Cutting Edge @ Museum Of Arts Cluj-Napoca ROMANIA

Cutting Edge III – on the sublimation of landscape
 The result of the 3rd edition of Cutting Edge International Art Camp that took place in Beliș, in between the 10th and the 20th of July 2016, the group show with the same name brings together young and well-known artists in a visual formula that starts from the idea of observing the environment – the landscapes of Beliș (but also questioning the human intervention in natural environments) and also from the experiential and creative processes that are specific to the art camp’s atmosphere.
In between abstraction and figurative painting, the works exhibited reflect a broad spectrum of approaches of the landscape theme, a challenging theme for technique and compositional exercises and also for demonstrations of traditional mediums endeavors. It is not surprising that painting takes up the most space of the exhibition, being seconded by drawing and graphic art techniques.
Starting from very specific elements – the blue house from Beliș (Andacs Robert, Marius Fodor), going through melancholy filled landscape decoupages (Cristian Avram, Diana Varga), mere decoupages of a moment (Bogdan Mihai Dragoș, Michele Bellini, Cristian Lăpușan) or approaches of the landscape theme starting from figurative (Eva Mitala, Vlad Paraschiv, Valentin Marian Ionescu) and going towards abstraction (Tarcea Nicoleta, Afrodite Theodora Andreou, Mihai Guleș), the exhibition incorporates a broad spectrum of interpretations of the landscape – as a visual pretext and as a starting point for conceptual development of the artworks.
Situated in between figurative painting (“The Cinder Forest”) and abstraction (“The Rape of Europe”), Professor Ioan Sbârciu’s works are marking the limits of this broad spectrum of visual and conceptual approaches that gives the tone of Cutting Egde III.
Water is invested with a specific fascination in this group show, from Cristian Lăpușan’s hyperrealism, to the airy delicacy of Marcel Rusu and the poetical approach of Mayra Stella Mastromarino.
The landscape theme is present in the works that are made using graphic arts specific mediums, from the figurative (with a surrealist twist) engravings of Areti Skavanzou, to Olimpia Bera’s decorative ink drawings and to the Memento Mori golden leaf compositions of Davide Partipilo.
Another big theme of the show is the human figure – as a study pretext and at the same time as pretext to tell a story, wether we look at Michel Bellini’s painting (pretext for study), at Diana Varga’s melancholic painting, at the symbolical approach of Elisa Lipizzi (the study of the nude being invested with the symbolical value – vanity, and the portrait study is used to depict John the Baptist’s biblical figure, with his head on a silver plate), at Andrei Nuțu’s paintings (where the correctness, impressiveness and passion for a figurative and realist approach is more powerful than the story behind), at Cristian Lăpușan’s painting (that seems to be part of a narrative series) or Vlad Paraschiv’s canvas that calls for a potential narration.
Questioning the nature-culture conceptual relation and the intervention of human being in natural environment can be seen in the refined interior scenes and Memento Mori type still life  of Flavia Lugigan, and also in Andrei Ciurdărescu’s refined canvases that depicts a beheaded Venus de Milo (one of the artist’s leitmotifs) in a (apparently) natural environment, its opposition being, in “Giardini II”, a scene with sculptural and natural elements composed in a scenography-like manner, a cultural decoupage.
Inasmuch as Professor Ioan Sbârciu’s works are marking the poles of transition from figurative to abstraction that give the local tone of the show, Dionisis Christofilogiannis’ works show another type of approach, that can be use to navigate the show – the one that has to do with ideas and concepts. With a fresh painting style and a subject that synthesize the nature-culture relation in a playful, ironic manner, the artist makes both a technical demonstration and an interpretation one. In the same manner, Dionisis Christofilogiannis presents a painted object, an ostrich egg, that speaks about dissimulation and recontextualisation games. 
 In an edition dedicated mainly to painting, Cutting Edge III offers a broad spectrum of approaches related to this medium, but also to graphic arts mediums, managing at the same time to have an inner coherence and to recontextualise the landscape theme within contemporary painting.
Text by Mădălina Surducan

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