Their work represents a variety of aspects in painting. Miniature painting, figurative painting, abstract painting, color field painting, landscape painting are present in the show."The term “School of Cluj” is being used, with various meanings and tones, in various international art circles, largely referring to a certain approach to painting, characterized prominently by an option for the figurative, evocative register, a preference for vague historical or social references and an emphasis on the technical quality of the works, seen first and foremost as aesthetic objects.", writes curator Iacob Bogdan in one of his texts on Pavel Grosu. Both Grosu and Nuțu are figureheads of this type of painting.
The figurative paintings of Grosu often seem surrealist in their combination of elements. A man seems to drown knee deep in a swamp that turns out to be a tennis court. A spoon lets honey glide down on a partial nude that resembles Courbet's "The Origin of the World" (1866). Or Duchamp's "Etant Donné" (1946-66) since the body seems to be lying on a meadow. Despite their colorful palette the paintings often have a latent atmosphere of doomsday. Even more so the small format paintings of Mihai Nuțu. He drained them of everything except painting itself it seems. Though sometimes we see formations resembling Stonehenge or what looks like desert, wind and ocean in turmoil. Accordingly Nuțu reduced his pallet, which reinforces the impression of a lifeless parallel world. Who said painting is not a suited medium for the post-human discourse?
Pavel Grosu was born in 1991 in Sângerei, Republica Moldova. He studied painting at the university of Art and Design in Cluj where he finished the Master in 2015. He works and lives in Cluj and is working at his PhD diploma.
Mihai Nuțu was born 1987 in Bistrița Romania. He studied art history and painting at the university of Art and Design in Cluj. He works and lives in Cluj and is working at his PhD diploma.