My work ”Archetypal Head” in Lavacow’s Christmas Auction 2016


Text and Time 113 (Archetypal Head), oil on canvas, 70x90 cm, 2016

Text and Time 113 (Archetypal Head), oil on canvas, 70×90 cm, 2016

One of my recent artworks has been included in the Christmas Auction 2016 of the prestigious international auction house, Lavacow, from Bucharest, Romania:

http://lavacow.com/current-auctions/the-christmas-auction-art-is-freedom-lavacow-auction-36/text-and-time-113-archetypal-head.html

The art lovers interested by my art can bid it, and the auction event will be on Monday, December 19, 8,00 PM (EET). In my opinion it’s very profitabile to invest in Romanian art now, because the art market is very low. A British art lover, Carolyn Page, wrote me about the work involved in Lavacow’s auction: ”Nice one. Hope it sells well. It’s far more cheerful and colourful than all the others in the auction.” The founders of Atelier Auction, Singapore, asserted that my artwork could be evaluated by them at around 5,000 USD.

Two years ago, my artwork ”Text and Time 73” was sold at the Lavacow Christmas auction event, after a ”battle” between three art collectors:

http://lavacow.com/text-and-time-73.html

Lavacow is a platform dedicated to Emerging Eastern European Art for collectors to take part in online-only auctions and discover promising new artists. It consists of curated auctions and an information hub of archived international press material (News & Events).

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Severin’s Choice: Felix Aftene


''Postindustrial Icarus'', 100x100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2011

”Postindustrial Icarus”, 100×100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2011

A major visual artist and thinker of the post-literary age

One of the few thought-challenging new Romanian artists, Felix Aftene had the inner power and the tools to become a landmark of the Romanian art in the last 15 years. In my opinion, if his works will be discovered by major global art dealers and art collectors, he could become as famous as his generation fellow, Adrian Ghenie.
An amazing visual Scribe of the post-industrial era, Aftene (a very complex artist, creator of paintings, sculptures, installations, video-art and performances) tries to link myths to the actual condition of the human being, the ‘’trophy-man’’of our stuffed-society, wandering in the center of the emptiness, a non-space deprived by the electricity of feelings and moral issues. A world in a decomposition state, a hyperreality which becomes step by step a kind of cybernetic game, but with the germs of rebirth and hope inside it, imbued with invisible angels, old archetypes, sacred hieroglyfs and Icaruses. The young artist is very cultivated, capable to re-write the art history through an autobiographical approach, with vivid and actual socio-political allusions, probably inspired by thinkers like Jean Baudrillard.
Aftene’s hieratic compositions, with pale, even spectral colours fitted to the apocalyptic atmosphere of our times, are situated between the figurative and the archetypal paradigms.
Felix Aftene (winner of the National Prize of the Romanian Fine Artists Union, in 2016) is both a major visual artist and a cutting-edge thinker of the postmodern/post-literary age.

Constantin Severin

''The Taxidermist'', 150x200 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016.

”The Taxidermist”, 150×200 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016.

Memory and the power of the image

Felix Aftene is a complex artist, who often trespasses over the border between
the language of the visual and another – of the paths between the
performance/video and painting, between painting and sculpture… -, “translating”
motifs reasons, elements of the artistic deed from one to another. In the exhibition
Memory of the Image, at the Brancovian Palaces, Mogoşoaia (2015), one of the
methodological particularities was constituted by the transfer of iconography from
the performance and video towards painting, a type of looking into the abyss of the
postmodern image, which is reintroduced by the author into the process of creation
at the time he was working on Taxidermia (Taxidermy), the exhibition which had a
great success and delighted the public in 2014, at the Museum of Art in Iaşi. Thus,
the phrase “post-performance painting” appeared and was used by the artist
regarding the works on canvases from 2011-2014 time period, inspired by actions
held during the Periferic Festival in Iaşi, the editions from the late ‘90s, or newer
ones – “Water, Air, Fire, Earth” (video performance, 2010), “Taxidermy” (video
performance 2014).

''Stuffed Space'', 100x150 cm, acryl on canvas, 2013

”Stuffed Space”, 100×150 cm, acryl on canvas, 2013

The performance entitled “Hieroglyphics” (1998), showing a series of poses
of the body, reiterated principles from the history of art – of sculpture – from
Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity. In some way, we are presented with
postmodern quotes “spoken” visually, at the first person. Felix Aftene has
transformed into self-portraits these incursions into his imaginary museum, adding
from the history of contemporary art: he painted, for example, a self-referencing
version of a portrait starting from a well known photograph which illustrates an
action of Joseph Beuys. And yet, the assuming of postures to which we make reference does not diminish the “covering power” of the program of ideas pertaining to this stage of
creation of Felix Aftene, and what we are offered is an analysis of the current
human condition, corroborated with a sometimes deep view on the
postindustrial urbanism. The redistribution of accents, from old history, myth,
surrealism, magical realism, towards our time is not categorical – the fantastic
insinuates itself in a series of scenes, maybe it would be appropriate for us to talk
about a new style of metaphysical painting. Reality is visited through the means of
the metaphor.

