CRITICAL REVIEW


          The artist Ionel Tănase is revealed to us in all his beauty and richness of maturity. His dedicated to an ascending dialogue existence is mirrored in the harmonious intertwining of theoretical subjects and the physical identity of the created works.
          The sculptor from Cluj, originally from Bistriţa, with a rich exhibitional activity, examines the relationship between technique and expressiveness in Romanian wood sculpture. Having a passion since childhood to transform the dendrologic matter in utilitarian or aesthetic objects, the mature artist denotes a predisposition to retrieve memories and their specific vital energy.
          As an architect of the private memory, Ionel Tănase presents in recent exhibitions, Volumes in the Drawers of Memory and Innocent Memories, a series of works that seemingly make one think of oversized household items. The attention vested in these objects becomes the reason for their withdrawal from anonymity. The banality of a safety pin, of a pipe, of a comb is annihilated with the enlargement of the object and then with putting it in the exhibition area. Everyday objects, familial and oversized evoke an age of innocence, a time of pure joy, a playful predisposition of the mature artist who takes advantage of the power and virtuosity which were given to him in order to propose a participatory act of personal history transgression. The space invested with these artefacts becomes safe, familial, warm, a true well of joy and safety. The objects live through the conscience of the simulacrum, but the prospect of restoring a time suspended reality offers them the nature of an intersubjective dynamics between generations. The viewer is made to deal with his own memories, joys, hopes, fears or longings, because the objects presented by the artist evoke references to archetypal structures.
          The drawings that precede and accompany the artist’s volumetric works are, however, the key element to the sculptor’s interconnectivity of perspective. The harmony of detail revealed in the balance of the ensemble is suggested by linking items, whether they are the sight of the threads that connect grandma’s spools and balls of wool, or the firmness of the pieces that make up the tail of a feather or the rhythmic repetitiveness of fish scales.

          Ionel Tănase’s works spread the historical responsibility of the shapes that Barthes brings into question and the tendency for inspired substitution of the self in favour of the other,  a concept that Levinas draws attention to.

Andreea Foanene (2014)

 


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