Nothing is more striking to me, as far as Traian Ştefan Boicescu is concerned, than his urge to take refuge in an exclusive, well defined area, which he creates for himself in order to painstakingly accomplish his artistic programme with the discernment and commitment of an artist who is conscious of the force of the message he intends to convey to the public. Far from the tumult of social life (but not insensitive to its pulsations), not interested in the temptations of political or administrative ascension, immune to the pressures of seductive models or of fashion, the artist created in his studio a work of major significance in our contemporary art. This temptation to isolate himself may have been a defensive reaction to the increasingly oppressive ideological aggression during the last decades of communist dictatorship, a period in which the artist was formed and lived. The fact is that many artists of his generation entered the post-totalitarian era with a healthy appetite to use their unexpected freedom in order to create an art that was free of the obsessions and patterns and servitude imposed by the former political power.
Traian Boicescu mother descended from a family, Boninsegna italian engineers who arrived in Country Romanian almost two centuries ago, in order to build railways: on his father's side, his ancestors were two aristocratic families (Otetelişanu and Boicescu) who could trace their ancestry back to the post-Brâncoveanu age, they were boyards who owned manor houses, famous vineyards and vast estates and who gave the city of Râmnicu Vâlcea two prefects, two mayors and outstanding lawyers and doctors.
I met one of these ancestors, Cae Boicescu, in the 1970s in the " Writers' Union's House" in Valea Vinului. He was a tall, distinguished, gray-haired, amiable and jovial man, having a natural air of nobility and looking a little like Valéry Giscard d' Estaing, a French aristocrat planted into the Dacian soil. He was married to Ada Orleanu, a writer, an eminent novelist, a constant participant in the meetings of Eugen Lovinescu's literary circle; they formed a romantic and old-fashioned couple. In their company I had the feeling that the world was harmonious and that that I was safe, at ease and free.
My friendship with them got me acquainted to Traian Boicescu, then a fresh graduate of the University of Art in Bucharest. It was roughly the time of the big events of 1989 when we, the elders, but mostly the young, voluptuously breathed in the air of intoxicating freedom. Maybe his generation that was entering public life at the time when the former dictatorship was crumbling was the best prepared to face the spectacular opportunities and challenges that emerged from the extraordinary freedom of movement in the domain of art
Shortly after graduating from university, the artist will be present regularly in group and personal exhibitions with tapestries and paintings of unquestionable originality. His works stretching over generous spaces offer a view of the matter that is full of vigor and exuberance where the colours are finely distilled through a balanced and yet daring game of halftones. The favorite theme is that of underwater environments where vegetable and mineral forms that are twisted and grotesque are seen in their most intimate structure, the artist's vision sending suggestions that cross the threshold of the ineffable transcendent world. What is remarkable is the thoroughness with which details are treated, sometimes by a powerful force of suggestion and a striking expression. This skill of discretely probing into the minute and secret mechanisms of the morphology of objects makes the artistic outcome extremely valuable. Boicescu is a great master in the delicate craft of tapestry and it is regrettable that the art market in the years after the collapse of the dictatorship has not encouraged enough this delicate art practiced since the times of Penelope
The paintings of the artist continue and in a way complete the ideas suggested by his tapestries, substantially expanding the thematic repertoire without losing anything of the savour and depth of the meanings. The Mediterranean landscapes - and not only them - are energetically built by broken lines and angles that are surprising by the rich perspectives they open; they have the exquisiteness of pen drawings. A barely felt breeze is present in these lyrical compositions that seem, at first glance, to have descended from distant, northern lands. Boicescu has a lucid, artistic temperament and is definitely an intellectual artist, endowed with a sense of humor and an obvious stylistic refinement that allow him to to evolve gracefully at the boundary between form and non-figurative art. His paintings can please both the hurried viewer and the refined specialist with an eye accustomed to decode the meanings underlying his complex colour alchemy
An atypical artist and a major one, Traian Boicescu relies on a constant purification of his creative search, experimentally trying new resources of insertion into the complex and deceptive world of appearances. His tapestries as well as paintings display an exemplary sobriety and clarity of expression, and bring into our contemporary art a touch of ingenuity and stylistic refinement that invites reflection for an endless number of reasons
Writer CONSTANTIN MATEESCU "THE FREEDOM TO BE ALONEA" Album 2017
"Traian Ştefan Boicescu's tapestry is that life, the beauty of the design, the color and the composition all depend on the things learned, the visual experience gained"
Prof. Univ. UNA Bucharest MARIA MIHALACHE BLENDEA 1989
"The symbolic meaning of Traian Ştefan Boicescu's tapestries is enhanced by their lyrism, by their compositional clarity,
by the elegance of the graphics and by the warm and profound harmony of the colours".