''Intimacy'', 100x100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2014

”Intimacy”, 100×100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2014

On the other hand, the pattering of this image is made and interpreted with the
help of photo-realism’s visual tools, filtered and interpreted. The texture of the
painted surface, enriched or “eroded” seems, sometimes, to sympathize with the
“Ghenie effects”, and other times the main cold chromatics turn this new version of
the new figurative into the abstract.
Going back to the painting entitled “Underneath the Emptiness”, 2014,
which sends us to Beuys’ action from 1965 “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead
Hare”, it could bring a touch to the semantics of the whole “Taxidermia” cycle. If
we associate this work with Felix Aftene’s video-performance from 2014, which I
already mentioned, with the paintings that echo it, we end up on a certain path
(introducing us under the sign of a symbolic thinking) with the idea that under the
crust of the taxidermy there is not only the emptiness, lifelessness, but also the
virtual chance to recover life.

''Scream'', 60x60 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

”Scream”, 60×60 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

The Romanian artist states: “Taxidermy, the access to eternity through the
conservation of corpses, becomes the analogue to the veritable victory over time:
genetic survival”. In the action of the German artist, the hare was a symbol of life,
of fertility. On the other hand, maternity, just as the paternal affection, appears
explicitly in the embedded paintings of “Taxidermia” series of our visual artist. I
should add, in the end, another term of convergence: Beuys, in his action, had his
face covered in honey and gold leaf, materials which suggest the regeneration
of life and the spiritual light. Felix Aftene in the Natural Science Museum had his
body and face painted in white, the colour of light and purity: he walked from one
glass case to another, researching with his gaze the stuffed animals, as if seeking for
the hidden meanings of existence and the key to their activation…

Adrian Guță

''Poaching'', 100x120 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

”Poaching”, 100×120 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

The opening of ''Taxidermia'' solo show

The opening of ”Taxidermia” solo show

''The Trophy of Evolution'', 130x100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

”The Trophy of Evolution”, 130×100 cm, acryl on canvas, 2016

''Under the Skin'', resin&glass fibers, 19x65x65 cm, 2016

”Under the Skin”, resin&glass fibers, 19x65x65 cm, 2016

Artist’s CV

Felix Aftene

Felix Aftene

Born in Vaslui in 1972, but living and working in Iaşi, Felix Aftene graduated in 1996 the
Academy of Visual Arts “George Enescu” Iaşi, Mural Painting Department, professor Dimitrie Gavrilean, as head of the class.
Since 2016, he had a Ph.D. at the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, Iaşi, coordinator professor Jeno Bartos Ph.D.
He is working as a designer since 1998, at the Romanian Television in Iaşi.
Between 1997-1998, the artist was granted the Scholarship of the Artists Union of Romania. In 1998, he won the contest for the execution of a mural painting for the General Directorate of Public Finances in Iaşi for the artwork entitled “Babylon” (on a surface of 74 sqm).
In 2008, Felix Aftene returned to public attention with an authentic work of art, “Time Capsule”, a monument made of bronze, placed in front of Iaşi City Hall, on the anniversary of 600 years since the documentary attestation of the city.
Starting with 1997, he is a member of the Artists Union of Romania and, beginning with 2005, he is a member of the Managerial staff. In 2013 he was elected president of the Artist Union, Iaşi branch.
He is also curator and coordinator of numerous artistic projects representing, in the country and abroad, the visual artists from Iaşi.
He was awarded and received over twenty-five prizes for his national and international artistic activity.
Felix Aftene is one of the most representative contemporary artists in Romania. His works are found in museums and private collections in Romania and abroad: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Canada, Hungary, Israel, Moldavian Republic etc.

Personal exhibitions (selection)

Architectures of memory, Gelbe Blau Gallery, Barockschloss Mistelbach, Austria, 2016
World of blue -Tiny Griffon Gallery, Nuremberg, Germany, 2015
Iconic Memory – Brancovan Palaces, Cultural Center, Mogoşoaia, 2015
Iconic Memory – National Art Museum of Moldova, Chisinau, 2015
Blue world -Paul Amarica Gallery, Paris, France, 2014
Taxidermy – Art Museum Iasi, 2014
Taxidermy -Oxholm Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013
Taxidermy – Art Yourself Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, 2013
Falling in Time – Art Gallery of the County Museum Vaslui, Romania, 2013
Timeless – Paul Amarica Gallery, Paris, France, 2012
Falling in Time – Berliner Liste, Berlin, Germany (Group 3), 2011
Nato Come Home – Brukenthal Art Museum, Sibiu, Romania, 2011
Iasi, city of creativity – Art Gallery of the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, 2011
Êtres imaginaire, – Espace Culture, Universite Lille, Villeneuve D’Ascq, France, 2010
Anthropomorphisms – Calina Gallery Timisoara, Romania, 2008
What is Man, Lord ? – Dana Gallery, Iasi, Romania, 2008
Masks, – Paul Amarica Gallery, Paris, France, 2007
Erotica – Anixis Gallery, Baden, Switzerland (Group 3), 2007
Studio – Visual Arts Museum Galati 2006
Characters – Anixis Gallery, Baden, Switzerland (Group 3) 2005
Identities – Exhibition (Group 3) itinerated to the Romanian Cultural Institutes
from Venice/ Italy, Vienna/ Austria, Budapest/ Hungary 2004
Angel and Demon – Romanian Cultural Institute Paris, France (Group 3), 2002
Hall-marks in time – Romanian Cultural Institute Venice, Italy (Group 3) 2001

