APUD MAGISTER – Ioan Aurel Muresan: curated by Liviana Dan

25 November 2021 - 22 January 2022
Ioan Aurel Mureșan is assimilated to the generation of the artists of the eighties, whose manifestation on the Romanian art scene went through the Atelier 35 network, with a very significant visibility in Oradea, where the painter made his debut in 1981. He is a professor of painting at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj and received his Ph.D. in visual arts in 2005, with a thesis entitled "Exoreic Incursion into Imaginal Poetics. The Magic Journey of the Duke d'Ivry." The painting he experimented with since the ninth decade shared the theoretical platform of postmodernism, where cultural forms are agglutinated in a reflexive register.

Jecza Gallery, in collaboration with the Interart Triade Foundation, is honored to present the exhibition "Ioan Aurel Mureșan - Apud Magister."
Including works from the "Apud Magister" and "Variations from the Deaf Man's House" cycles, the exhibition is a testimony to the artist's explorations from the last year. The expression of these explorations is amplified by the extensive catalog published by Triade publishing house, which will accompany the exhibition. Conceived as an inspiring creation journal, the catalog presents the testimony of this complex artistic and existential experience. The critical texts are authored by Pia Brînzeu, Liviana Dan, and Ramona Novicov, while Sorina Jecza contributes with 22 "fantasies for painting" in support of the artistic endeavor. The exhibition proposes, as its title suggests, a connection to classical art patterns. Speaking about this mirror-like journey, through which Ioan Aurel Mureșan relates his plastic discourse to models, critic Ramona Novicov states: "Apud Magister is a wonderful attempt to build a lock between the spirit that animated the art of past centuries and the spirit of contemporary art. How do you translate, in a contemporary visual language, messages that, encoded in methods, techniques, and historical visions, can no longer penetrate the imagination of today's world? How can you enter the Circle of Great Masters, wherever and whenever they may have been? A deeply reflective spirit, shaped by a vast visual and literary culture, Ioan Aurel Mureșan was naturally drawn to the company of painters from turbulent periods that marked the end of the great eras of triumphant imagery. The world in which he ventured, fully mastering his own artistry and storytelling skills, was that of painters from intermediate periods, hard to classify, akin to somber, decadent, and visionary. It is no wonder that the dialogue is opened by Titian and Giorgione. Through them, Mureșan reminds us that mannerism manifests itself as the first phenomenon of counterculture of the modern spirit, seduced by critical commentary. In essence, Apud Magister is a vast and intimate critical commentary, a steep descent into the point of birth of the pictorial concept, where the transmutation of genuine ideas into another language is possible." (Fragment from the introductory text Tizian, Fragonard, Duchamp and All That Jazz). The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog, a dual journal: on one hand, it represents the pictorial experience - a work in progress of creation; on the other hand, it embodies the experience of reception. To this type of mirror exercise, curator Liviana Dan refers as the Project Journal: "Between March 17, 2020, and May 31, 2021, Ioan Aurel Mureșan paints 22 works from a series entitled "Apud Magister." The references are famous: Titian, Fragonard, Caspar David Friedrich, Grünewald, Rubens, Watteau... The choice is towards a classical past that lives solidly beneath the surface. Also during this period, Sorina Jecza writes daily about these works - a fantasy on the edge of painting, a fantasy for painting. These are two parallel journals. Is it an open marketing strategy in a world that has lost its ability to describe? Are they two intimate journals of the Baudelairian effect, which use the emotion in art, either painting or writing, to depict what they would like to belong to? The internal model is singular and necessary - the world needs more journals, more love letters, more memories, and more stories. Memory is played in dreams, images, and text. Motivation is subjective, sensitive. Logic is affective. An interesting theoretical mobility: confession changes the style. The artist's intimacy - the painter, as Sorina Jecza calls him sometimes - breaks all rules. The artist invents his own rules. He becomes interested in tactile motives, individual mythologies, domestic melancholies, utopias. A deliberate elegance that accentuates the visual journal proposed by Ioan Aurel Mureșan. Painting, with intimate precision, takes on the characteristics of the journal - instant, seductive, obsessively repetitive." (Fragment from the catalog's afterword, The Journal, Pink Nostalgia, and Eternity. Sorina Jecza loves poetry). Multiple games follow a postmodern scenario that Ioan Aurel Mureșan is attached to. He states: "After going through successive stages of the eighties experiment, the current practice of painting I resort to relies on a new synthesis that takes the experience of the pictorial medium further. Still attached to the idea of connecting with reality through cultural mediation, the painting I practice shares the theoretical platform of postmodernism. The belief to which I have remained faithful aims at culture as a second nature/source for my creative universe. I discover how the artistic options manifest in the early years have not exhausted their resources but only enriched their forms of expression. Culture remains, for me, an ever-present source of creativity."Among the pictorial cycles that define his creative trajectory are: "Earth" (1984), "Wall Signs" (1986-1989), "Pictorial Metaphors" (1989-1990), "Via Dolorosa" (1991), "The Wonderful Hours of the Duke d'Ivry" and "The Magic Journey of the Duke d'Ivry" (1992-200