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“There will be people and they will push the world further…”

Iulian Bisericaru 

Curator: Marie Maertens
Guest sound artist: Romain Poirier

25 May – 1 July 2022

For his new solo show at Anca Poterasu Gallery, Iulian Bisericaru delves into his reflection on nature and ecology, connected to the expanding urbanism and the ghosts of the post-industrial. After certain ideological dogmas and fanatic capitalism, how can nature reclaim its rights? What is the rapport between landscape and culture after Romanticism? The painter observes, creates compositions, reproduces, imagines, sublimates… proposing overviewing perspectives, idealised or less so, before zooming in to transform the vegetation into an infinite subject, to then let go and farther away from it yet again…

“The ghosts of the former excessive industrial exploitations or cataclysms such as the one in Chernobyl are accompanied in his works by an environmental crisis that will be generated by the water deficit or by the climate changes that we are living through now”

Born in the suburbs of Sibiu, confronted with the memories of an intense and then abandoned industrial era, Iulian Bisericaru has always felt an attachment to the environment, and explores so often in his numerous trips or residencies abroad. He is a declared admirer of Edward Hopper’s painting, for its solitary and melancholic atmosphere, or of the work of Hurvin Anderson, for his fantastical consideration of landscape before its real exploration. He also has a deep appreciation for David Salle, from a visual point of view, over the complexity of his compositions, of Robert Motherwell or Peter Doig, in an expanded view of painting with multiple perspectives, especially in the case of the latter. The fascination that Bisericaru has for depicting such a luxuriant nature is also connected with his childhood hikes, with a deep appreciation for an ineffable element that remains wild and unaltered, beyond feeling strongly about ecology. 

The ghosts of the former excessive industrial exploitations or cataclysms such as the one in Chernobyl are accompanied in his works by an environmental crisis that will be generated by the water deficit or by the climate changes that we are living through now. Iulian Bisericaru claims that we are sabotaging our world, yet in his studio – as we can suspect, with no less pleasure – he creates a lively and dynamic approach, in a free rapport with colours. He works with the rhythm and movement of his paintings. He creates various layers, firmly converging from the figurative to the abstract. 

The painter scrutinizes the details, using his eyesight as the zooming lens of a scientific device, and stops over the details of the cacti, well-known for surviving through drought. He makes them portraits of victors, contrasting between pink hues that symbolize pollution, the artificial, anxiety-connected, with an infinite array of green nuances. The ochre, brown, or grey hues connect the two worlds. Especially in his most recent works, Iulian Bisericaru likes to draw us in the influence of Neo Rauch over his work, evoking industrial alienation and on a more general level, the resulting social issues. 

These topics allowed the two artists to build a subtle critique of the past, since the present always sends us back to other times. The social critique is underlined by the Romanian artist through disparate elements that are connected in his painterly collages, without a hierarchy of any kind or central perspective. By bringing together all of these points of view, Iulian Bisericaru draws information without imposing a precise narrative. In some of his paintings, we catch a remanent and inviting taste of an absolutely free nature, that could just as well be a fantasist vision pertaining to the XIXth century orientalists, some of which had never left Europe, or even to Douanier Rousseau, who almost always worked from his studio. At the same time, the vegetation that is usually associated with abandoned factories, on former worker sites now become ruins, transform the status of the paintings towards nihilism and absence, or even a voluptuous apathy…

There will be people and they will push the world further → There will be people and they will push the world further →

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