Contact:
Studio address: Lapusneanu Street, street number 7-9, Iasi, Romania.
Phone number: 004 0722442840
Email: felixaftene@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.felixaftene.ro

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Jeanette Winterson, BBC & The Alchemical City


Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson

Seven weeks ago I’ve sent a letter to Jeanette Winterson, a British writer from Manchester and a partner of the prestigious BBC radio (in the period 1992-1996, I was a fellow-worker of BBC, too).
But untill now she did’nt answer me, unfortunately Jeanette Winterson’s choice to solve the situation was a dead silence…

From: Constantin Severin
To: “info-cnw@manchester.ac.uk”
Sent: Sunday, September 4, 2016 8:48 AM
Subject: The Alchemical City-for Jeanette Winterson

Dear Jeanette,

One of my most inspiring metaphors/sintagms as a poet was The Alchemical City (Orasul Alchimic, in Romanian), created in the ‘ 90 years of the XXth century. In 2000 I finished a long poem and I gave it this title, published in 2003 by Dacia publishing house in Cluj Napoca, in a book of selected poems with the same name, The Alchemical City.
In 2009 I began to publish a blog in English and Romanian, also entitled The Alchemical City (Top 75 Art Blogs).
Some years ago I finished my book of selected poems in English, The Alchemical City, intending to publish it in UK or USA. But when I searched on Google I had the unpleasant surprise to notice that my beautiful sintagm/metaphor/ title , The Alchemical City, was captured by the well-known British Radio BBC, in 2014, who entitled your program … The Alchemical City.
And you never mentioned that this sintagm is my creation and was found probably by you, after 2009, with a quick search on Google. Now, if I publish my poetry anthology in UK with my own and preferred title, The Alchemical City, almost all the potential readers may think that I plagiarized BBC…

Waiting for your answer, best wishes,
Constantin Severin

http://www.constantinseverin.ro

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Iulia Mesea despre expoziţia ”Semnele Timpului. Energii Arhetipale”


Cu istoricul şi criticul de artă Iulia Mesea şi curatorul Robert Strebeli.

Cu istoricul şi criticul de artă Iulia Mesea şi curatorul Robert Strebeli.



SEMNELE TIMPULUI. Energii arhetipale
Jurnalul de alchimie al unui „pictor de Cucuteni”

Iulia Mesea

Reprezentant al tendințelor din arta contemporană pentru care arta este cale de rememorare și contemplare a Paradisului pierdut, Constantin Severin propune creația sa ca potențială soluție de întoarcere la esenţial, la arhaic, la posibilele izvoare ale artei.
Sincer și dezinhibat, artistul trăiește intens, simte profund și dorește cu tărie să înțeleagă rosturile lumii și să comunice liber ceea ce putem numi revelațiile sale. Scriitor și artist vizual, jurnalist, fondator al Expresionismului arhetipal, fondator al grupului internațional „The Third Paradigm”, membru al Asociaţiei de Artă Ottawa, Canada, cu participări naționale și internaționale la expoziții de grup și personale (cu titlurile: Metaforele Timpului, Identităţi Matrioşka, Oraşul Alchimic, Suceava mea arhetipală) în Germania (2004 şi 2005), Norvegia (2009) și Muzeul de Artă Vizuală Galaţi (2009), cu lucrări aflate în colecții din România, Germania, Canada, Anglia, Finlanda, SUA, Norvegia, Italia, Elveţia şi Ucraina, Constantin Severin se remarcă prin complexitatea și tenacitatea cu care ne propune spre analiză, înțelegere și delectare mesajul său.
Operele selectate pentru expoziția de la Muzeul Național Brukenthal sunt grăitoare pentru opțiunile sale stilistice, pentru calea pe care a ales-o întru stabilirea zonei de comunicare cu privitorul. Creațiile lui Constantin Severin evocă spaţiul avangardei, ca teritoriu al libertăţii, condiție esențială a oricărui experiment artistic. Lucrările par uneori pagini desprinse din scrieri esoterice, cu alfabete încă nedescifrate sau opere ale naturii, opere ale eroziunii solului sub acțiunea apei sau a vântului; semne magice sau forme geometrice perfecte a căror multiplicare, după rețete ce invocă un demers de tip Rothko, amplifică forța ritualului.
Propunând conceptul Expresionismului arhetipal, pictorul dorește să își clarifice termenii, cadrul, sursele de inspirație, mesajul artistic, mijloacele de expresie, oferind privitorului căi și chei ale metabolismului creaţiei şi procesualității acestuia. Expresionismului arhetipal se definește, în concepția sa, prin recursul la arhetip ca element esențial al limbajului, aflarea rădăcinilor culturale comune ale omenirii, prin înlăturarea adaosurilor superficiale, superflue, accidentale ale timpului: „Expresionismul arhetipal îşi găseşte locul între cele două paradigme majore ale artei contemporane, figurativul şi abstractul. Reprezintă o căutare spirituală a rădăcinilor comune, aflate dincolo de accidentele tragice ale istoriei. O artă suspendată între real şi imaginar, ce necesită rigoare şi mister”, spune artistul, incluzând aici creația lui Brâncuși, Klee, Țuculescu, pe care îi consideră mentori.
Întoarcerea în timp, în zonele arhetipale ale culturii și ale omenirii, spre timpurile primordiale când ființa se contopea cu cosmicul, se poate revendica chiar din conținutul Expresionismului. Culoarea din lucrările semnate Constantin Severin, pură, strălucitoare, nu respiră, însă, violența expresionistă crudă și dureroasă specifică conceptului, raportându-se mai degrabă la solaritatea cromatismului lui Robert Delauney. Accentul pe care pictorul îl adaugă, numind paradigma Expresionism arhetipal, dorește să delimiteze sursele, temele și motivele predilecte. „Arhetipul este un simbol universal. Câmpurile arhetipale sunt reale, un mister al universului.”
Fascinația pe care Constantin Severin o vede în formele arhetipale constă tocmai în complexitatea și profunzimea lor, în acel ceva determinant și veșnic, ce, asemenea muzicii, încântă, și nu poate fi pus în cuvinte fără a-i știrbi din aură. Eludând figurativul prin utilizarea de pictograme și ideograme – recurs la modalități străvechi de comunicare grafică –, artistul încearcă să ajungă la resursele profunde de percepere și simțire ale omului, să relaționeze cu nivelurile limpezi și pure ale subconștientului nostru, și să stabilească corelări și contextualizări, aducând în dialog trecutul de pe diferite paliere și prezentul, născând noi și neașteptate construcții integratoare, din care privitorul se simte parte: „Arhetipurile au o putere secretă, deoarece au fost folosite în decursul a mii de ani de mari grupuri de populaţii, iar acum fac partea din viaţa noastră interioară ascunsă.” Artistul pare că aspiră să trezească din amorțirea milenară un dar al omului primordial, care trăia și simțea aproape de zei, rătăcit de cel modern, și anume gândirea „intuitivă”, sintetică, cumva supraumană, care poate fi accesibilă omului modern doar prin simbol, ca esenţă a realităţii umane sau supraumane. Demersul creator se dorește astfel eliberat de artificialul artei „culte”, legătura cu arta primitivă marcându-se și prin funcția magică, incantatorie, ritualică.