Art Critic The "Art' Magazine, 1989
"Traian Ştefan Boicescu has been lately a constant presence at both personal and group tapestry exhibitions; his participation was, however, a discrete one, because of his self-imposed exigence. The artist's work is remarkable by the careful balance between background and message, as well as form and vocabulary and by the classical vibration given by the successive purifications that he uses and that paradoxically improve the forms. The transformation from analytical to synthetic can be seen in the drawing of some shell's delicate turnings or in some vegetable structure's expressive forms of spread traces which preserve the initial identity of the motive, the artist being able to convey new expressive values to a familiar universe. The decoration of his tapestries is enhanced by the refined chromatic which includes either only a reduced number of colours or harmonious combinations.
The pedantry of his works - that can be observed in each element of his textile creations and which doesn't spoil the plastic "pleasure" is to be seen again in the artist's oil paintings. Being especially panoramic landscapes from the Mediterranean area (the artist obviously and unwillingly continuing the good tradition of some Romanian artists of the interwar period, whom he met there), the paintings put together and reveal the visual impressions of a well-trained lyrical spirit. Due to the nervous and angular graphic sketches that he uses to depict the docks and the buildings rising between the sky and the water (compact surfaces of discretely vibrated colour), his oil-painting seem stronger and more consistent."
Art Critic The Journal of Galleries - Cultural Radio 2000
A quick glimpse of what is beyond Traian Ștefan Boicescu's creation reveals something that's constant: Nature as a source of inspiration. Without contemplating it passively, Traian Ștefan Boicescu knows how to push the perception of the nature to its minimum point, where the most intimate structures are seeding to be later seen in the plenitude. Like a careful surgeon, the artist "takes samples" from the organic and inorganic matter's intimacy, samples that he later archives into images. In this way, his tapestries highlight a vegetable or mineral microscopic world in which the plausible, real structures are turned into imaginary ones. The artist invents forms, composes them freely, yet with the exactitude of a scientist whose science does not reveal him any secret at all. The titles of his works do not offer only names, but also arguments: "Vegetable Structure", "Mineral Structure", "Cephalopod", "Fossils", etc.
Even though it is largely projected, the micro-universe preserves its colours very well-matched, chosen from the primary ones (plus beige and brown), the colours seem to be fake sketches which fill the whole background of the tapestry, in a real depicting exercise.
Nature has been for Traian Ștefan Boicescu a prior reference since his university years. Carefully depicted, nature appears in his paintings as well: a landscapist approach at its limit between figurative and non-figurative, in which the plentiful usage of colour (paste) and the canvas knife enhances the concise and exact depiction.
Traian Ştefan Boicescu proves to be exceptionally receptive to the new experiments and tendencies in art. His works, which often have a delightful, violent chromatic, reveal a lyrism that combines the emotional feelings with the rational making-up of the image. The artist is a great painter. The strong and pure colours, spread in a multitude of tones, give a real impression of naturalism. Traian Ştefan Boicescu feels at ease in vast spaces. The complicated geometry of his works tends to a spirituality of scarcely - made forms, their scarcity suggesting the absolute. The subject, the anecdotic tone are subdued to the concise and fascinating game of forms. The drawing is exceptionally important for obtaining the aesthetic effect. The impression of vast spaces that especially his large tapestries give is to be noticed.
Traian Ştefan Boicescu graduated from The Arts Academy in 1989, the tapestry section and had Maria Mihaela Blendea as a teacher of his class. He is one of the members of the Plastic Artists' Union.
The artist has a rich activity having taken part in important national and international exhibitions where his works were appreciated.
Having a natural inclination towards the little world of animals and plants, towards the primary organism which are almost invisible, the artist studies passionately the microscopic structures, turning them into monumental ones. We could truly believe him to be a well-prepared naturalist if his efforts result weren't so elegantly decorated and if he didn't impress us with his chromatic refinement.
