În Ghicitură - Constantin Flondor: curated by Andrei Jecza

16 December 2023 - 19 February 2024
"For me, painting means managing powerlessness. I have almost never been aware of knowing something definitively. Inability was always closer to me, like a kind of stage fright. But I fed on wonder, the desire for knowledge, the joy of discovering something new."

În Ghicitură / Seashell painting by Constantn Flondor

introductory note by Sorina Jecza


I can unequivocally affirm that the way in which Constantin Flondor relates to art is a breviary of a higher form of maieutics able to simply teach you once again the true purpose of nature.


Yet the artist bafflingly shuns the belief that he might hold the key to unlock any hidden significances: „to me painting means handling the powerlessness”. Suddenly, Constantin Flondor, the painter of serenity, willfully joins the ranks of the hoi polloi: „I have almost never had the feeling of knowing or knowing too well. Powerlessness felt always closer to me. Like some sort of stage fright. But I was feeding on wonder, on the need of knowledge, on the joy of novelty”.


Here it is, therefore, our key: the wonder. To look at the world as if you were its first witness… Flondor sees the world in its entirety, as a whole that only drips—sometimes—signs that have to be picked up. The artist places himself in the interval between what truly is and the little we aspire to, the mark „that diaphanously, transparently transmits a mystery” – the riddle.


In this sense, the riddle the artist talks about is the sensible intuition of the mystery, the utterance of a spirit of an unattainable stature in whose presence the painter can only express his powerlessness. This „powerlessness” takes the form of painting, of art in general.


In order to understand this sensible transfer, the painter offers an allegorical explanation: „the sunlight filtered through thousands water drops turns into a rainbow. The rainbow is the riddle of the sun, the trace the Light leaves to us, the earthlings. And the rainbow generates in turn—in an ensuing reflection—the painter’s palette”.


I asked him how an artist could capture the ineffable nature of a moment brimming with celestial grace, how he would be able to pin the flashing beauty of a passing twinkling? In his answer, he hinted at the same few essential „building” elements: the wondering gaze to start with and the ability to listen. This step is crucial as it disenthralls the inner meanings lying hidden behind the shell of things. Contemplation is the act that puts seeing on the ladder of knowledge.


„The world is a garden and the painter a geometrician. Contemplation leads me to breathing, glimpsing, listening. ... By listening, the hidden is revealed. The gardener himself writes the text with the divine quill. Hence the transparency of the garden. Its see-through nature. The garden opens like a honeycomb and the gardener-painter crosses it like a flavor tester.”


In contemplation the visible becomes transparent to the artist, a riddle, able to unveil to him the geometry of the world revealed in everything – in clouds, gardens, heavens, the frail snowflake. It is the first path the artist embarks on, appropriating the vocabulary of the visible world.


The reward he later receives is the revelation of the whole: „... I move between the sky and the earth... But I content myself with the mystery of the fragment. The fragment testifies to the whole. Pars pro toto”. Holding the tiny snowflake in his hand, the painter reads, like in a seashell, the universe.


The riddle seashell– this is what Painting is.


Constantin Flondor, a reflective intellectual, deeply aware of the creative act, sets himself against the world he enciphers in painting on the horizon of a humble, not conceited candor, just like the profoundly devout fresco painter or peasant-painter...


Sorina Jecza

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