WHAT MATTERS TO US (TODAY) - Vladiana Ghiulvessi, Iuliana Grădinaru, Alexandra Satmari, Virginia Toma: curated by Alina Serban

1 July - 1 September 2022

“What matters to us (today)” represents a first episode in a series of exhibitions that aims to conduct a research and a radiography (in progress) of the latest contemporary artistic narratives as they are articulated and written by Romanian artists today, some of them being at the beginning of their careers, others already going through important stages in defining their own artistic directions and practices.

The focus of these exhibitions is to investigate the motivations and the type of visual thinking that is shaped within the context of contradictory realities that are often subject to instability, conflict, fear, but which also develop new directions towards solidarity, civic commitment, and new attempts to redefine the project of modernity. How do artists respond to these challenges today, what legitimizes them in their approach and what type of autonomous territory do they depict?

The first episode is defined by a so-called ”progressive nostalgia”, marked by a return to the geometric form, evoking the premises of a new type of abstraction of a serialist nature, generated not in the way we would expect, by logical pursuits, but by certain implications of a social nature. Moreover, the present proposals are directly linked to everyday landscape, to individual experiences and to processes related to collective psychology. The primary elements (line, point, circle, square) involved in the construction/deconstruction process, formulate this time a field of research that does not marginalize a certain sensory and therapeutic side of the unions between volumes, colors, structures, materiality. Furthermore, color plays an important role in the separation of geometries, as well as their optical rhythm and, last but not least, their implementation with the help of materials that are less used or have to do with specific technological processes of an industrial nature. Many of the works included in the exhibition, although defined by their minimalist, abstract character, tend to acquire the status of relational objects, freeing the artistic object from the inertia of formalism.


Vladiana Ghiulvessi (1994, Baia Mare) has a degree in ethnology from Cluj-Napoca Technical University and a master degree, specialization in Painting at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj-Napoca. She lives and works in Baia Mare.

Iuliana Grădinaru (1998, Bârlad) graduated from the Sculpture department of the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design at the National University of Arts “George Enescu”, Iași, where she is currently a master student, with a specialization in Sculpture. She lives and works in Iași.

Alexandra Satmari (1997, Arad) graduated with her bachelor and master degree from the Faculty of Arts and Design, Sculpture department, at the West University of Timișoara. She lives and works in Timișoara and Arad.

Virginia Toma (1983, Bucharest) has a degree in Ceramics from the Faculty of Decorative Arts and Design, National University of Arts in Bucharest. She is the co-founder of the independent art space Cabinet 44 in Bucharest. She lives and works in Bucharest.

“What matters to us (today)” is part of the platform Basic Projects, a proposal put forward by Andrei Jecza and Alina Șerban.

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