The mysterious and fascinating underwater life is a constant theme for Traian Boicescu's tapestry. By the way they were made and colours that were used, "Cephalopod", "Gasteropod" and "Talassa" evoke the fragility of those apparently ordinary beings that are still so full of resources for an analyst who is interested in their decorative values. Transparent jelly surfaces, rich rays vibrant arms, which are tempting and hypnotic moving constantly at each underwater current, contrastive tones emphasize the artist's graceful inspiration theme in all its beauty. When the water withdrew, what was alive petrified and only the obvious forms of shells which protected the perishing organic mass remained. The works "Fossils" and "Mineral Structure" highlight the ornamental motives, which are full of suggestions that can be offered by the dry depth of the sea to an artist-decorator.
The combination between light yellow, beige, white-grey and black represents the earth, while the underwater micro-organisms are represented by dark and light blue, green and red (by bluish, greenish and reddish shades).
Traian Ştefan Boicescu creates highly evocative tapestries by putting together his scientific and plastic interest.
dr. ADRIAN-SILVAN IONESCU Manager of the Art History Institute, "George Oprescu" of the Romanian Academy
Art Critic Cultural Observer-2003
The author of remarkable artifacts, the painter and the decorator artist Traian Stefan Boicescu has a profoundly original vision defined by austere symbols, monumentality and by a rational articulation when arranging the compositional elements. His Mediterranean scenes evoke not only the picturesque feature of his visualizations but particularly a special reading-in of the urban structures metamorphosed into quasi geological structures, which are integrated in an almost celestial harmony. These painterly descriptions are pasted like some monumental concentrations on the colored background where stands the Sea.
Regarding Traian Boicescu's tapestry work, this is focused on the same points as in his paintings (connected to an aquatic environment). However, his tapestry is special because of its morphological richness and its organic texture. All these features are extremely refined stylistically and are capable of emphasizing the counterpointing effcts of the whole.
A Note on Traian Ștefan Boicescu's Plastic Art
Traian Ștefan Boicescu's art encompasses the same visual horizon, but it does so from the perspective of two different plastic worlds.One is based on the tools, techniques and language of painting, while the other is made of the sensitive and proteic, through its sensitiveness, stuff of textile fibres.
In the latter case, the artist expresses himself with detachment and virtuosity and with a force and poetic expressiveness where coexist in a harmonious and at the same time fascinating way, the symbolism with clear and vibrating chromatic and morphological tones of wall decorating art on the one hand and the elegance and virile, solidly articulated balance of the compositional structures and forms.
It is, in fact, the domain in which the artist became well-known in the landscape of contemporary tapestry; we should mention that he had remarkable performances that made him known even beyond the borders of Romania. This is due to his professionalism and craftsmanship as well as to his plastic constructions.
A scrurtinizing and passionate focus on the marvellous underwater worlds, on the pulsating microcosms of live or fossilized matter that populate the edenic lands of southern pelagic seashores is meticulously and attractively internalized in most of Traian Ştefan Boicescu's tapestries. The rough or velvet-like tenderness of textile fibres, the senzorial tactile handiness of woven fabric, the dense and rich permeability of the chromatic impression into the materials that the artist uses give a new life and a sensitive visual pulse of his creation on textile materials and a refined conversion of the plastic image that the artist reconstructs in his work.
As far as Traian Boicescu's constant and persistent pictorial exercise is concerned, it turns out that it is more than a „violon d’Ingres”. A temporary interest that is meant to train the many facets of his aesthetic probings that he is still carrying out today, methodically and on the basis of well controlled cultural grounds - not just on the plane of visual education.In this stage of his creation , too (that I would call the "maturity stage" , given the frequent performings of the artist in this domain, lately), Traian Ştefan Boicescu expresses himself in a dichotomic way, at least from a thematic point of view, and also through the different approach to easel painting, as well as to the stylistic problems associated with the materialization of his creative and artistic intentions.
As a landscape painter, the artist is remarkable through the amplitude of his visual perception, particularly through the plunging overview and the depth of his perspective, proving that he is a rematkable author of "vedutas" of the same edenic, exotic seashore landscapes that inspired his tapestries. In his paintings, however, the ocre colours are dominant, whether dull or bright, the earth colours and oxydes that are intensely lit and, of course, enveloped in the waving that is sometimes cold and dense and sometimes warm and transparent or fluffy of the ultramarine blue colours or bluish shades of the sea coasts and of the celestial horizon.
