Severin’s Choice: Amador Vega

Amador Vega

Amador Vega

‘’Inner life has a close connection to a mystical geometry of the soul’’

Interview with the Spanish philosopher and writer Amador Vega, Aesthetics and Theory of Arts Professor at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona and Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany.

– Probably fascinated by the dialogue between the visible and the invisible, your main field of study is Western mysticism and its relations with aesthetics. Did you find any models of knowledge in the Medieval thought which could still inspire and catalyze the actual thinking?

– For me the most important Medieval European thinkers were Ramon Llull, the first to write scientific and philosophical books in a non Latin language (vulgar tongue) and Meister Eckhart, who also wrote his treatises in Medieval German and Latin. They have elaborated a new kind of thought, searching their ways to the ancient philosophy in close relationship with Jewish and Islamic mysticism. The actual thinking needs to use Medieval metaphors of light, nothingness or night, in order to see the invisible inside the visible. We have forgotten that the negative way is something more than an isolated form of hermeneutics, the final scope of negativity is to join the positive side of every sentence or proposition. That’s why I was interested in abstract painters, because for me they were acting as theologians in Modern times.

– I know that you are, in my opinion, the best actual expert in Ramon Llull’s (1232-1316) works and life, the founder of the Catalan literature and of the multidisciplinary paradigm. Last year you have curated an exhibition dedicated to him and to his followers in contemporary art, ‘’The Thinking Machine: Ramon Llull and the Ars Combinatoria’’, at the Center for Contemporary Art in Barcelona. I invited you to join this issue not only because I’m one of the fans of your writings, but I also think that Ramon Llull’s thought is close to our theme, ‘’To Be or to Form an Integral Part?’’ How can you explain this almost Postmodern obsession of the Whole, which belongs to an amazing Spanish thinker from the 13th century?

– The obsession of the whole in postmodern times is the consequence of the lost of the analogical structure. Medieval thinkers, like Llull, conceived the whole as a scala creaturarum, a ladder in which every being was similar to the others, from the stone to the angels, and God Himself. The space of the divine creation was the field of similarities. The whole was the union of the exteriority – the world as we see, as we know…; the natural realm understood as the material and sensual one- and a inner conception of this exteriority. It was not a pure exteriority, an autonomous exteriority. The real reality was only a spiritual one and always to be conceived in terms of interconnectivity. The lost of the interiority, as a part of the reality, in postmodern times, has as consequence that the reality is only something exterior; there is only exteriority. But we need the nexus, because it is the only place where interiority and exteriority are realized as reality. To realize reality means to understand oneself as a co-author of the real totality, as a medium in the arbitrary world of the network.

– The inner life was one of the major obsessions of Rilke, who asserted that the artist must exteriorize the interiority of things. But I think that in postmodern era the interiority is already hybrid, a large part of it is being occupied by the virtual reality. Do you think, as an aesthetician, that these changes more particulary, the invasion of cyberspace and transhuman structures, provoked mutations in our life?

– We have no more a inner life in a literally sense. What does inner mean? The inner life in Rilke (Weltinnenraum) is something in between, perhaps similar as the mundus immaginalis of Henry Corbin and his Persian philosophers of the light (Sohrawardî). The question about the where (locus) is central in the mystical tradition of West and East: the place which is not a place, locus non locus for Augustin, the place to convert our being and where to be born to a complete new perception of the world. Inner life has a close connection to a mystical geometry of the soul and we need to develop a complete new spiritual anthropology, in order to perceive the locus for the authentic inner life.

– What can you tell us about the influence of Ramon Llull’s Ars Combinatoria in contemporary arts?

– The influence of Ramon Llull’s Ars combinatoria in contemporary art is illustrated, among others, by Dalí, Tàpies, Subirachs, who tried to incorporate some elements of the Ars Magna in their own work. The most relevant example is Dalí, who saw Llull as the father of Catalan thought and art, through the influence of Juan de Herrera, one of the constructors of El Escorial, the Palace-Monastery of Philipp II, who wrote an important book about the geometry of Ramon Llull. And in our days we have David Link, Ralf Baecker or Philipp Goldbach, three young artists who interpret in digital works the Ars Lulliana. But Llull is also present in the most recent performance of the Catalan artist and poet Perejaume, “La rayl de l’arbre és una roda”( The root of the tree is a wheel), a beautiful and intelligent installation in the exhibition from Barcelona (The Thinking Machine: Ramon Llull and Ars Combinatoria), at the same time being a lecture of the Lullian medical principles in a relationship with Galen’s Medieval medicine.

– After the big privilege to study Ramon Llull with you, I had the surprise to realize that Llull’s thinking and the world in which we live today are not so far apart, as you asserted, and to discover that the so called ‘’new’’ concept I launched in 2002, post-literature (, focused on interdisciplinary work and hybridization, on substitution of confrontation between interfering disciplines by dialogue and cohabitation among them, on interchangeability and virtual textualism, belongs to Llullian tradition… Can we say now that the famous Renaissance’s sintagm, Uomo Universale, is also fitted to some early Medieval thinkers, like Ramon Llull?

