Variable Geometries

by Ileana Pintilie /catalogue text for Solo Exhibition, Jecza Galery, Timisoara, 2014 

The searches for form and structure conducted by Liliana Mercioiu Popa in her recent exhibition hosted by Jecza Gallery are more focused on the study of the relationship between materiality and dematerialization, on the relationship between various compositional elements.

In the attempt to achieve a dynamic ordering of space, the artist employs the media of drawing, painting, as well as objects. In this way, she settles in an open area of research rather than that of a "producer" of objects displayed for the usual, beauty-loving public.

This is probably the reason why her recent artworks express the problematics of painting, facing the hypostasis of open, dematerialized forms, expressed with the help of other artistic media. Attached to visual materiality and controlled gestualism, her painting remains somehow in the area of chromatic exploration, of refined, well studied grey shades, but also in the area of the sensuous paste, whose charm attracts her permanently.

The sketches, close to visual research, are also the expression of the tensions between touches of colour and various material structures, some of them reminding of collage or even relief (by adding metal grids or other available materials, incorporated in the field of vision). In contrast with them, the drawings explore the interferences of pure geometrical structures, resulting from parallel lines or the dynamic interplay of these lines, on a flat, evenly coloured surface. The geometrical constructions resulting from such formal explorations seem to be some sort of practice of accepting objectivity, in contrast with free, individual expression.

If the two-dimensional research is oriented in various directions, in a way subject to one another, spatial research is the first achievement in a series of virtual projects and express the desire to continue the study of connections beyond the traditional surface of painting or drawing.

Resulting from joint contrasting symmetrical elements, the large-size objects are meant to shape and build the space, but they are placed in connection with painting, which anticipates them.

But, apart from these large objects, the artist also presents a series of variable geometrical structures, which seem to descend from drawings: made of thin white bars, open geometric shapes, in random combinations, these objects apparently get organized on their own, in a process of self-definition and selfobjectivization.

Even though their experimental character is obvious, one cannot ignore the fact that this spatial interplay reconfigures the whole lot, articulating it more vigorously.

"Variable Geometries" is a new stage in the creation of Liliana Mercioiu Popa, offering a temporary, fragile equilibrium between the tension of the free gesture and the rational objectivization of mathematical relations, between planes and spaces. The artist manages to keep a dynamic, productive balance between older artistic concepts, already experimented with in a number of artworks, and newer ideas, which lead to artistic evolutions that can come to fruition in the future.