Welcome to Ciprian Mureșan’s fourth solo exhibition at Nicodim Gallery. Let me tell you what you’re looking at. A suite of three large-scale drawings encircle the room. Get a little closer. They show Mureșan’s voracious appetite for metabolizing the reference indexically. The School of Athens, depositions and adorations, countless archways, doughy portraits in sacred geometries, the many many Jesi... the entire career of the Renaissance’s Raphael is zoomed into focus, graphically synthesized in a snapshot, in a grand scribble. Hundreds of sketches dredge every mark the painter made. Each mark, each work that Mureșan faithfully copies is done over top of the last in a palimpsest of cultural consciousness. But this tabula scripta is rewriting art history without affect, without nostalgia, rather as something akin to data mining, a forensic nutrition for the eye as it smudges across the surface.
I bet you’re wondering what that carnage before you is. This is Mureșan’s newest untitled sculptural installation. The work shows the process of writing history played out through the live-action drama of sectarian slapstick. Mureșan has made several archetypal forms atop pedestals that have run amok in the gallery. Wax reductions of spiritual forms, icons, churches and spires, all in a soft beeswax that is more Brancusi than Orthodox, fight for momentary status of survival. Here the pantheon has turned itself into a Thunderdome as these sibling sculptures rival for supremacy.
This is how cultural sausage is made.
Ciprian Mureșan (b. 1977) lives and works in Cluj, Romania. His artworks have been exhibited in the 57th edition of the Venice Biennal, the Tate Modern, London, the New Museum, New York, and are also included in key international collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Deutsche Bank Collection, Germany, and the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.