Mircea Popescu: Layers


Painting, Drawing, Sculpture and Prints

Please join us for Opening and Artist Reception: Friday, October 10, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Exhibit runs October 10 through November 8, 2014
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm or by appointment

Art on the Avenue Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibit, MIRCEA POPESCU: "LAYERS", featuring painting, drawing, sculpture and prints from the recent work of Princeton area abstract artist of international background and exposure.

Mircea Popescu uses the language of abstraction for a unique exploration of color, structure, time and the nature of painting. He is an unabashed abstract artist, who keeps his formal vocabulary minimal and austere and eloquently employs the rhythm of repetition and seriality. His art, whether painting, drawing, print or sculpture, balances control with experimentation and discipline with freedom.

Abstraction, as Ernst Gombrich reminds us, can never reside solely in the intention of the artist, but must also be in the eye of the beholder. The less there is to look at, the more important it is to look closely and carefully. Popescu’s pieces, almost always without titles, invite the viewer to assume an active role, become a co-creator of sorts, and assign personal meaning to the work.

The five paintings in the show all have the same large size and square format. The large size allows Popescu to unfold the expressive potential of his signature style of layered painting. The brush strokes, lines and strips of color are distributed across the entire canvas, suggesting that the end of the canvas may not be the end of the picture. Popescu’s technique of applying layer upon layer of paint to the canvas, the rhythm of his brush strokes make the viewer aware of painting as a process unfolding in time. The paintings could actually be seen as "paintings of time". The charcoal drawings stand in bold contrast to the quiet energy and luminosity of the paintings, while the series of prints and the sculptures complete the portrait of an artist who traverses media, techniques and choice of materials with great discernment, ease and skill.

Artist Statement

Time is an active element in my work. I paint the way I build a sculpture, using simple forms, lines and textures, as if they were hours and days, archetypes or primordial elements. The surface, whether canvas, wood, or paper, is painted from dark to light, a technique used in Byzantine art. Using classical principles, the golden section, the structures of my compositions are based on rigorous diagrams of simple geometric figures. Considering that contemporary art is characterized by invention and experimentation, texture becomes an essential element of my paintings; it comes naturally from the way the paste is applied, with transparent layers of paint creating new surfaces. Light is a surprising element in my paintings. The technique I use to obtain varying levels of luminosity and transparency is mixing different amounts of primary colors, pigments and other substances. Not all my works the same light, but all of them radiate energy.