Art Basel Hong Kong
Discoveries Sector Booth 1C42
March 22-26 2016
For Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, Ghebaly Gallery is pleased to present a new series of paintings by Romanian artist Marius Bercea.
While earlier paintings tackle real and imagined childhood recollections of the arrival of Western consumerism in his birth city of Cluj (located in the Transylvania region of Romania), Bercea’s new body of work embraces ideas of cultural globalization and fluid migrations expressed through the juxtaposition of seemingly recognizable cultural and topographical landscapes.
In this new series Bercea depicts a postmodern Arcadia, where a sparse population of pastoralists commiserate among morose architecture and overzealous flora. Although the paintings speak to the transnationality of cultural modes, Bercea’s imagery is deeply influenced by the shifting paradigms he has experienced in his native Romania. As such, the paintings are a result of an agglomeration of personal memories, documentation in the form of photographs and newspaper clippings, and fantastic landscapes that are woven together to portray a placeless reality that exists only in the picture plane and transcends national identity. Bercea places the viewer square within this landscape, often as a voyeur behind foliage, furthering the blurring of site as one comes to identify with these surroundings.
Color is an important strategy in Bercea’s paintings. Aside from setting a tone and lending to his unique ability to build lived-in landscapes, his use of color points to his investment in the formalist qualities of painting. The heavy purples that offset the neon’s electric glow enliven the dusty grays of the crumbling modernist buildings inhabited by the painting’s various characters. The warm skies discovered through travels to California make for a forensic study of light and its effects, and has helped develop a dialogue with painters from the San Francisco Bay Area, who were also as much concerned with figurative landscapes and portraits as they were concerned with a gestural tradition more readily associated with abstraction.
Marius Bercea (b.1979) lives and works in Cluj, Romania, where he is a professor at the renowned art and design university.
Since 2009, François Ghebaly Gallery has presented a program balanced between Los Angeles-based artists, and international artists. Originally located in Chinatown, the gallery moved to the Culver City arts district after its first year, transforming a tiny old automotive space into an art gallery. Continuing to grow along with its artists, the gallery relocated to a 12,000 sq.ft. venue in Downtown LA in 2013, pioneering a new exciting shift in the Los Angeles art scene.
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