The traditional Maramureş rugs of Victoria Berbecaru and Mircea Cantor’s flying carpet

An exhibition co-presented by La Maison Francaise, the Embassy of Romania in Washington, and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York

Contemporary artist Mircea Cantor, known for his subtle commentaries on issues of contemporary society in works spanning very diverse media, turns in this exhibition to a Romanian traditional art and craft in an inquiry about beauty. “Watching an authentic Maramures rug resembles eating jelly from grandmother’s larder. It spreads both energy and visual force hidden within its ancient symbols, as well as forms crossing over time, generation by generation until the present day. Its themes and motives are both inspired by the labour on the fields, by religious or agrarian feasts and by different customs and beliefs. Their composition and choice of colors offer them their strength and life: the lord-and-ladies, the flower, the fir, the gate, the rider, the bat, the reeler, the stag, the Maramures round dance, the wolves’ teeth, the snake, the rake, the water wave. The wool is handcrafted, coloured with natural dyes: all-saints-wrote, onion peels, nut rinds, buckthorn, plum tree bark. I have made a selection for this exhibition of some of the most enchanting rugs made by Victoria Berbecaru from Botiza over four decades. My choice is not similar to that of an ethnographer or anthropologist, I am just emphasizing the authenticity of this art, rendering the chance for the viewer to simply enjoy the works.” – Mircea Cantor

The exhibition will be accompanied by traditional weaving workshops held by Victoria Berbecaru.

[Image: Detail from Mircea Cantor’s “Airplanes and Angels”, 2008, Hand woven wool carpet, made by the weavers from Botiza and Victoria Berbecaru. Courtesy of the artist]

March 28 – April 15
La Maison Francaise
4101 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington D.C.