December 15, 2020 - January 15, 2021 Anaid Art Gallery Bucharest

A time of isolation


The new series of paintings signed by Alexandru Rădvan was born during the total isolation of 2020. Alexandru Rădvan, an artist who develops large artistic projects and unfolds on large areas, sees himself obliged this time to make contact with small canvases and to create his own scenarios in the silence of still nights. A creator of a strongly coloured painting, a lover of the striking and scorching sun, Rădvan feels locked in his own house, which he begins to rediscover and reinterpret. In the works in this series, Alexandru Rădvan emphasizes the idea that feeling free does not mean being able to leave, but being able to stay. Isolation means your forced encounter with yourself, many hours of silence and total quiet, the desire to escape from yourself.


"The year when the world stood still" is the year when each of us was forced to suspend his/her lives in time. This is the moment when for an instant our noises, desires, dreams, nightmares and plans disappeared, everything evaporated and nothing was the same anymore. Freedom in isolation is a freedom of creative fantasy and Rădvan is one of the artists who feel good in extreme situations, the creative force is unleashed in such moments of balance and self-reflection. The characters, often males in a situation of self-isolation, are placed in sterile architectures or in the middle of a lush nature, reminiscent of the past. This inner/outer reminder describes an oppressive loneliness of the encounter between the man who was and the man who became. It only takes a moment of doubt for our entire inner structure to collapse. The first works in this series - Man in an Empty Italian City, Man in His House, Breakdown, Lockdown, Pandemic, Man Feeling Uncertain - were created during the period of total isolation in the spring of 2020 and addressed the issue of lifestyle change. Distance, loneliness in the couple, accumulated tension, fear, voyeurism, change of the way of communicating represent a reflection of the general situation. On the other hand, the works - Self Portrait of the Summer I Have Left, Idols Camouflaged by the Tide and A Quiet Day (the last two painted during the quarantine at home, following the SARS-Cov-2 infection) - are projections of calm periods of the past, where the characters, although solitary, live to the fullest.


The only work that draws its sap from the old cycles of works is the large textile picture - relief The Death of Nessus. A scene from Greek mythology reinterpreted, where Heracles kills Nessus, the famous centaur with a poisoned arrow. The work is a commentary and an allusion to the idea of isolation, loneliness and withdrawal. Hand-sewn, through a long and difficult process, the work recalls the old times, when people used to sew and weave, in the warmth of their home, conditioned by the cyclicity of the seasons.


"The year when the world stood still" is about that moment when the noise has been stopped, when the only one that exists is you, when time is suspended; when there are no differences between today and tomorrow, between present, past and future. Rădvan's paintings from this series describe an impossible existence in an absurd situation.


Curator: Diana Dochia