Text and Time 7, oil on canvas, 50x70cm, 2004.

Text and Time 7, oil on canvas, 50x70cm, 2004.

Complexitate și simplitate sunt trăsăturile artei lui Constantin Severin, doi termeni aparent opuși, dar ale căror conținuturi sunt astfel utilizate, încât coexistă și se susțin în arta sa. Privitorul este astfel provocat fie să analizeze, sintetizeze, interpreteze, citind simboluri cu o figurare simplă și o desfășurare ludică, fie să găsescă citirea potrivită într-un hățiș de chei și semne înlănțuite, nuanțate și potențate cromatic.
Cele mai frecvente arhetipuri citate sunt statuetele culturilor primitive, „primordiale”: Gânditorul neolitic de la Hamangia, statuetele nubile, în formă de vioară ale culturii Cucuteni, Gumelnița, cărora li se alătură citatul clasic: Las Meninas și Papa Inocențiu al X-lea, ale lui Velasquez, Doamna cu hermină a lui Leonardo da Vinci, Christ mort a lui Andrea Mantegna, Soții Arnolfini a lui Jan van Eyck etc.
Sublimând funcția utilitară prin figurări, prelucrări și stilizări repetate, furca de tors capătă multiple conotații, una dintre ele fiind lira lui Orpheu – a cărui muzică de esență divină este un arhetip mitic al puterii artei –, apoi, tridentul puterii, caduceul, simbol al transformărilor, al energiilor ce se înfruntă și totodată se completează, ori axis mundi.
Lanțurile formate prin repetarea motivelor / furca sau statueta stilizate, figura geometrică etc. / sunt menite să aducă mișcare și viață conținutului compoziției. Motive ale artei preistorice de tipul: spirală, cerc, ove, linii, elipse, benzi, simboluri solare sau celeste, semne de alfabet, incizii sau caneluri și dispunerea lor în spirale înlănțuite, secționate, reduse la bucle, meandre, dispuse în șiruri orizontale, verticale, oblice, circulare, concentrice sau în alte posibile combinații, asigurând, prin plasarea lor, simetrie, echilibru, ritmicitate, ridică simbolismul geometric la condiția de artă. Multiplicările și fațetările semnelor, formelor și corpurilor geometrice tind să creeze culoare/zone de trecere în alte dimensiuni, într-o sperată capacitate de ignorare a lanțurilor logicii timpului și spațiului.
Culoarea utilizată în mono-, bi- sau tricromii, ca în ceramica pictată a culturilor primordiale, este investită cu forță expresivă pentru a atinge sonorități muzicale ce susțin tipul de ritmicitate al fiecărei compoziții, fie că e realizat prin înlănțuiri de semne, fie prin jocuri de plin și gol, prin hiatusuri și ruperi de ritm, ori prin oglindiri și fațetări cu ecou. În lucrările monocrome formele se nasc discret, dar cu forță sugestivă, din nuanțări sau texturi diferite, din care culoarea pare că izvorăște și radiază. Efectele sinestezice nu sunt întâmplătoare, pictorul considerând muzica arta supremă.

