Mircea Suciu: How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes
Slag Gallery is pleased to present the first New York exhibition of the work of Romanian artist Mircea Suciu.
Using images culled from 1940's and 1950's American advertisements, Mircea Suciu isolates figures, strips away backgrounds and reduces the bold palette of the original Ads to seductive monochromes. In these paintings men and women are presented looking into boxes and windows. Often their backs are turned or their heads are hidden emphasizing the sense of alienation. "How Deep the Rabbit Hole Goes" may be construed as a question, or as a statement. The paintings explore questions of identity and isolation. The beautifully painted works on canvas inspire a sense of awe and wonder. That a Romanian artist would begin with images from American advertisements, then strip away anything that identifies them as American, is what gives these works their raison d'etre. The images speak subtly about cultures and borders, about what some have and what others may want.
Many of the paintings depict scenes of looking and searching. In "Border" a man in a white work shirt sticks his head through a rectangular hole in a wall. Similarly, in "Something Different" a suited man stares out of a light blue rectangle. While he casts a shadow, there is nothing else defining the space. Suciu's works are not without humor. In "Airbag" a man looses his head in a bean bag chair. "Jump" shows us what appears to be a naturally formed rounded hole in the ground just bigger than the size of a girl's body. Blue stockings and black party shoes belonging to a disembodied little girl are positioned at the edge of the hole. "Jump" and the mention of the rabbit hole in the show's title suggest a reference to Alice in Wonderland. In this light the journey into the hole is a strange and exciting adventure.
The exhibition will include 30 of the artist's recent paintings on canvas. Suciu's technique hovers between abstraction and representation. The figures are realistic, and the backgrounds are an empty void. The relationship between present and absent and Suciu's deconstruction of figures from advertisements creates haunting juxtapositions. These works are simultaneously hopeful and futile.
Mircea Suciu was born in Romania in 1978. He studied painting at the Cluj Art School where he currently teaches. He has been exhibiting his work since 1999 in group as well as solo shows in Belgium, Romania, Slovenia and Italy. This will be his first exhibition in the United States and, significantly, the first New York solo exhibition of any of the noted Cluj School painters (a group of painters that includes Serban Savu, Adrian Ghenie and Victor Man).
An illustrated catalog including an essay by Deborah Frizzell, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.