An object without context ceases to be itself. It becomes instead an abstract entity capable of holding within itself all the hopes and fears of humanity. The Domenico de Chirico-curated group exhibition What is a Bird? We Simply Don’t Know, which ran at Bucharest’s Galeria Nicodim on July 25 to 31, sets out to prove just this.
Through a selection of paintings, sculptures and wall works, seven different artists attempt to strip everyday objects and scenes from their associative context, “making visible the characters and materials that weave in and out of peripheral consciousness”. A silicone-and-wax oil puddle by Virgile Ittah and Kai Yoda becomes a lonely island, a familiar childhood cartoon slits and sketches across the picture plane until it is barely recognizable in a piece by Antoine Donzeaud, “[a] memory is cast in a foggy figure on the brink of evaporation” in Henry Chapman series of abstract paintings.
The other participating artists contribute their own takes on abstraction of reality. Yonatan Vinitsky exhibits a series of powder-coated coils (‘Ensemble Orientation Quick Jerky Movements Stop (Red.19.195.30)’) and one of rope-and-steel grids (‘Loose Ends (Blue)’). Alek O. creates a parasol fabric piece called ‘Tangram (Cat)’ as well as a two-part series of framed embroidery on canvas (‘Red’). Kenneth Alme shows a series of cotton canvas-and-acrylic paintings (‘Untitled’), and Razvan Boar creates an aluminum and powder paint installation of a two-dimensional pyramid of glasses. **
Exhibition photos, top right.