Structures in equilibrium

By Ileana Pintilie / catalog text for the "Structures in equilibrium" Solo Show / Palatele Brâncovenești Cultural Center

Dedicated, for several years, to the development of geometric shapes and structures, Liliana Mercioiu Popa's pursuits have recently been directed towards the basic relationships between material and immaterial in painting and drawing, but also beyond these fields: in the field of tangible shapes, more exactly, of objectual structures. Studying the rapports among structures, the artist is now attracted by the unlimited possibilities in which the geometric relationships among solids could be settled, using the basic elements of the line, of the angle openings or even of the colour proportions. While trying to get a dynamic order of space, she operates a selection in the visual field, placing herself in a purist (i.e. cleaned of formal and

emotional surplus) area rather than in that of a "producer" of objects offered to the traditional beauty-loving public.
Thus, Liliana Popa's latest investigations express the dynamics of painting facing the hypostasis of some open and dematerialized shapes rendered in lines. Mostly attached to pictorial materiality and to gesturalism, artist's painting stays detached from these concerns in order to experiment geometric purity, the natural rapports among lines or the elementary geometry of certain virtual constructions. Though her chromatics keeps its temperate tendency, by studying the contrasts between the refined greys and red, blue or white, it is open to infinite possibilities of approach. Diminished, the chromatic vibration gradually disappears, to be further replaced by the pure space proper to geometry.
Her drawings too, so close to artist's pictorial investigations, render the tension among lines, the geometric relationships, standing for a laboratory open to formal experiments in painting. They explore the interferences of the pure geometric structures got out of parallel lines or of their dynamic play on an evenly coloured flat surface. The geometric structures resulting from
these formal explorations seem exercises meant to accept objectivity, in contrast with the previously-experimented free individual expression.
While the two-dimensional studies are somehow subordinated one another, the spatial investigations stand for the beginning of a series of projects materialized in three-dimensional objects. They implement the geometric relationships studied first conceptually, in drawing and painting, to be afterwards metamorphosed in variable geometric structures. Made out of thin
beams, as fragile as drawings transposed in space could be, these open geometric structures, lain in aleatory combinations, organize themselves apparently alone, following a process of self-definition and self-objectivation. Even if they can be defined as an experiment, one must not ignore the fact that the spatial play re-configures the whole ensemble, articulating it with
increased vigour.
Therefore, the exhibition "Structures in Equilibrium" can be defined as a new step in Liliana Mercioiu Popa's creation, offering a fragile temporary equilibrium between the tension of the accidental combinations and the rational objectivation of mathematical relationships, between two- and three-dimensionality, between will and sensibility.