They are overwhelming images that are meticulously composed and have a powerful visual impact, generated by the force of the whole and the expressive dynamic of details which give the painting a particular individuality. Another distinctive component of its pictorial creation is represented by compositions, some of them having remarkable dimensions, which evoke in a different form of plastic discourse the same fascinting botanical and zoomorphous underwater universe which nourished the imagism of tapestries. The artist thus resorts to an exigent morphological study of pictorial interpretation of the themes and forms that were approached in his tapestries. This is not, however, a simple resumption and reshaping of the image of the decorative textile compositions that consecrated him as an artist in the language and with the tools of easel painting. Compositionally, his painting develops rendering baroque the synthetic, almost archetypal real forms and suggesting through the variety and the intensity of the chromatic substance the dynamic flexibility of shapes and details in the swing of sea currents.
The way in which the artist, in search of ever purer and more convincing expressiveness, makes the syntax and rhythms and chromatic harmony powerful is indeed impressive. Only one connecting bridge still exists, one that is involuntarily preserved, between the artist's two stylistic horizons. And that is the perennial sense of matter that is demonstrated in both tapestry and painting.
This is because while in his tapestries the temptation of sliding towards the pictural accuracy of visual images is vague or even inexistent, in his paintings the echoes or the atavic impulse of his optical and tactile sensitivity is present and is often salient through the amplification of the expressive and sensorial virtues contained in the density and solidity of the colours of his palette that he displays with voluptuous craftsmanship in his paintings.
Summarizing synthetically, Traian Ştefan Boicescu is a proteic multifarious and interesting artist that is a mature and well-defined voice in our contemporary art.
A MORNING IN THE PORT
I will make from the beginning the risky remark that the art of Traian Ștefan Boicescu that I rediscovered these days almost entirely, if you can say that about an artist who is still in the process of creation is one of an extraordinary poeticism . Above all , we must mention that the artist is a graduate of the University of Arts in Bucharest, the last year of the communist era, the Department of Decorative Arts, Tapestry, a rare thing today, among the crafts studied by Bucharest University boys.
Certainly, at that time the idea was that such university graduates could work in textile factories or other similar organizations. Traian Stefan Boicescu was spared such a " blessing " to work on state commissions and as an artistremained free of any kind of regular employment and salary if we do not take into account that it is now working as a high school art teacher. One couldnțt say, however, that the craft of tapestry is a blessing because, unlike in France, for example, where there are a number of many-century-old workshops that work for the National Heritage, a Romanian artist in this field cannot have other employees but himself in his own workshop (if he possesses one such workshop), and his work for a living may often keep him away from the loom. Being aware of this, Traian Ștefan Boicescu has however marvellously organized his activity in all the domains related to his main work as an artist. Therefore he often resorts to easel painting, organizing and creation on a few main themes that can become, after being put on canvas or cardboard, models for future tapestries, just as they did with the great masters of the French school of tapestry. The tall loom ( haute lisse ) involves working in the mirror, so the easel cardboard gather, point by point, in the tapestry texture. If the workshops we were talking about before, reached such a degree of technicality that the computer selected thousands of shades so that the eye cannot grasp very well the differences, manufacturing artists must find their own solutions to the effects and nuances of the field work. At the same time , they must raise the issue of treatment of the fabric, which absorbs light in manners that are different from those of colors on canvas or cardboard. And they were just a few of the difficulties which we must face if we do not count the exorbitant costs of materials. Add to this the working time, which largely depends on the handiness of the artist and we have an overall a labor perspective far beyond that of an ordinary artist , illustrator, painter, sculptor etc. That is why the tapestry works of Traian Ștefan Boicescu are not numerous, but they express the ambition of representing reference points in his his artistic thinking that focuses on projects that confirm the artist's originality . Besides his other paintings or graphic works also contribute to the main themes as infinite and independent variants in a discourse of exceptional coherence..
The artist's universe is surprising for a man born in a mountain town such a Râmnicu Vâlcea.. His imagination is bathed in Mediterranean coves, among reefs and sea cemeteries of Ossi di Seppia as in the well-known as elegies of his twentieth century colleague, Eugenio Montale. I was tempted to title the present text "Cousteau's Apprentice" because the artist seems to sail on a submarine that stirs the deep sands in search of fabulous animals, which pass by the portholes.. A huge tapestry work is such a sequence that cuts cilia reefs , before they lose flexibility and freeze the limestone skeletons of coral. Water is itself a pressure game, the waves and their shades are alive and overwhelming, an eternal substance that moves universes.
