The Hero in Recent Romanian Painting

University of Fine Arts, Bucharest. June, 2001 

Alexandru Radvan, 'Heroes', 2001.

A successful exhibit of recent painting by Alexandru Radvan opened at the gallery of the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest at the end of last June. Radvan is an important player among those among young Romanian painters who have chosen figuration as a means of expression. Like them, Radvan has discovered, or rediscivered, the value of representation.

Radvan has organizes his dynamic compositions by means of a narrative thread. In this way he recovers universal myths (the Ghilgames saga, Ulysses’s fights in the war of Troy, or Arabian tales), giving them a new meaning. The heroes painted by Radvan are exemplary characters, actuated by an inner order. In spite of their conventional expression, they seem to be alive, able to fight for essential causes. Radvan preserves artistic conventions in pure form, suggesting essential feelings at the same time. His painting is a plea for genuine art, an art that doesn’t quote but merely hints.

The paintings displayed in this exhibition (Radvan’s second one) were executed following a theoretical project that started from what he called the “reality concept”, a notion related to the artist’s work with myth. Alexandru Radvan has a special relationship with the unbearable reality in which he lives, and with the tales that that reality spins. His art evolves from that reality, but it eventually transcends it.