor of The Wanderer is intended to be a way to describe the common trait that pervades the selection of works included in this exhibition. By introducing conceptual positions that are both figurative and abstract, realist and surreal, nostalgic and critical, the paintings gathered here demonstrates a multiplicity of experiences that turns us all into wanderers. This show is an attempt to present the very essence of Romanian painting: a propensity for the lyrical and longing, the expression of anxiety in a precarious post-Communist present. 

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