On Fluidity


by Svetlana Mladenov / catalogue text for the Solo Exhibition "On Fluidity", Bel Art Gallery/DANUBE DIALOGUES 2013 

/ Contemporary Art Festival of Danube Region

Because of her explorations in the extended field of art, painter by vocation Liliana Mercioiu Popa would perhaps be mor appropriately styled a contemporary artist. Always open to experiment and the freedom to transpose her ideas through diverse disciplines and techniques, she does not perceive even the classic discipline of painting as anything restrictive, but rather uses the surface of the picture for experiment and new investigations.

Her painting carries on a dialogue with various trends and is set on the border between figurative and non-figurative, but always founded on a concept. With great sensitivity and in a higly personal way, she has built uo her own relationship with nature and the world of phenomena. The artist is in constant dialogue with the micro and macro universe, seeking out the hidden structure of things, so that to her, exclusively abstract or figurative painting is neither crucial nor necessary. It all depends on the discourse she chooses to use in order best to express her original idea.

Liliana Mercioiu Popa searches for the sensitive border between the real and the visual perception of reality, seeking out the very discreet and hidden that cannot easily be spotted, but only perceived with the help of imagination. Her pictures are made in layers, usually by placing non-transparent surfaces one on top of the other, in thick matter, covering the colour surface with a layer of wax.

Her plastic language of gesture is the unifying element of the diversely signaled styles, leading her to "pure painting". The organic and mineral structure that appear in her paintings criss-cross trough a core reflecting a special energy, resulting in staing of colour laid on with s strong movement in what at first sight seems to be articulated chaos.

Popa is geared towards experiment, not limiting herself to the given format of the picture, nor even exclusively to that discipline, but moving freely through the field of art, she also directs her exploration to seeking out the hidden meaning of words.

Some of her exhibitions are given over to his, particularly to verbs and the interpretation pf their meaning. She emerges in a space where she uses her picture-objects to build a specific installation or create an atmosphere.

Developing as an artist and working in a country with a stormy recent history, still in process of transition, her thinking frequently turns towards the idea of freedom. Asking whether freedom is a personal feeling or reality, and how and to what extent the recent past affects present feelings of individual and collective freedom. Her attention is on the material traces of the recent past of society, traces forgotten and abandoned at the city's edge, such as the ruins of architectural edifices, the skeletons of former industrial and water-management structures whose remains conceal a part of history and captive memory. She records them with a still camera, documenting them against oblivion.

One series of her works deals with basement windows and openings such as we pass every day without noticing them. Here we see cellar windows of various kinds, from the outlying suburbs and in the city centre. Photographing them and placing them in parallel rows, she makes a new picture out of them, new territory from which they radiate a different affect and exercise a different power.

This brief glance at Popa's artistic work is an attempt to point to the richness of her artistic language, its versatility and fullness and the subtlety, acuity and complexity of her interests.