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Estranged from Nature: Ioan Sbârciu

Opening on 16 April, 16.00 - 18.00

Zuecca Projects and European ArtEast Foundation are proud to present Estranged from Nature, a solo exhibition by Ioan Sbârciu, one of the most important figures of the Romanian contemporary art scene.

The Amsterdam based international curator Maria Rus Bojan curates the exhibition together with Alessandro Possati, director of Zuecca Projects. The exhibition is on view at Squero Castello in Venice, from April 16th to July 14th 2024.

Conceived as an adjacent response to the theme Foreigners Everywhere of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2024, this presentation focuses on Ioan Sbârciu’s visionary artistic creation and his large pictorial spaces that addresses issues of estrangement, loss and resilience.


Bringing together the artist’s most ambitious work to date, Estranged from Nature offers a coherent overview of his recurrent themes since the nineteen-eighties, inviting reflection on the multiple forms of alienation that correspond to the complex nature of our times.

Neither figurative, nor entirely abstract Sbârciu’s monumental landscapes engage with almost everything that weighs upon us at the present - the fate of the earth, the closeness of calamity, and the urgency of redefining of our approach to nature. Mystery and matter are delivered in a rush of poetic illumination, in an explosion of color that is masterfully spread on a vast expanse of canvas.

As a painter, Ioan Sbârciu carved a unique path in the history of Romanian art, through this particular ability to orchestrate painting as a continuum field of forces and energies, spread over immense surfaces and complex color networks.

In three interrelated series of paintings successively entitled Cinder Forest, Transylvanian Lights and Infinite Landscape, the artist imagines poetic spaces that are as much real as they are fictional, saturated by mystical beauty, but also charged with the emotional dimension of a melancholic past. A glimmer of memory and hope is recreated onto the canvas through performative rituals that invoke the redemptive nature of art to overcome the effects of a trauma.

Beyond the gestural neo-romanticist expressionism, the artist creates works that become physical topographies in their own right, forged from tactile media including remains of matter such as ash and earth. Generated by immediate experience, these paintings are redemptive; attempting a recovery of a lost past and bucolic land, but mainly emphasizing the infinite power of matter to be reborn in new forms, beyond the rational and the known.

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