Text and Time 94, oil on canvas, 70x100 cm, 2012.

Text and Time 94, oil on canvas, 70×100 cm, 2012.

Text și timp. Cuvântul creator, „La început a fost cuvântul”, și timpul absolut. Programatic așadar, artistul reia obsedant, implicit, tema timpului, în încercarea temerară de a surprinde în opera sa această inefabilă dimensiune pe care reușește, cel puțin, să o marcheze ca spațiu de tranziție, perpetuu același și perpetuu glisant. Instalația Janus (Janus Bifrons este zeu al ritualurilor de trecere și al fenomenelor de tranziție), face aluzie chiar la acest moment al zonei fluide dintre trecut și viitor, având ca element fundamental citatul din arta clasică (Doamna cu hermină a lui Leonardo da Vinci).
Capodopera clasică, ca arhetip cultural, apare în mai multe compoziții ale seriei expresionist arhetipale Text și Timp, alternând cu arhetipul primordial. Portretul soților Arnolfini (Jan van Eyck) (Text and Time 65) marcat de segmente lineare și cromatice, contribuie la consolidarea unuia dintre straturile evoluției culturale, simbolul cuplului și al zămislirii prin unirea destinelor fiind esențializată orfic, apoi în cele două semicercuri de lumină unite dintr-un alt strat al istoriei. Simbolistica culorilor în contraste simultane și de complementare, nuanțează mesajul și potențează impactul vizual.
Într-o compoziție ale cărei înțelesuri se încheagă într-o construcție cu planuri ce se suprapun sau se adâncesc din jocul dinamic al segmentelor de linii, de forme și culori (Text and Time 7), una dintre capodoperele neoliticului de la Hamangia devine generatoarea, păstrătoarea și creatoarea straturilor succesive culturale. În compoziția Text and Time 94, similar concepută, arhetipul cultural primordial, susține și hrănește capodopera clasică, într-o revărsare de tonuri de lumină.
Astfel, prin semne atent alese și relaționate compozițional, Constantin Severin stabilește noi semnificații, provocându-ne la regândiri ale unor idei și valori aparent cunoscute. Atunci când jocul sau înfruntarea formelor pare domoală, culoarea pură vine cu accente dinamice, care conduc înspre reluări și re-interpretări.
Între trăiri poetice și tensiuni intelectuale, jonglând cu elemente de mare impact vizual – culoarea pură, imaginea iconică, ritmica interioară etc. –, Constantin Severin angajează spectatorul într-o rețea de corelări, sinapse, interpretări și emoții. Lucrările sale, metafore cu iz magic, sunt menite să declanșeze intuiții și trăiri, pentru a reveni la adevăruri pe care omenirea le-a uitat, dar care se află în stare latentă în subconștientul nostru, învitând la redescoperirea a ceea ce cândva era de la sine înțeles, acel sâmbure divin ascuns în sinele nostru, într-un demers de „vindecare” a lumii contemporane, confruntată de confuzii și dezastruoase răsturnări de valori.

Iulia Mesea

Iulia Mesea

Iulia Mesea

Istoric și critic de artă
Muzeograf la Galeria de Artă a Muzeului Naţional Brukenthal
Expert în bunuri de patrimoniu cu semnificaţie artistică

Master în Istoria şi Filosofia Artei şi Arhitecturii, Central European University, Praga
Doctorat în istoria artei, Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai Cluj-Napoca, Facultatea de Istorie şi Filosofie

Distincţii

1994 Premiul naţional “Margareta Sterian”, pentru expoziţia: Arta Germană din Transilvania, secolele XVI-XX
2004 Premiul naţional de istoria artei „Virgil Vătăşianu” pentru expoziţia: Colecţii de artă, arta de a colecţiona – pictură, grafică şi artă decorativă românească secolele XV-XX

Coordonator proiecte naţionale şi internaţionale expoziţionale, editoriale, conferinţe: (selecţie) Europa Luminilor şi colecţionarii săi. Samuel von Brukenthal Modell Aufklärung, Muzeul Naţional Brukenthal, 2007; In Praise of God. Oriental Carpets in Transylvanian Churches, Muzeul Sakip Sabanci Istanbul, 2007; Poduri europene. Tradiţie şi continuitate, în colaborare cu Asociaţia Femeilor Creatoare din România şi Fundaţia Fildas Art, 2007; Expoziţia permanentă a Galeriei de Artă Românească, Muzeul Naţional Brukenthal, 2008; Muza bretonă – expoziţie de grafică franceză secolele XIX-XX, în colaborare cu Muzeul de Arte Frumoase din Rennes –2009 – 2010; Nicolae Tonitza / lucrările din colecția Muzeului Național Brukenthal, Muzeul de Artă Timişoara, 2011; Arta germanilor din Transilvania / Die Kunst der Deutschen aus Siebenbürgen, Muzeul de Artă Timişoara, 2012; International Conference CIDOC / ICOM, Muzeul Naţional Brukenthal, 2011; Lumină și culoare. Colecţia Lucian Pop, Institutul Cultural Român, Budapesta, 2016.

