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Radu Oreian: Close to the Bone | A Descent into Collective Melancholia




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Thursday, 25 April 2024 to Thursday, 20 June 2024
Thursday, 25 April 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Romanian Cultural Institute`s next exhibition, opening at the Brâncuși Gallery on April 25, brings about an immersion into collective melancholy, inviting viewers to lose themselves in a meditative state of mind, marked by the bleak realization of a troubled human condition. Entitled "CLOSE TO THE BONE", it centers on celebrated Romanian artist Radu Oreian, whose paintings are complemented by the works of three of his international peers: the Americans Mark Ryan Chariker and Kate Meissner, as well as the Mexican María Fragoso Jara.

Through a series of figurative paintings, the exhibition presents a raw and unfiltered depiction of the human condition, capturing the new metaphorical wrinkles of modern life and, as society grapples with today’s challenges and upheavals, reflecting the emotional landscape of our time. Viewers are confronted with introspective portraits and bodies that seem to be suspended in a state of emotional turmoil. Each brushstroke carries the weight of accumulated collective drama, reflecting the turbulence and uncertainty of recent years.

Radu Oreian's art captivates with its mesmerizing blend of earthy colors and hauntingly melancholy figures. Each canvas reveals different narratives, such as that of the wanderer forever in search of elusive meaning and purpose or even a self-portrait in pain. Like modern-day pilgrims, his characters traverse his canvases, grappling with the existential quandaries that define the human condition. Oreian's portraiture, characterized by its bizarre and unconventional nature, echoes the spirit of Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimboldo, whose whimsical yet thought-provoking anthropomorphic compositions captivated audiences centuries ago.

In contrast, Oreian's creations resonate with a contemporary twist, inviting reflection on the complexities of existence and the enigmatic nature of the human soul. His technique, characterized by an emphasis on intricate detail and tactile layers, imbues each piece with a sense of depth and introspection, encouraging the viewer to engage with its nuances.

All the artists featured in "CLOSE TO THE BONE," part of the 1969 Gallery roster of artists, are kindred spirits who recognize the responsibility of capturing the essence of our shared experience. They acknowledge that the emotions of sadness and melancholy have penetrated deeper into our core selves.

A poignant reminder of the fragility of the human spirit and the resilience that comes from moments of introspection and connection, the project, true to our international curatorial approach, bringing together Romanian, American, and international artists, provides a space for reflection and invites viewers to explore the depths of their own emotions and experiences in the shared journey of the human condition.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the 1969 Gallery in New York. Founded in September 2016, 1969 is a contemporary art gallery in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.

Radu Oreian: Close to the Bone
April 25 - June 20, 2024

With guest artists:
Mark Ryan Chariker
María Fragoso Jara
Kate Meissner

Opening: April 25, 2024 @ 6 - 8 PM

Romanian Cultural Institute
200 East 38th Street, New York City, NY 10016
Gallery Hours: 9 am - 5 pm, Monday-Friday

Artist ( Description ): 

RADU OREIAN (b. 1984, Tarnaveni, Romania) currently lives and works in France. He got his first degree in 2005 from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca and continued his studies at the National University of Art in Bucharest, where he graduated in 2007. Radu Oreian’s practice has at its core the classical mediums of drawing and painting and explores the way history, ancient myths and archives shape our society and our understanding of humanity. His "Molecular Paintings" are a miniature-like format of works that pulsate with details, trying to draw the viewer's eye deeper and deeper into the fabric of the paint and hopefully deeper and deeper into the nature and meaning of painting itself. The red thread that runs through Radu Oreian’s artworks is the attempt to create a new, meditative visual imprint of a peculiar density that appears to exist in a pulsing state of tension and relaxation. Radu Oreian has been the protagonist of several solo-shows: "A sea of green and blue", 1969 Gallery (New York, 2022), "Befriending the memory muscle", New SVIT Gallery (Prague, 2020, together with Ciprian Mureşan), "Microsripts and Melted Matters", Gallery Nosco (London, 2019), "Farewell to the Thinker of Thoughts", Gallery ISA (Mumbai, 2018). His institutional projects include: "The Project Room", La Fondazione (Roma, 2020, solo-show), "The Last Agora", Plan B Foundation (Cluj-Napoca, 2019) and "Chasseur d’Images", Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris, 2019). Among his group shows are: "One in a million", Gallery Nosco (Marseille, 2018) and "On The Sex of Angels", Nicodim Gallery (Bucharest, 2017). Radu Oreian is represented by 1969 Gallery, Eduardo Secci and Gallery Nosco. His works have been acquired by Taubmann Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA, La Fondazione, Rome, Italy, and Sandretto Collection, Milan, Italy.

MARK RYAN CHARIKER (b. 1984, Spartanburg, SC) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, MA. He is represented by 1969 Gallery. Chariker’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions and art fairs, including The Armory Show, New York, NY; Dallas Art Fair; Untitled Miami Beach; Ojos de perro azul, Marinaro, New York; Lost Hours, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, UK; I have an idea!, 1969 Gallery, New York, NY; Platform, presented by David Zwirner Gallery, New York, NY; Red Root, Green Root, The Valley, Taos, NM. Chariker has completed residencies at PM/AM Gallery in London, RAiR Foundation in Roswell, New Mexico, SÍM in Reykjavik, Iceland, and NES in Skagaströnd, Iceland. Chariker’s works are in the collection of Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Miami, FL Center of International Contemporary Art, Vancouver, Canada, and Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, New York, NY; Paris, France. His paintings have been featured in Artforum International, Artnet News, and Art of Choice.

MARÍA FRAGOSO JARA (b. 1995, Mexico City) lives and works in New York, NY. She earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College Art (MICA) in Baltimore. Fragoso Jara is represented by 1969 Gallery, where she had her first solo exhibition El jardín entre tus dientes in 2021, and most recently Bodas de sangre in 2023. Other recent exhibitions include I'm Stepping High, I'm Drifting, and There I Go Leaping, Xiao Museum, China; Iώ, Cassina Projects, Milan, Italy; Friend Zone, curated by Vaughn Spann, Half Gallery, New York, NY; A Very Anxious Feeling: Voices of Unrest in the American Experience (20 Years of the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection), Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia; and Fragmented Bodies II: Fluidity in Form, albertz benda, New York, NY. Recent art fairs include Material Art Fair (Peana, Mexico City); Untitled Art Fair Miami Beach 2021 and 2022 (1969), and The Artsy Vanguard, Miami Beach, 2021. Her residences include Silver Art Projects, New York, NY in 2022 and 2023; along with Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Yale Norfolk School of Art, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and Palazzo Monti. Fragoso Jara’s work has been acquired by Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art, Rizhao, China, The Hort Collection, Beth Rudin deWoody, Peter and Michelle Scantland, and John Marquez and Stephanie Thomas.

KATE MEISSNER (b. 1995, Sacramento, California) is an artist based in Los Angeles. She received an MFA in painting from Yale University (2021) and a BFA from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo (2017). 1969 Gallery has shown Meissner’s work in Pure Joy: 14 Disabled Visual and Performance Artists, curated by Chella Man as well as Contemporary Art Now (CAN) in Ibiza, 2022, and Untitled Miami, 2022. Selected group exhibitions include Lyles and King in New York, Office Baroque in Antwerp, and Green Hall Gallery in New Haven, CT. Meissner’s work has been acquired by Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, The Mer Collection, Madrid, Spain, Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, and Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art, Rizhao, China.

Venue ( Address ): 

200 East 38th Street, 10016, New York

Radu Oreian: Close to the Bone | A Descent into Collective Melancholia
04/25/2024 to 06/20/2024
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