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solo show announcement

The Illusion of Depth

11 April – 9 May 2015
Venue|Mind Set Art Center
Reception|3:00 pm, Saturday, 11 April 2015

the artist attends the opening reception

If the entire art history is a form of emancipating one’s gaze, it should be safe to argue that Petrișor’s visual offer is a proposal for renewal on a cultural retention prerequisite, harnessed throughout a specific period of time.

“The Illusion of Depth” refers to a paradigm shift occurring during the Renaissance, which presumably generated the most abundant outcome in the whole history of painting by inoculating a decisive mutation in the space representation system. The planar approach gave way to perspective, an illusion based on the laws of optics. Rendering depth on a two-dimensional surface can only be obtained through an absolute subordination of all the elements of composition to a unique measuring scale whose only benchmark is geometry.

Cătălin PetriÈ™or does not set to illustrate a concept, but to offer an alternative meaning to painting, starting from its most rigid structure: the Renaissance principle, tributary to the laws of Euclidean geometry. The novelty of his endeavor resides in his relation to this norm or rather, its truth.  By originating his works in a common type of pictorial space - the open cube that unfolds different scenographic backgrounds - he decomposes this endorsed image, in order to offer a raw version of it. Painting ceases to be a means of seduction that delivers a fictional narrative, under the pretense of an often far-fetched reality. It hides, in fact, the essence of an inherent construction whose building up takes knowledge and sincerity. The self-reflexive uncovering, the slicing up through appearances in a visual space built on light, shadow and most of all, on geometry, in the absence of which the illusory sense of depth cannot be sustained, constitutes the subject of the visual survey the artist proposes.

A decoding attempt of his works unveils for the viewer’s perception the consistency of the artist’s method operating on both formal and informal levels. There is an applied investigation that juxtaposes antinomies like essence and appearance, real and imaginary, inside and outside, thus deriving conclusive ways to challenge the image’s semiosis. However, this is not using a priori knowledge only to exemplify it afterwards, but submitting a creative instinct to an ordering thinking process and making it to supply the required primal material for this type of sensitive-rational exercises, which stands proof of the artist’s mature intelligence. For many of his works, the recurrent motif is the explanatory intervention, traced in graphite, as a drawing overlapping already well-defined finished paintings. It is a method to promote the higher status of the drawing, in any form of artistic endeavors, and in the same time, an exploitation of a rhetoric effect, with an obvious personal touch. The visual strength of this tampering with the customary technique is already an asset to the artist’s repertoire, as is the switch to monochrome. His black and white compositions, whose formal justification could be that painting dilutes its message through color, possess a subversive and provocative undertone generated by contingent factors (fashion, aesthetic affinities, mise–en–scène, mise en place etc.), by a high emotional charge and, especially, by the subliminal projection of a complex state of being.

I think we stand opposite the enthusiastic assertion made six centuries ago by Leon Battista Alberti: “At long last, perspective makes me see the world as God saw it”. Cătălin Petrișor, positioned across the interval, attached, as his Renaissance peer, to the traditional values of painting and its narrative thread, defines his universe in relation with his own humanism: a world less convinced of its demiurgic force but so much warmer, less fictional but more sincere, kinder towards its own shortcomings, namely closer to the sensitivity of the contemporary man.

text by Cătălin Davidescu, art critic

paintings within the project

Light Falling on Trees, 2011/ 2015, oil and graphite on canvas, 86 x 100,5 cm.
The Strain, 2013/2015, oil and graphite on canvas 65 x 80 cm.
No title, 2011, oil on canvas, 80 x 120 cm.

Aestheticized Uncertainty (House), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 66,5 x 46 cm.

Aestheticized Uncertainty ( Flattened Cube), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 45 x 42 cm.
Aestheticized Uncertainty (Pre-histories), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 70 x 75 cm.

Aestheticized Uncertainty ( Vacant Black), 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 54 x 42 cm.

Aestheticized Uncertainty (Negative Ice), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, 68 x 46 cm.
Between Sunrise and Sunset, 2015, oil and carving on MDF, 42 x 30 cm.
Geometry of Human Nature, 2011, oil and graphite on canvas, 135 x 100 cm.

Light Poaching, 2015, oil and gouache on canvas, 98 x 67 cm.

Pictures out of Image, 2015, oil and gouache on canvas, 131 x 96 cm.

my portfolio website

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Cătălin PetriÅŸor (b. 1978) is a Romanian artist who works in painting, video, drawing, photography, installation and intervention in public space. He has recently collaborated on the project How to Mend Unbroken Things, as artist-in-residence at my art in Vienna. 

In 2013 PetriÅŸor was selected among the finalists of the Celeste Prize. 
His last solo show is The Distance Itself at C-Space Gallery in Beijing. In 2012 he exhibited Geometry of Human Nature, a project curated by Maria Rus Bojan at Galerie Dix9 in Paris.  In the same year, together with Ana Maria Micu, they presented A Conscious Choice For Temporary Blindness at Mind Set Art Center in Taipei. 
He obtained MFA of the University of Art and Design of Cluj-Napoca in Romania in 2004.
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