We are very pleased to welcome Robert Muntean as a new artist with his first solo exhibition in our gallery. The exhibition entitled Sonic Wave is presented on the first floor of the gallery from October 15th until November 12th, 2016.
The paintings by Robert Muntean, who was born 1982 in Austria and lives in Berlin since 2007, are generated out of the tension between objectivitiy and abstraction, between immediacy and process. The central and pivotal point of his painting is the figure, though it consistently eludes the expectations of figurative painting; Muntean‘s figures baulk at absorption under the concepts of rep- resentation or a superordinate narrative. His works have been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions.
Muntean demonstrates in an intense, colourful expres- siveness how offensive he has examined the medium of painting about its possibilities. In addition, 3 works from his new Sonic Wave series complement the show, in which purely abstract background shades are generated painterly - as a contrast foil, decoupled from any narra- tion.
In his latest works, Muntean shows of what radical importance painting as a medium is for him. The works always lie in the crossroads of reasoning and knowledge, additionally their simultaneous deconstruction and doubt. In the enormous gestural vibrational fields consisting of blurring and almost feverish interferences and displace- ments, the artist links colour virtuously with a vaguely suggested repertoire of figures and symbols, which he pours into his large-scale works from both art-theoretical and history of ideas references. The instability of colour, which is often blurred, corresponds with precarious mo- tifs of falling, reversal, or reflection.
Quotes like the figure of the pouncing after William Blake in The Great Below (2016) occur surprisingly only after several times. Already the classical motive of the falling demonstrates Muntean's examination of unstable con- ceptions of space and identity creating them in colour texture and motive. The complex representation of the overthrowing Icarus, i.e., is a profound part of a written, art-historical discussion about the design of the body and its views in empty space. Furthermore, the figures being upside down often set against any visual habit, and thereby refusing themselves to any narration - they are less clear. The falling in the ancient myths such as Icarus, Tantalus and Phaeton are border crossers, as they are overthrown opposing the divine order. Thus, they leave the regulated space.
Both the reversal and by that the mirroring of the figure are put into context in philosophical and psychoanalytic texts with self-klowledge, self-creation, self-realization and self-destruction. In the work Stage (2016) Muntean refers to the mirror motive, saying that the most famous literary work by Luigi Pirandello (One, No one and One Hundred Thousand, 1926) served as a source of inspira- tion. In this early-positivist book by the Italian Nobel Prize winner, the mirror is regarded as the main instrument of the alienation of the protagonist.
In the work Vertigo (2016) the drawn-out diagonal be- comes a recurring motive in Muntean's paintings. More- over, there is the head of a horse noticeable at the upper and the lower end. These, like the title of the oil painting already gives hints about, refer to imponderability and unconsciousness. The last puzzling movie by Jean Cocteau (Testament of Orpheus, 1960) inspired Robert Muntean to create a doubled animal form, which points to unconsciously impulsive forces.
Duplication or reflection is the metamedium of visuality to which Muntean refers his critical confrontation with visibility and his doubts. In this techniques of contempla- tion, he combines colour with references from the history of ideas with a sensuous texture of his works. The energy content is checked in the black and white abstract pic- tures of his new Sonic Wave series (2016).
Robert Muntean has already appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions.