Iulian Bisericaru lives and works in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is presently a PhD student at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj researching through painting the connections between ecology and utopian architectural theories.
The artist creates complex compositions where he expresses the tensions between the natural and the artificial in figurative contexts and lyrical abstractions. Germanic Romantic influences resonate strongly in Iulian Bisericaru’s works, inspired by the surroundings of Sibiu (Hermanstadt). While his painting is shaped by the Cluj art school, the artist quickly shifted from its influences in order to create his own distinct compositions. Bright and daring colour screens come together in multiple visual languages into one painting. In his latest series exhibited during Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Iulian Bisericaru playfully extends his references to abstract-expressionism, especially towards Motherwell, or otherwise impressionist brushstrokes towards Degas or Monet, creating captivating and unexpected worlds.
“In his work, Iulian Bisericaru is wondering what do these mutations of the city-scape tell about a society. How is a city or a community mirrored in those choices, and how far do these reflections ripple in time?” – Bendana | Pinel Art Contemporain
Iulian Bisericaru has been drawing and painting continuously, since childhood. While his early works usually depict houses and landscapes, his first major painting evokes a panoramic view over an architectural ensemble. ”I started painting industrial landscapes from very early on, in bright colours, acknowledging in painterly gestures an impulse for strong contrasts and accentuated brushstrokes. For me, this type of representation requires an engaged and radical attitude facing the post-1989 context in Romania. I spent my childhood on the outskirts of Sibiu, a considerably large Transilvanian city, that still carried on the memory of some formerly well-known factories and industrial buildings. Their architecture had become familiar to me and I longed to explore through them my fascination towards textures. I cannot tell how much of my initial reflections have survived to this day, yet I know that ecology and the post-industrial landscapes have always been a rich source of inspiration for me.”
The early works of the artist, from around 2012, let a sense of nostalgia transpire through, captured between two historical times. The paintings are made on large canvases, sometimes two metres tall and wide. By focusing on the few still functioning industrial areas, otherwise geographically marginal, the artist confronts the remnants of the past and the uncertainties of the future. The dynamic amplitude of his brushstrokes is accompanied by multiple perspectives in his composition, collaging various fragments with oil on canvas, reminiscent of the cubist movement.
Iulian Bisericaru works with photographs, sketches and collages to establish a narrative and a memorable dynamic for the viewer. By altering and skewing perspectives, the artist is reinterpreting the established art history canon, leading to a plastic exercise that keeps developing throughout his career. Within Bisericaru’s paintings, the background opposes the form, and concerning the spatial representation, there is a clear distance between the foreground and secondary perspectives. Interested in the study of anthropic environments and the way that humans intervene in nature, Iulian Bisericaru integrates elements of abandoned structures and details of mere architectural glimpses.