Curator expoziţii artă contemporană (selecţie): Imagini de iubire, expoziţie de pictură şi sculptură contemporană Elena Surdu Stănescu, Georgeta Grabovschi, Muzeul Naţional Brukenthal, 2010; Aurel Contraş – Semn şi formă, expoziţie de sculptură, Muzeul Naţional Brukenthal, 2011; Retrospectivă Bartha Arpad, Muzeul de Artă Braşov, 2013; Semn, Simbol, Semnificaţie, Doina Reghiş Ionescu, 2013; Expoziţia de pictură Constantin Blendea (1929 – 2012); Dumitru Bostan, Ştefan Potop, Lucian Tudorache, Interstiţiu plastic: Nemţeni la Palatul Brukenthal, 2014; Liviu Suhar – Meditaţii şi metafore picturale, 2014; Lidia Crainic, Liniarităţi, 2015; Transparexpression / Eugen Dornescu și Ion Tămâianu, Palatul Brukenthal, 2016.

Publicaţii (cărţi şi cataloage de expoziţii) (selecţie): Pictori din Transilvania în centre artistice europene, Sibiu, 2007; Peisagişti din sudul Transilvaniei, tradiţie şi modernitate, Sibiu 2011; Arta germanilor din Transilvania, secolele XVIII-XIX, Sibiu, 2012; Clasici, moderni, contemporani, pictură românească – colecţia Lucian Pop, catalog, 2013; Liviu Suhar – Meditaţii şi metafore picturale, catalog, 2014; Brukenthal National Museum. The Romanian Art Gallery, Sibiu, 2016; Lumină și culoare. Colecţia Lucian Pop, Cluj-Napoca, 2016.

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The Signs of Time. Archetypal Energies (Opening and Media Coverage)


Together with Iulia Mesea and Robert Strebeli.

Together with Iulia Mesea and Robert Strebeli.

Some photos made by Alexandru Chituta, Sergiu Serj and Constantin Severin from the opening of my solo show, ”The Signs of Time. Archetypal Energies”, Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania, on the 12th of October 2016.

The curator of this show was the visual artist Robert Strebeli, chief of Conservation&Survey Department from the Brukenthal National Museum and it was presented by the art historian&critic Iulia Mesea, cutaror at the same prestigious art museum, the oldest in South-Eastern Europe, built over 200 years ago.

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Together with Dana Hrib, Deputy Director of Brukenthal National Museum.

Together with Dana Hrib, Deputy Director of Brukenthal National Museum.

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With the visual artist Alexandru Bunescu and rhe Marketing Director from the Brukenthal National Museum, Alexandru Chituta.

With the visual artist Alexandru Bunescu and rhe Marketing Director from the Brukenthal National Museum, Alexandru Chituta.

A short video on youtube made by the Marketing Department from Brukenthal National Museum:

Media Coverage of the event:

http://artindex.ro/2016/10/16/semnele-timpului-energii-arhetipale-jurnalul-de-alchimie-al-unui-pictor-de-cucuteni/

Monitorul de Suceava
https://www.monitorulsv.ro/Cultural-local/2016-10-08/Artistul-vizual-Constantin-Severin-va-expune-la-Muzeul-National-Brukenthal-din-Sibiu

NewsBucovina.ro

Lucrări ale artistului plastic Constantin Severin vor fi expuse pe simezele Muzeului de Artă Contemporană Sibiu în expoziţia “Semnele timpului-energii arhetipale”

Bucpress
http://www.bucpress.eu/cultura/expozitia-%E2%80%9Esemnele-timpului.-energii-arhetipale%E2%80%99%E2%80%99-3014

Constantin Severin, cu expoziţia “Semnele Timpului. Energii arhetipale”, la Brukenthal

Ziarelive.ro
http://www.ziarelive.ro/stiri/artistul-constantin-severin-va-expune-la-muzeului-national-brukenthal-din-sibiu.html

Crai Nou

„Semnele timpului – energii arhetipale”

Cultura.Sibiu.ro
http://www.cultura.sibiu.ro/cal_main/event/4133/

Cimec.Wordpress.com
https://cimec.wordpress.com/tag/muzeul-national-brukenthal/

Brukenthal National Museum’s site:

http://www.brukenthalmuseum.ro/index2.php/en/detail/394

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The Archetypal Expressionism at the National Brukenthal Museum


afis

I’m very happy to share with the art lovers my next solo show from the newest Museum of Contemporary Art in Romania, founded in 2014, which belongs to the most prestigious and the oldest art museum in my country, founded 200 years ago, the National Brukenthal Museum, in Sibiu.

http://www.brukenthalmuseum.ro/

This amazing event, a turning point in my career as a visual artist, was possible after the decision of a national jury, formed by art historians and critics, curators, art experts from the Academic world and members of the the Brukenthal museum staff, who selected last year my art project. Many thanks to all of them.
The opening of my solo show, entitled ‘’The Signs of Time. Archetypal Energies’’, will be on October 12th , 2016, at 5 pm, EET and the art lovers can admire, until the 20th of November, 27 of my oil on canvas paintings and the the unique bifrons painting/installation, ‘’Janus’’.
The curator of my exhibition is the visual artist Robert Strebeli, the chief of the Heritage Conservation Department from the National Brukenthal Museum and the presentation text in the catalogue is signed by the art historian and critic Iulia Mesea, curator at the same art museum.

