Cornel Brudaşcu & Alin Bozbiciu
7th December -19th December 2022
Opening: 7th December, 17.30 - 20.30
4 Cromwell Place
SW7 2JE, London
Commissioned by European ArtEast Foundation, Painterly Affinities is the first UK exhibition dedicated to exploring the dialogue and personal connection between two Romanian painters, associated tothe phenomenon of Cluj School of Painting - octogenarian masterCornel Brudaşcu and his younger disciple Alin Bozbiciu. Co-curated by Maria Rus Bojan and Thierry Morel, this intimate exhibition is an orchestrated visual experience that brings together portraiture and figurative compositions. Charting the artists’ master-apprentice relationship and their subsequent abiding friendship, it includes several portraits they have made of each other, their everyday surroundings, dance performances, as well as paintings that express their shared love for dogs.
A prominent figure in Romanian art since the 60s, Cornel Brudaşcu (b.1937) witnesed the country’s tumultous transition after the violent overthrow of the Communist government in the 1989 Revolution. One of the mentors of a group of younger figurative painters known internationally as the Cluj School, Brudaşcu’s influence on subsequent generations of Romanian artists is profound.
A room dedicated to his early work at the landmark exhibition The World Goes Pop at London’s Tate Modern in 2015, brought international recognition but Brudaşcu is mainly known for his painterly and poetic canvases which reference art history and allude to Old Masters. Painterly Affinities presents a number of these recent works - figurative oil paintings in dark hues which showcase the artist’s distinctive brushwork. Sensual touches and gestural accumulation lead to the construction of a surface where there is a fusion between the figurative and the abstract.
While Brudaşcu’s works are of small size and give a sense of a painterly continuum, Alin Bozbiciu’s (b. 1989) canvases are large, gestural and performative. Bozbiciu’s subjects are always captured in action as distorted figures tormented by existential dilemmas. His portraits and self-portraits exude an expressive quietude, their presence being deepened by the spontaneous brush gestures and blurred shapes in the background.
Taking the viewer through various narratives that are intentionally approached by the artists in similar ways, the exhibition presents a visual experience that highlights the symbiosis between them. While containing a wealth of references to art history, mythology and philosophy, the works on show are also intimately linked to their personal and shared experiences. It allows us to understand the
ongoing master - apprentice dialogue through painterly techniques while at the same time conveying strong feelings of intimacy, friendship and mutual admiration.
The exhibition is kindly supported by AFCN - The Romanian National Cultural Fund, Electroglobal, Cluj-Napoca, MB Art Agency, Amsterdam.
Special thanks to Plan B Gallery, Cluj/Berlin and Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve, Paris.