Raluca Ungureanu, „disTURBIA” @ Art on the Avenue Gallery, Philadelphia
Additional information: Miki Farcas: [email protected]
Philadelphia, April 17, 2012
opening: Friday, May 11, from 6.30 – 9.30 pm
exhibit runs from May 11 to June 2 2012
gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays,12:00 pm to 5:00 pm or byappointment:
ART ON THE AVENUE GALLERY at 3808 Lancaster Avenue is pleased to present disTURBIA, a show of mixed media sculpture installation and drawings, featuring the work of Romanian artist Raluca Ungureanu, from her recent years in New York and Philadelphia. Please join us for the opening on Friday, May 11, from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. The exhibit runs from May 11 to June 2. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm or by appointment.
Raluca’s work tells stories through visual means and each of her shows can be read as one such story. Deeply personal, invested with powerful feelings and emotions, her work aims at engaging the viewer in a dialogue about rootlessness and alienation in the big cities of today’s rapidly changing world. Born and raised in the mythic land of Bucovina, surrounded by a deep ancestral forest at the foot of the divine monastery of Voronet, one of the oldest in Europe, Raluca has carried the imprint of her origins deeply carved into her soul, persisting throughout her many moves and dislocations.
Working as an artist and landscape architect in large urban environments of Europe and later the United States, she came to experience, along with the benefits of such environments, a painful dysfunction and isolation. At times the peaceful memories of her lost forest-island past overwhelmed her and made pain and alienation more acute. At other times they functioned as sustenance and reference point.
Raluca’s show can be read as a manifesto for bringing back the human into the cold and impersonal conurbations, with their grey and fragile graffiti walls. Do not search fortitles of individual pieces. They are the words of a story told in a visuallanguage suffused with her spirit, her feelings and her thoughts.
Raluca’ work has been showcased in Europe in the past 15 years, with important exhibits in Vienna (Transiences), Berlin (The Walls) and major cities of Romania, in solo and group exhibitions. She produced large corporate metal structures covering plazas and intersections in the capital city of Romania (Nomad Gardens – Bucharest) and few other Romanian cities. Her art has been reviewed in numerous art magazines in Europe and she has won several prestigious international competitions.
disTURBIA: a term derived from the words “ suburbia” and “ disturb” meant to describe the dark side of urban living.
“I first wanted to title my show ‘Body Extensions’ to reference more clearly the ancestral traces I carry. I realized, though, that if I wanted to avoid elevating personal feelings to the status of the enigmatic, I needed to find the source of angst within myself, and point to the thin, blurry line between inner emotions and outside reality. I found my “(e)scape goat”: it is I myself trying to adjust to life and to changes; I myself trying to cope with aging; I myself leaving behind my beautiful memories of a lost world. I am the one unwilling to adjust to a modern environment, more and more like a huge psychiatric ward, where madness ismistaken for genius and darkness for love. The same me, who would like to change all that and bring back what is missing: our own lost memories.” – Raluca Ungureanu 2012
Brief Biographical Note
Romanian artist, Raluca Ungureanu (b. 1975), studied at the Fine Art Academy of Bucharest where she got her PhD in Fine Arts in 1999 and later studied Landscape Design at the LD Academy. During her studies she started collaborating with contemporary artists and organizing exhibitions as social movements in a post- communist Europe, eager to learn and experience the new comers. She was well received in Germany, Austria, Portugal, Denmark and UK. She received numerous scholarships and distinctions:
2004, UNESCO Scholarship, Academia Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisbon (Portugal)
2002, MEN Scholarship, – The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (Denmark)
2000, Scholarship of the Romanian Association of Art for Sculpture
1999, MEN Scholarship, Akademie der bildenden Kunste Wien, Vienna (Austria)
Major Group and Solo Shows:
2011”Urban Gardens”- urban art – French Cultural Institute, Bucharest (Romania)
2010”Nomad Gardens”-urban art – French Cultural Institute, Bucharest (Romania)
2008 “Art Forest 2008”- International Land Art Symposium, Sangiorz-Bai (Romania)
2007 “Identity” – Dana Gallery, Iasi
2005 “Remember the time”- Anaid Gallery, Bucharest
2004 “Evo(po)llution” – H’art Gallery, Bucharest
2003 “Round Dance” – Simeza Gallery, Bucharest
2003 “The Sculpture Park”- monumental sculpture – welded metal, Timisoara (Romania)
2002 “Underground” –Royal Palace, Bucharest
2002 “Accents and impressions”- Apollo Gallery, Bucharest
2001 “Transiences” – Art Jazz Gallery, Bucharest
2001 “Experimental Art”- sculpture and ceramics – Cultural Foundation for Poetry and Art
2001 “Indoor sculpture” – Orizont Gallery, Bucharest
2000 “Arts” – World Trade Center Complex Gallery, Bucharest
1999 “Transparencies” – Gallery of Academy of Art, Vienna
1999 “The Amazons” – Cultural Foundation for Poetry and Art – Mircea Dinescu, Dolj
1999 “Signs and Symbols” –Simeza Gallery, Bucharest
1999 “Art and History”- wood-carving – Corvinesti Castle, Hunedoara (Romania)
1998 “Drawings by sculptor” – History Museum Gallery, Bucharest
1998 “Objects”- stone sculpture, Techirghiol (Romania)
1997 “Portraits” –Jazz Art Gallery, Bucharest
1997 “Marks”- monumental sculpture – metal, Roman (Romania)
1996 “Perceptions”- stone sculpture, Satu Mare (Romania)
1994 “Shapes”- stone sculpture, Campulung-Moldovenesc (Romania)
Her major focus now is negative contemporary metropolitan phenomena and the retrieval of human identities through introspective memories and art. Since2010 she lives and works in New York.