When withdrawing from the loom, Traian Ștefan Boicescu becomes an emotional traveler in the ports of the world, and when he doesn't, a simple street in Bucharest becomes a road to the sea, to the sky, to the world as the sky pours into the water on the asphalt while the rain sweeps the roads. Nowhere, however, does sadness prevail because the light tears the nostalgia of the cold colours from inside ithe whole reality is freed of athe doubt oa any detail overshadowed by age the Venetian canals are fresh as in the beginning of the world, and the southern ports of Italy remain forever in a fresh morning, new and somehow placed at the intersection of mirrors that are brought together or separated by waves. Color range is limited, but the organization of planes through the changes of shade addsa dimention so difficult to obtain from a deliberately poor range of colours.
The art of his landscape is placed somewhere in a belated post-Impressionism, which proves, however that it hasn't exhausted its resources and in lyrical gestures, because the artist never falls into the artificial abstractionism of other of his fellows, you can always identify a landmark, a sign of the vivid reality. The reality is wrapped in calm emotions that are recorded as the peaceful pleasure of watching which greedlessly assumes the space and hence a lack of dramatism in the choice of colours. I was mentioning before that his ports are always from the south of the European continent, in light swept skies of the Mediterranean sea , but we wouldn't say much about them, if we didn't admit that they are individualized as studies of daily or nocturnal moments as, for example, almost a century ago, the same Venice, or the walls of the cathedral of Rouen appeared to Claude Monet... Having well learned his lesson, Traian Stefan Boicescu recovers contemporary human emotionality, in a hurry or maybe not quite so, in the all too familiar universe of European civilization, without, however losing his entire innocence. And maybe this would be the strength of its work still bewildered after consuming so many “isms” and aesthetic fracturing . He gives us back, somehow rewarding us for our own illusions, a lenient look at the pure vibration at the edge of all complementarities. In fact we witness sophisticated, almost symphonic decantations; having reached maturity, the art of Traian Ștefan Boicescu materializes as an experiment that becomes classical as it deepens its search.
I would add at the end of this text, that this journey does not claim to validate a particular reading, because, just as in poetic narratives, it naturally fills itself with the meaning of of one's own emotionality. You discover as you go through the graphemes of the breviary, the texts of old encyclopedias or of biology textbooks, which shall arrange the wonderful images under the lenses of microscopes, you read again recent histories that sequentially come out of recent real or dream holidays, which in turn open out prospects, both horizontally and vertically where things lose their banality for ever. It is, after all, a way of being alone in the universe... and if you think I said too grandiose words, let you know that the fishermen' s boats are always the same and never sail but on the inner seas of a solar spirit that has been twinned with goodness!
"ROMÂNIA LITERARĂ" Nr.12 / 21-03-2013 Chronical Plastic
TRAIAN ȘTEFAN BOICESCU OR THE BOUNDLESS CONTENT OF THE ARTISTIC UNIVERSE
Th work of the artist Traian Boicescu must definitely be followed along the two essential coordinates that it includes, both equally important for understanding the approach taken by him.
The first direction is the one assumed during his university years that was decisive for his artistic evolution and that is definitely fundamental for understandingTraian Boicescu's art. This directs the viewer to decorative arts and in particular tapestry executed in the haute-lisse technique . The art of tapestry, with a long tradition of exceptional masterpieces, forced the artist to become an accomplished craftsman. First, the accomplishment of Traian Boicescu's technique came as a natural duty without which his ideas could not find a platform of expression and support. Then obviously, visual education, and general culture information offered him as a self-respecting artist a thorough basis and a starting point the endless content of which inquisitive thoughts arise directed toward an infinitely varied universe. Of the favorite themes of the artist, the world of vegetable and animal organisms is prevailing. Along with this, the urban theme completes the integrating vision of the creator offering the viewer powerful and sensitive images from which the details that were considered unessential have been removed. The artist adds various points, to the warmth of the fabric, velvety shades with which he builds the sweetened forms of the visible world.
