Mircea Stănescu


Mircea Stănescu

Mircea Stănescu uses his personal experience and visual logic to produce a literally reflexive and contemplative art. The poetic works, with humanist – existentialist accents, have imposed the artist a game with the unknown memory and the radicality of time, a context in which he has chosen artistic isolation. In more recent years, the artistic approach has moved into the studio and the author has become preoccupied with autobiographical representations, based on very personal criteria, associated with intuitive decisions. In the studio, the artist accepts fragile, ephemeral, but familiar typologies, like the shadow, the mirror, the smoke, the memory or the limit. 


Born in 1954, Ploiești, lives and works in Sibiu (RO)



University of Arts, Bucharest (RO) 



Residency – La Napoule Art Foundation, Mandelieu-La Napoule (FR)


Residency – KulturKontakt, Horn (AT)


Residency – The Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA)


Prize of Young Art from Eastern Europe, Rotterdam (NL)



‘The Signs for Somewhere and Elsewhere and Here and Now’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)


‘Insula clandestină/The Illicit Island’ (solo show), National Museum of Contemporary Art – MNAC, Bucharest (RO)

‘The Domino Effect 2’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)

‘Meditation upon Measure’ (solo show), Gaep, Bucharest (RO)

‘PULS 20’, Kunsthalle Bega, Timișoara (RO)

‘Crossing the Same Circumstances’, Kommunale Galerie Berlin (DE)


‘The Domino Effect’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)

‘12 Years After. A Survey of Romanian Art in 180 Works’, MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (RO)


‘Seeing Ourselves Sensing’, Gaep (formerly EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS), Bucharest (RO)

‘Life a User’s Manual: Art Encounters Biennial’, Timișoara (RO)


‘A Matter of Contemplation and Discontent. Art in Romania, 1980s-1990s’, Jorge B. Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines Diliman, Manila (PH)


‘Abstract Matters’ (solo show), Gaep (formerly EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS), Bucharest (RO)


‘You Ask for It’, The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu (RO)


‘Office Wall’, MDF/Monat de Foto, Christine König Gallery, Vienna (AT)


‘Tinsel and Paper’, Brewery Project, Los Angeles, California (USA)

‘Esprit de Finesse (+)(-)’, Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu (RO)


‘Umgekehrte’, The Art Museum, Cluj (RO)


Drawing Triennale, Wroclaw (PL)


“The exhibition Meditation upon Measure, shown at Gaep Gallery, represents a paradigmatic exercise of recovering and bringing back into the present the experimental spirit of an artistic scene that, in the ’80s, was stubborn enough to resist the (anti)cultural policies of the Ceaușescu regime. In this sense, a series of works belonging to artist Mircea Stănescu were reconditioned and related to recent projects in a passage ‘from traumatic realism to abstract formlessness,’ exquisitely curated by Liviana Dan. (…) They represent an insightful cross-section of Mircea Stănescu’s work as well as a relevant synthesis of trajectories identified by important critics such as Magda Cârneci as specific to the ’80s generation: neo-expressionism (strong colors, oversized forms, themes like multiple selves and split identities), the neo-avant-garde (faith in mathematics, in measure, but also an interest in nature and precarious found materials), and intermedia elements (mail art, photography). At the same time, these works, paradoxically, give the impression of contemporaneousness, of being related to do-it-yourself projects and postpunk aesthetics, but also to the campiness of the world of film, fashion, and the digital world.”
”Restored and exhibited on Gaep’s both floors, along with other mixed-technique works by Stănescu dating from 1986-1989, but also from the past two years, the large-scale collages are over 2.5 m tall. What makes them even more imposing is the realization that they reached us, despite their difficult history and the fragility of everything they are made up from, with their entrails intact. The giants don’t only tell the story of their author, but also the story of the years before the fall of communism, when they were made, and the years they travelled through; looking at them, you can’t help but think that without a project of recovery and conservation, they may have never had their moment in the limelight, they may have eventually yielded under their many burdens.”
”Mircea Stănescu’s collages from the late 1980s have in common an overdimensioned, distressed body. Contorted sometimes, desperate every time, with a silent cry and hands pushed forward in their shout neutralized by history. A Sisyphus that carries his burden during the final lap of the totalitarian regime. The newspaper clippings, the dried leaves, the mailing envelopes, the photographs – every collage needs to be looked at in detail, for minutes on end. The ubiquitous body wears different layers and different states, and the entire series also brings to mind Geta Brătescu’s alter egos, her Aesop travelling from one work on paper to the other. But while she opted for a black-and-white approach and for limited surfaces, Mircea Stănescu’s collages make a strong impression with their large scale and, in some instances, their chromatic violence.”
“Mircea Stănescu has the image of an isolated character who keeps his distance from the daily clamour, but who is respected for the consistency and the depth of his practice, proof of his ongoing commitment to high standards. An active participant in key events that have rendered coherence and visibility to the 1980s generation, he is one of its iconic representatives. (…) Keeping everything within measure, Mircea Stănescu continues to be an important artist who builds both his visual and his personal universe in relation to himself and the world he lives in.”
As Liviana Dan, the curator of the exhibition at Gaep, notes, ”in the 1980s you made art because you liked to make art. To rethink the framework, the limits. Experienced in this regard, Mircea Stănescu offers a thematic, stylistic, personal, revelatory account on the nightmare of history, on the power of the body, on lucidity, revolt and materiality.”
Among the various mediums of expression in Mircea Stănescu’s work, collage is a deliberate choice. “Collage reveals the entrance to the layers of world’s print culture”, he says. “In a totalitarian environment, ‘the samizdat era’ meant furtive access to culture, to ‘under-the-table’ books. Communication was poisoned. Risks were disguised. (…) Collage expresses an instinctive discontent, a reflex of a bankrupt existentialism, with empty drawers, bearing the convulsive trace left by red propaganda.”