From virtuoso figure painting to cool conceptual art. The new hotspot for contemporary art is Romania, and right now in the city of Cluj a young generation of artists is churning out works of art that are arousing attention internationally.
The exhibition turns the spotlight on contemporary art from Cluj with a selection of artists who work in a variety of media and idioms.
The memory of growing up in a Communist regime until 1989 and the transition to a new societal system are recurring themes for some artists. Others are preoccupied for example with investigating the formal and conceptual language of art across the boundaries of painting, performance, sculpture, video art and drawing. Common to all, though, is a strong historical consciousness of both the political history of Europe and the history of art.
The participating artists are Marius Bercea, Răzvan Botiş, Radu Cioca, Radu Comşa, Adrian Ghenie, Dan Măciucă, Ciprian Mureşan, Cristi Pogăcean, and Şerban Savu.
The Chinese artist Yang Shaobin (b. 1963) is well known for his powerful abstract-realistic paintings. In the exhibition Yang Shaobin: Blue Room, you step into an intense sea of large, bright blue portrait paintings.
Yang Shaobin’s depictions of well known world leaders and anonymous people turn the focus on the costs of global warming.
Frida Kahlo is one of the most striking artistic figures of the 20th century. She became a pioneer by incorporating herself in her art in a new, active way. With self-portraits and intimate depictions of her dramatic life, Kahlo challenges the boundary between oeuvre and biography, between art and everyday culture. Kahlo’s paintings are at once relentlessly self-revealing and profoundly theatrical. Her art has its origin in her personal experiences, but she also creates an identity for herself through her art, thus making art and life two sides of the same coin.
With paintings, drawings and collages, the exhibition offers a close look at Kahlo's oeuvre, including a number of her iconic self-portraits. A section of the exhibition will illustrate how she had her portrait taken throughout life by some of the most prominent photographers of the time. In these she develops her public image as an exotic woman dressed in traditional Mexican costumes.
Kahlo’s self-aware appearance in paintings and photographs is part of a wider tendency where Mexico’s artists, in the time after the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) tried to break free of European influence and rediscover their own roots. The most prominent artist in this “Mexican Renaissance” was Kahlo’s husband Diego Rivera, who will be amply represented in the exhibition. The exhibition also sheds light on Kahlo’s place in this cultural movement with works by contemporary artists such as María Izquierdo, David Alfaro Siquieros, José Clemente Orozco and others.
The Vergel Foundation © 2013 Banco de México Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / billedkunst.dk
The Austrian painter, architect, ecological activist, designer, poet and philosopher Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) dreamed of creating a better world and a better life through the beauty of art. ARKEN invites the public to share the artist’s visions in an exhibition of paintings, architectural models, graphic art and design.
Hundertwasser wanted to create close encounters between nature and mankind. His paintings show a living world where everything forms part of one organism with cellular structure, and where straight lines have been banished.
In his architecture, landscape architecture and town planning, green trees grow out through buildings, and the brightly coloured houses merge with soft, grassy hills. The rounded forms of nature conquer society in Hundertwasser’s utopia based on individual freedom, creativity and joie de vivre.