Robert Strebeli. Photo by ZiarMM.ro

Robert Strebeli. Photo by ZiarMM.ro

This exhibition is a representative selection from my recent artworks, which illustrate my new awarded art concept/movement , the Archetypal Expressionism.

http://archetypalexpressionism.com/

The partners of this event are Suceava County Council and Eudaimonia Association, Bucharest.

Text and Time 112 (The Couple), oil on canvas, 70x90 cm, 2015.

Text and Time 112 (The Couple), oil on canvas, 70×90 cm, 2015.

THE SIGNS OF TIME. Archetypal energies.
The alchemy diary of a”Cucuteni painter”

by Iulia MESEA

A contemporary representative of the tendencies according to which art is a way of remembrance and contemplation of the Paradise Lost, Constantin Severin comes up with his creation as a potential solution, a returning to the essence, to the archaic, and the possible springs of art.
Honest and disinhibited, the artist lives intensely, feels deeply and wishes strongly to understand the meanings of the world and to freely communicate that which we may call his revelations. Writer, visual artist, journalist, founder of the Archetypal Expressionism, founder of the international group ”The Third Paradigm”, member of the German association “European Artists”, having participated in numerous personal and group, national and international exhibitions (The Metaphors of Time, Matrioska Identities, The Alchemic City, My Archetypal Suceava), in Germany (2004 and 2005), Norway (2009), the Visual Arts Museum of Galati (2009), with works exhibited in collections in Romania, Germany, Canada, England, Finland, USA, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine, Constantin Severin stands out through the complexity and tenacity with which he submits his message to our analysis, understanding and enjoyment.
The works selected for the exhibition at Brukenthal National Museum are illustrative of his stylistic options, for the way he has chosen to establish a means of communication with the spectator. His artworks sometimes look like pages from an esoteric book, with still unknown alphabets, or like works of nature, works of soil erosion caused by waters or winds. Constantin Severin’s creations evoke the avant-garde space, a territory of freedom, which is an essential condition for any artistic experiment. Proposing the concept of Archetypal Expressionism, the painter wants to clarify his terms, framework, inspirational sources, artistic message and techniques of expression, providing the spectator with ways and keys to the metabolism and process of his creation. In his view, the Archetypal Expressionism is defined by resorting to the archetype as an essential element of language, by finding mankind’s common cultural roots after removing the superficial, superfluous and accidental accretions of time: “The Archetypal Expressionism is to be found between the two major paradigms of contemporary art: the figurative and the abstract. It represents a spiritual search for common roots beyond history’s tragic accidents. It is an art suspended between the real and the imaginary, requiring rigour and mystery”, the artist says, including here the creation of Brancusi, Klee and Țuculescu, whom he considers his mentors.
The return in time, to the archetypal areas of culture and mankind, to primeval ages, when the being melted with the universe, can be claimed by the very contents of the Expressionism. The pure and bright colour in the artworks signed by Constantin Severin breathes, nonetheless, the harsh and painful expressionist violence specific to the concept, relating more to Robert Delauney’s solar-like chromaticism. The emphasis added by the painter, who calls this paradigm Archetypal Expressionism, wishes to circumscribe his favourite sources, themes and motifs. “The archetype is a universal symbol. The archetypal fields are real, a mystery of the universe.”
The fascination that Constantin Severin sees in the archetypal forms lies precisely in their complexity and depth, in that determining and everlasting thing which, like music, enthrals and cannot be worded without impairing its aura. In eluding the figurative by using pictograms and ideograms – that is a recourse to ancient ways of graphic communication – the artist attempts to reach the profound human resources of understanding and feeling, to connect with the clear and pure levels of our subconscious and establish correlations and contextualizations, bringing several stages of the past into a dialogue with the present and giving rise to new and unexpected integrative constructions, to which the spectator feels s/he belongs: “The archetypes have a secret power because they have been used for thousands of years by large groups of populations and now are a part of our inner, hidden life.” It seems that the artists aspires to awaken from a millenary slumber a gift of the primordial humans, who lived and felt closer to gods, something lost by modern people, that is the “intuitive”, synthetic, somewhat superhuman, thinking, which can be accessed in the modern world only through symbols, as an essence of the human or superhuman reality. Thus the creative endeavour wants to break free from the artificialness of “high” art, the link to primitive art being highlighted by its magical, incantatory and ritual function, too.
Constantin Severin’s main artistic features are complexity and simplicity, two apparently oppositional terms, the contents of which are employed, however, in such a manner that they coexist and sustain each other in his art. The viewer is consequently challenged either to analyse, synthesize and interpret by reading symbols with a simple figuration and a ludic arrangement, or to find out the right reading in a maze of keys and linked, nuanced and chromatically potentiated signs.
The most frequently quoted archetypes are the “primordial”, primitive culture statuettes. The Thinker of Hamangia of the Neolithic Age, the violin-shaped nubile statuettes of the Cucuteni and Gumelnița cultures, joined by Las Meninas and Pope Innocent X by Velasquez, Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine, Andrea Mantegna’s The Dead Christ, Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait and so on.
By sublimating the utilitarian function through repeated figurations, recasts and stylisations, a distaff takes on new connotations, one of them being the Lyre of Orpheus – whose godly music is a mythical archetype for the power of art; then, the power trident, the caduceus, a symbol of transformation, of energies that fight and complete each other at the same time, or the axis mundi.
The concatenation formed by a repeat of the motifs/ the stylized distaff or statuette, the geometrical figure, and so on/ is meant to bring about movement and life to the composition contents. Prehistory art motifs such as spirals, circles, ovoids, ellipses, lines, bands, solar or heavenly symbols, alphabet signs, incisions, or dados, together with their arrangement in intertwined spirals, sectioned, reduced to curlicues, meanders, laid out in horizontal, vertical, oblique, circular, concentric or other kinds of rows, provide, through their placement, symmetry, balance, rhythm and raise geometric symbolism to art status. The multiplication and manifold use of signs, forms and geometric shapes give colour and create gateways to other dimensions, in hope for an ability to ignore the constraints of the logic of time and space.
The mono-, bi-, or trichromatic colour, employed like in the painted ceramics of the primordial cultures, is endowed with an expressive force so as to attain musical sonorities that uphold the rhythm of each composition, accomplished either through sign strings, or through an interplay between the full and the void, hiatuses and changes of pace, or through reflections and echoes. In the monochromatic works, the forms begin to appear discreetly, yet with suggestive force, from different nuances or textures, where colour seems to spring up and radiate. The synesthetic effects are not accidental, the painter considering music as the supreme art.