Painting is the second coordinate of Traian Boicescu's creation, the artist translates a number of themes developed in the tapestry in order to find other solutions in oil on canvas. Marine fauna arabesques or the meanderings of vegetable symbols are more obvious in painting than the curves that he used in tapestry.
And the scalpel precision of the duct creates a visually spectacular game loaded this time with details.
Traian Boicescu's oil paintings prove that substantial changes took place in the artist's interest. The focus has dramatically shifted from an aesthetics of the velvety finesse recognizable in tapestry to a more analytical aesthetics of the oil technique which is nevertheless more transparent and colourful.
Tapestry and painting are two sides of Traian Boicescu's creation, each having the freedoms as well as the constraints of the technique that was used each being in harmony with the other and playing an important role in giving power to the creative imagination.
EMBODIMENTS AND RECOLLECTIONS
A fully mature artist, Traian Boicescu is now at a defining point in his career when he is achieving a synthesis of the shapes he has worked with and is clarifying his own vision of the world. Though his plastic compositions have the tendency of suggesting abstractness, the main source of inspiration for this painter and decorative artist continue to be the motifs selcted from the multitude of forms that are present in the terrestrial microcosm, a certain discrete, enigmatic, mysterious nature.
Never could an artist match in his creation the Great Creation of God, but each man that is graced with an artist's talent is given the restlessness of the chance of seeing more than the others and trying to understand what is generally not understood by the common people's senses and sensitivity. The artist tries to understand, for instance, how the upper, unseen world communicates with our world that is accessible to our senses, how this communication is achieved through the silent, vegetable world that is, however, endowed with the gauzy intelligence of a continuously changing element.
Nature is an enormous and permanently changing picture which includes the artist himself. The latter contributes to the understanding of the Great Creation to the extent his talent and skills allow him to. In his work he selects, embodies and recollects what he has seen.
For Traian Boicescu the discrete world of the waters, the silent life of marine vegetation and of the extremely gracious and ephemeral creatures living in the depths of this primeval element are irresistibly attractive. With Traian Boicescu, between tapestry and painting there is hardly any difference with the exception of those typically associated with either craft, as long as the picturesqueness of both forms of expression is so evident and penetrating.The artist, however does not make selections only on the level of forms, but also on the level of the range of colours. Colour is denied exuberance. Giving life to his own vision, the artist uses warm colours, clay colours, coloured gray shades, the serene coldness of many nuances of blue in a refined and discrete range of colours that is an undeniable distinctive trait of his personality.
Carefully studied rigurous compositions that suggest the permanent transformation both in the world of the easily perceptble forms as in the world of discret forms, whether they are oil paintings or haute lisse tapestries, the works of Traian Boicescu send your thoughts and look to less explored areas, to the intelligent, silent and mysterious world of the land or sea vegetable. The forms in Boicescu's works offer a great many suggestions.Sometimes, his embodiments seem to be subtle resonating tubes through which celestial music is going to be conveyed to the earth; some other times this vegetation described in ample arabesques looks like fluttering wings.The vegetable becomes concrete and personified in his paintings and tapestries; it becomes the messenger of the secrets of the universe..The sky, earth and water, three fundamental elements, thus communicate in Traian Boicescu's compositions, somehow reminding us of the genesis, of yhe days before the creation of man, the days when God, in His kindness and wisdom, was outlining the shape and the meaning of the world.
The extensive visual poem the artist is continuously working on is like a plunge into a parallel but no less real universe that is painfully palpable. Traian Boicescu is a prolific artist with an already impressive output in ll the domains of fine arts.
His numerous personal exhibitions in Romania and abroad, his participation in group exhibitions and creation camps, everything supported by his pedagogical calling, testify to the artist's dynamism, a plastic artist that focuses on the present without repressng his memory, a contemporary artist who is at the same tme capable of understanding and reinterpreting tradition.
ABSTRACT ART. WHANT NEXT ?
Maybe you asked yourselves (as I did, actuallly) how far we can push the limits of abstract art. What lies beyond? A new comeback, a return to the old forms? Well, I have to tell you that abstract art, starting with Marcel Iancu’s, the early Victor Brauner’s and Piet Mondrian’s Dada crstaliyzed around the Romanian Tristan Tzara is still alive.