– Yes, I agree with you: the uomo universale has remained as an ideal in the European mind. We are looking in the last decades to explain structures or grammars of creation which could contain the varieties of language experiences in a sort of «worlds in between» (that Ernst Bloch call: «Zwischenwelt») in which literature, poetry or painting will survive their own limits of expression. For Llull and Pico della Mirandola, during the Italian Renaissance period, the only scope was to render man as a part in the Divine Act of Creation, an Act of Creation who had no explicit linguistic terms, except «logos».

Amador Vega-Bio

Born 1958 in Barcelona, Prof. Dr. Amador Vega initially studied philosophy at the University of Barcelona, then philosophy, theology and history of religion at Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg (Raimundus-Lullus-Institut), where he earned his doctorate in 1992 on the mythical-aesthetical thinking of Raimundus Lullus. In 1993, he became one of the co-founders of the new state University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he was named Professor for Aesthetics and Theory of Arts in 1998. He was visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 2007 and from 2010 at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. Nowadays he is also Visiting professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany, where he is preparing a new exhibition of Ramon Llull at the ZKM (Mai 2018).

Vega has written many books and essays at the junction between aesthetics and religion. In this way, he published for example a monograph on Mark Rothko in 2010 (Sacrificio y creación en la pintura de Rothko). Furthermore, he has written various books on German and Spanish mystics. For example, Ramon Llull and the Secret of Life (2002). In 2016 he was the curator of the exhibition “The Thinking Machine: Ramon Llull and the ars combinatoria” at Barcelona Center of Contemporary Culture (CCCB).

Constantin Severin-Bio

Constantin Severin is a Romanian writer and visual artist, founder and proponent of Archetypal Expressionism, a highly regarded global art movement, which he founded in Bukovina, in 2001, as well as co-founder of 3rd Paradigm International Artists Group. A graduate of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, he has published ten books of poetry, essays and fiction. One of his poems was included in the 2014 World Literature Today anthology, After the Wall Fell: Dispatches from Central Europe (1989–2014), aimed at popularizing post-Wende Central European literature on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Severin’s conceptual art and artworks have appeared in Artdaily, World Literature Today, It’s Liquid, Levure littéraire, Empireuma, Contemporanul, Vatra, Arkitera, Glare Magazine, Cuadernos del Ateneo, Dance, Media Japan, and other international art and literary magazines.

Artist’s site:

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Severin’s Choice: Svitlana Levchenko




The art photographer Svitlana Levchenko from Kyiv, Ukraine created an amazing project for The Alchemical City blog (Top 75 Art Blogs) and for the next issue of the international cultural magazine, Levure littéraire, Paris, entitled : ”AMENENEMA. Are you part of the world or the whole world? Do you exist when nobody sees you?” Her art is an endless poem of feminity, full of life and secret meanings, expressive and overhelming, in search of the Divine Order.
Her Credo is: Creativity – the natural order of life.















Svitlana Levchenko – art photographer from Kyiv, Ukraine. Ecologist by education, but decided to save the world in another way. In general, the style of the artist can be described as a mix of aesthetics of brutality and delicate emotional femininity, diluted with subtle perversion. Specialized in working with photography, using different techniques of collage, what “completes” photo, filling it with meaning and life.
When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Svitlana Levchenko loves the sea, shadows, books and dance with her husband and son. Credo: Creativity – the natural order of life.
Group exhibitions
2016 – «Creative portrait», Los Angeles Center of Photography, Los Angeles, USA /#1 from “People are strange”/
2016 – Polycopies, Paris, France / ”God is an artist” book /
2016 – “2016 days of awesome photo books”, LhGWR gallery, the Hague, the Netherlands / ”God is an artist” book /
2016 – “Appropriation” (curated by Roman Pyatkovka), IPMA, Kyiv, Ukraine / “Catwalk”, “Posh crowd”, “Thank you diary” /
2016 – “Axis” Akt gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine / “Catwalk”, “Posh crowd”/

Publications and printed feature
2016 – “God is an artist”, Redzet LLC, Kyiv, Ukraine
2016 – Obscurae magazine, Lenoir City TN
2016 – Bird in flight, vdohnovenie/photoshkola/ vypusknoj-albom-svetlana- levchenko.html
2016 – Kiosk of democracy, http://kioskderdemokratie. svetlana-levchenko-ukraine. html
2016 – Kiosk of democracy, http://kioskderdemokratie. artist-svetlana-levchenko- ukraine.html

2016 – The Ukranians II, Видавництво Старого Лева, Lviv, Ukraine /photo illustrations/
2015 – The Ukranians, Видавництво Старого Лева, Lviv, Ukraine /photo illustrations/
2015 – La Boussole, Odessa Ukraine

IPMA, Kyiv, Ukraine

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My art on Absolute Arts

Text and Time 114 (Birdman)

Text and Time 114 (Birdman)

The worldwide art lovers of the Archetypal Expressionism, the new awarded art concept/movement, may find a collection of some of my best artworks on Absolute Arts:

Absolute Arts was launched in 1999 by World Wide Arts Resources Corporation (founded in 1995), based in the heartland of the United States of America with a strong and effective, global reach. Since 1995, and the early days of the Internet, World Wide Arts Resources has provided art, art services and art information to millions of clients, artists, buyers, advertisers, news media, educators and students. Over the last 21 years, they have become the most experienced, oldest and successful arts site thriving on the World Wide Web today.

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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:

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:

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

Studio address: Lapusneanu Street, street number 7-9, Iasi, Romania.
Phone number: 004 0722442840

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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: “”
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

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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


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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