Iulia Mesea

Iulia Mesea

Text and time. The creative word, “In the beginning was the Word” and the absolute time. The artist obsessively and implicitly resumes the time theme in his attempt to seize in his work this ineffable dimension, which he, at least, succeeds in marking off as a transition space, forever the same and forever slipping away. Janus installation (Janus Bifrons is a god of passage rituals and transition phenomena) alludes to this very moment of fluidity between the past and the future, fundamentally relying on quotations from classical art (Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine).
Classical masterpieces, as cultural archetypes, show up in several compositions that are part of the expressionist archetypal series Text and Time, alternating with the primordial archetype. The Arnolfini Portrait (Jan van Eyck) (Text and Time 65), marked by linear and chromatic segments, contributes to the consolidation of one of the cultural evolution layers, the couple and the birth symbol being rendered essential in an orphic manner, then in the two united semicircles of light from another layer of history. The symbolism of colours, in simultaneous and complementary contrasts, nuances the message and strengthens the visual impact.
In a composition whose meanings coagulate in a construction of overlapping planes, or planes that deepen thanks to the dynamic play of segments of lines, forms and colours (Text and Time 7), one of the Neolithic masterpieces of Hamangia becomes a generator, keeper and creator of successive cultural layers. In the composition Text and Time 94, similarly made, the primordial cultural archetype supports and feeds the classical masterpiece through an effusion of colours.
In this way, by means of carefully chosen and compositionally related signs, Constantin Severin establishes new significations, challenging us to think again and differently about apparently known ideas and values. When the play or the confrontation of forms seems slow, pure colour adds dynamic accents that lead to retakes and reinterpretations.
Between poetic feelings and intellectual tensions, juggling with elements of highly visual impact – pure colour, iconic image, inner rhythms, and so forth – Constantin Severin engages the spectator in a network of correlations, synapses, interpretations and emotions. His artworks, metaphors with a magic flavour, are meant to unleash intuitions and feelings so as to return to truths that mankind has forgotten but are still to be found in a latent state in our subconscious. Thus, we are invited to rediscover that which once was self-evident, that divine seed hidden deep inside us, in an endeavour of “healing” the contemporary world, confronted by confusions and destructive reversals of values.

English version by Dumitru Ovidiu Solonar

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A new challenge: member of Ottawa Art Association


Text and Time 113(Archetypal Head), oil on canvas, 70x90 cm, 2016

Text and Time 113(Archetypal Head), oil on canvas, 70×90 cm, 2016

Since July 2016 I became a member of Ottawa Art Association, a prestigious organization of some important Canadian visual artists, founded in 1918, the oldest in this area. Ottawa is my second home-city, after Suceava, Romania, where I have spent many months in the last years, the city of a part of my family.

This is my profile on the site of OAA:

http://www.ottawaartassoc.ca/gallery/artist/constantin-severin

Ottawa Art Association organizes monthly meetings with all the members, a lot of cultural events and two group shows every year, in Spring and at the end of the year, where some of the best artworks are awarded.

The President of Ottawa Art Association is the painter Robert Murrell.

Here is my membership acceptance letter from July, 26:

Hello Constantin, welcome to the Ottawa Art Association, we are so glad you decided to join our organization. Your membership card and a receipt for membership have been placed in the mail. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you aboard and provide you with the link to our web site http://www.ottawaartassoc.ca , as well I have attached a Membership Guide that will help you to assimilate into the OAA.

If you have not already done so, please consider putting your name down to assist with one of our volunteer committees. The OAA is a volunteer run organization and requires the active participation of our members.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of the executive.

Please do come to one of our monthly meetings and introduce yourself to us, we do look forward to meeting all new members of the association.

Cheers

Betty Sullivan/OAA Membership Chair

BESullivan Artists Studio
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
613-254-8319
http://www.bettysullivanart.com/
http://www.bettysullivanart.com/blog

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