Some people saw in abstract art evidence of lack of imagination. They were wrong, however, as far as the term of ”imagination” was concerned . Because plastic art is full of imagination, which is something that usually astonishes us. What is missing is the imaginary. To understand the distinction between imagination and the imaginary, think that abstract art uses the wooden language of the researchers, while ”classic” art uses a poetic language. After all, the ”specialized” language does not lack imagination.It does not, however, resort to the ”imaginary” (which has to do with ideas, myths and beliefs that are specific to a certain community) in order to explain reality, it resorts strictly to what can be seen, what can be seen and experimented: the image itself. It’s not the absence of imagination, but the absence of a subject that characterizes abstract art.
After all, what is art when the subject is missing, when there is no substance or depth? And what subject can be found in the absence of an artistic Truth or outside dogmatism? The answer is obvious; technique and imagination. Today’s world is full of such artists that amaze you with their tricks. We go back to technique because ”Truth is formed in the mouth”. There is no unique Truth, or Truth before the sign. We are talking about the action language or what they call syncretic conception in semiotics A personal language is born together with the man. Man equally contributes to the creation of reality. Therefore, in a relative world, where beauty has no autonomy and where there is no transcendent reality everything is allowed.
Abstract art was born out of a crisis of identity that was typical for the 20th century, and not out of a crisis of ”imagination”. ”Down with art! It has prostituted itself!” Ion Vinea said in his manifesto to the young generation. Painting- a diaper of nature stretched between two market salons. Sculpture – the science of indecent butt touching..The abstract language does not send us closer to, or farther from, man. Abstract art, in spite of its high degree of referentiality, is the most human art. (referentiality = the relation between expression- significance, signifier-signified, free style- pure idea)- It’s an art stripped of everything that can be called ”dogmatism”. It’s the pure experiment of the mind, hysteria or euphoria. It is subjective to the extent to which it does not claim to be a kind of ” art that is a type of knowledge”. It is an ”art that is a form of communication” unlike surrealism that aspires to much more: the discovery of the self..
We will therefore talk more about technique in abstract art, even when we talk about ”artistic language” There is no ”beyond” the painting. There is no secret. The good becomes objective in the work of art just like a mathematician in an arithmetic problem. The artist exists and doesn’t exist at the same time. He only solves equations. Even when he moves his brush randommly his work is logic. Abstract art distances itself from naturalism and wants to bercome nature. Because without a ”beyond”, without superstitions, everything is nature and man has his own place in this ecosystem. It was said that abstract art was pure fantasy. I want you to understand that it is pure fantasy of the mind to the extent to which music has its inner logic based on harmony.
Abstract art means the zero level of artistry to which ”reason” can reach. What does this mean? That in the absence of a transcendental beyond you can only improve your style and technique, even when you do it in a psychedelic manner. To be subjective doesn’t mean that art is no longer mediated by reason. On the contrary, it becomes a logical art, a ramified system, based on a single idea: Correspondence Truth. Let’s distance ourselves from naturalism, but let’s go back to nature. From this perspective, man is nature, language, closed system, dogma, he no longer transcends his condition. Dadaism could blow up any form of art only by setting itself on fire. It is what Tristan Tzara actually did by resigning from the Dada circle. It is the ultimate Dada gesture. Because any manifesto finally becomes dogma.
By his abstractionism-impresionism the artist Traian Ștefan Boicescu goes therefore beyond the crisis. From “Faună Marină”, “Fosilizare”, “Pești”, “Stânci”, “Roci”, the passage is made to the abstract-impresionist scapes of the Mediterranean area:: “Arhipelag”, “Costa del Sol”, “Alicante”, “Ostia”, “Loid” etc. The artist from Vâlcea comes back to what is impression to add vitality to the abstract language. If in the painting “Faună Marină” he focusses on fossils as a biologist does using his microscoper, painting ”what is seen” inside, a molecular, experimental painting in the positivist spirit I described above, in his scapes the technique is surpassed by the intensity of feeling. Tecnically, it is impressively exquisite. The colours come out one of the other like a spectrum, as if they were placed on purpose on the chromatic palet of a teacher- With Traian Boicescu, as with many contemporary artists, you can touch the colour The mountains stand out, the colours flow along the river bed or freeze like the waters of the sea, waves included. It is alive and palpable. The artist uses several techniques of relief borrowed from the art of tapestry.
