What is suggested by “Meditation upon Measure”, the title chosen by the gallery for Mircea Stănescu’s exhibition? Both the title taken from a 1980s work by Mircea Stănescu and a certain limitation due to the gallery space prompt curatorial rigor, while also adding multiple, ambiguous ways of seeing reality. Sophisticated. Boundless. “Meditation upon Measure” insists on a precise understanding of the image. Without any idealization, half abstract, it reflects modern political circumstances by using a definite process from traumatic realism to abstract informalism.
Astringent strategies push Mircea Stănescu towards fiery rhetoric – the universality of power and lack of power – the awareness of power through the body and human action – the body above ideology.
Sometimes realism involves confusion, tensions associated with violence, classic themes, and the introduction of text and autobiographical elements. As a reflection of order and reason, the large-scale collages / restored for this exhibition / have a compact materiality for Mircea Stănescu. They are an aesthetic alternative to communist isolation and the frozen time in which they were conceived.
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.
Mircea Stănescu recovers lived experience. Materiality stems from hopelessness. The technique is invasive, totally palpable, fully understood, and often hits a nerve. Echoes of the real, with abstract details and expressionist cavitation. The collages impose a rigor formed around an idea. The figures’ rigidity, extended symmetry and negative shapes capture a descriptive language. The collages become drawing-narratives. Expansivity remains optional.
In his exclusively abstract drawings, Mircea Stănescu recalls the old myths of photography – lacing, strips of cotton measured and divided into short, precise series. What we see depends on our individual stories, on our uniquely built subjectivities. A transparent discourse, a personal time flowing in parallel with historical time.
Mircea Stănescu doesn’t traffic in the abstract. The drawing may seem diffuse, entropic. Mircea Stănescu’s method is photographic meditation. We return to austerity, to the distillation of a poetic force. There is an abstract, white background sometimes. It’s not what you see, it’s what the mind always recognizes – the sky, the water, the light, simply the azure phlox petals.
Text by Liviana Dan, curator
This project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The AFCN is neither responsible for the project content nor for the way in which the project results may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the grant beneficiary.
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