Art is meant to impress like fireworks. Maybe this explains why nobody creates art for ”posterity”. Art is short-liveed. As Traian Boicescu very well suggested in the effects of his painting ”Artificii” . a play of light and colours that must enchant us. Apparently this is the real spirit of abstract-impressionist art: the art of special effects. Can you see how art uses imagination?. If with Velasquez Jesus sent to the collective imaginary of the supreme sacrifice, to the myth of the Saviour, well, with abstract art all references are to nature.
They were not be able to avoid what they were afraid of...If we make an effort and remove the technique of language, what is left of the painting? The answer is simple:the picture. World is a picture. What matters is the lens through which you look at it. This lens is the subjectivity, our referentiality, the genius of the artist. Let me look at the world through your eyes, you can see it in a much more colourful , more beautiful way than I do. Even if you cannot see what lies ”beyond”.It doesn’t matter. Beauty is free. All that matters is this outward facet of the world: colour.
Finally, to answer the question in the title, there is life after death.
Article signed D.M
TRAIAN ȘTEFAN BOICESCU
It is relatively uncommon to discover that an artist's interests go far beyond the often limited area that his graduation diploma certifies. This is the case of the complex plastician Traian Ștefan Boicescu. Besides the art of tapestry that he masters perfectly, the teacher Boicescu – and I am emphasizing this aspect of his teaching career because, as a teacher, he has modelled and encouraged, all along his long activity, the hesistating beginnings of many generations of artists – is a creator in many other fields and techniques: a draftsman skilled in handling his tools for drawing, a spirited portraitist, an inspired refined painter and a vigurous creator of monumental works when he focuses on sacred subjects. The monumental character is in fact obvious în his entire creation so far. A the artist feels attracted to the small world, to the seed of the great, magnificent, overwhelming World, to the beginnings he bestows greatness to, you cannot help thinking of Mendelssohn Bartholdy's overture to ”A Midsummer Night's Dream” în which the insects and tiny creatures of the forest come to life in the magnificent nocturnal landscape.
Corals, nummulites, gastropoda and fossils equally populate his tapestries and canvases. As a physician in his laboratory who examines a cell under his microscope and is fascinated with its complexity, Boicescu discovers geometric structures that have a great decorative value in the motifs approached by him. The regular character of the lines, the compartmentation and diverse colours have a remarkable evoking force in works like Crinoids, Echinids, Celenterates, Molluscs, Nanostructure, Reef, Water Cultures, Marine Fauna, Marine Flora.
Since he performs such mental divings into the depths of the world's oceans primeval cells and minute creatures living at the bottom of the sea, as you admire his works in order to reveal their splendors, it is obvious that the artist is in love with coastlines so that in his paintings we will mainly find vistas of various places or resorts that open to the sea. We will find there synthetic forms and architectures and buildings, and industrial plants that are just suggested because the artist is not interested in rendering a particular place that we could identify, but only in the chromatic and formal illusion that is imprinted on our retina after a quick look at the motif as if we were dreaming with open eyes. Everything is simplified, stylised, reduced to blots and lines without nevertheless falling into the exhibitory realism that simply reproduces reality. With Boicescu, realism is imanent without being stated în its tangible embodiment. Only the titles give identity to a canvas generated by a place that he visited and was dear to him or only imagined in his mind's eyes: Torre del Mar, Punta del Rio, Costa del Sol, Gulph Juan, Antibes, Murano, Lido, Florence, Toulon, Marseilles, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Morning in the Harbour, Harbour at Noon, Venetian Twighlight, Ostia, Venetian Lagoon, Sicily, Archipelago, Mediterranean Gulph, Evening on the Mediterranean, Lagoon, Genovese Gulph, Gulph in Sicily, Capo Cacia, Gaeta, Alicante. All these offer him wonderful opportunities to develop his geometric spirituality and to prove his mastery in the dialogue between warm and cold tones. To obtain an ascending or descending duct the artist intervenes and scratches the paint, leaving behind the knife white traces that have a reamarkable graphic efffect.
He manages to illustrate with the same suggestive force even abstract phenomena, such as high temperatures in Heat.
His recent exibition at the Constantin Brâncuși Hall of the Palace of Parliament had a retrospective character thus offering a comprehensive outlook of his creation along a rich career in full swing that promises a lot for the decades to come.
dr. ADRIAN-SILVAN IONESCU Manager of the Art History Institute, "George Oprescu" of the Romanian Academy