Spotlight: Romanian Artist Mircea Suciu’s Ghostly New Paintings Reimagine Art-Historical Masterpieces

The artist's new works are currently on view in at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp.

Mircea Suciu, America (part of Strange Fruit series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.
Mircea Suciu, America (part of Strange Fruit series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

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About the Artist: Romanian artist Mircea Suciu creates moody, even ghostly, paintings that reconfigure art-historical tropes and figures in a grayscale palette punctuated by pops of pale blues, reds, and pinks in acrylic and oil. His works often blend together disparate, eclectic subjects to form complex compositions that contemplate the overlaps between political and art histories.

Currently, the artist’s fourth exhibition, “Bleeding Heart,” is on view at Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp. Featuring 13 new paintings, the show overviews some recent developments in Suciu’s work, as well as his return to certain earlier motifs and references, including Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez. Reimagining this masterpiece of the Spanish Golden Age from our current perspective, Suciu draws attention to histories of colonialism and racism that are still with us to this day. 

Mircea Suciu, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Mircea Suciu, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Why We Like It: Suciu’s work digs into the complexities of the human condition, its fragility and fallibility, and the world’s tangled histories, presenting a multitude of perspectives and subjects into one canvas, While the term “bleeding heart” is today used disparagingly to describe liberals, the artist instead dwells on the religious writings and iconographies that describe the bleeding heart of Jesus Christ. Along with other centuries-old visual references (including numerous still lifes), the artist integrates more recent art-historical and cultural references relating to Minimalism, Pop art, and cinema to conversations across time. 

According to the Artist: “My work is focused on humanity and its actions. The option for the images presented in this show are meant mainly to push the viewer to meditate upon history, the consequences of colonialism, to arrive at a feeling of compassion related to the depicted subject. All my interpretations of the classical artworks are minor takes on them, I am not making copies of those images. It is a personal understanding and translation of them with my own tools, my own technique. There is a certain eclecticism in themes and techniques used in this show. Related to technique, it illustrates my desire for experimenting, for finding diverse ways of representing images. Related to themes, I believe there is a certain balance in the diversity, which gives a wider understanding of my research. I am also inserting images taken from movies, splitting the composition between a cinematic element and a painterly subject, or using an abstract surface in contrast with a figurative representation. I aim to break the composition from the classical approach of a unitary, compact composition of a single subject.”

 

Mircea Suciu
America (after Velázquez) (1) (2021)
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Mircea Suciu, America (after Velázquez) (1) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

Mircea Suciu, America (after Velázquez) (1) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

 

Mircea Suciu
Self Portrait (Washed Up) (2020)
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Mircea Suciu, America (series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

Mircea Suciu, America (series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

 

Mircea Suciu
America (series after Velázquez) (2021)
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Mircea Suciu, America (series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

Mircea Suciu, America (series after Velázquez) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

 

Mircea Suciu
Camouflage (2) (2021)
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Mircea Suciu, Camouflage (2) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

Mircea Suciu, Camouflage (2) (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

 

Mircea Suciu
Still life with movie projection (2021)
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Mircea Suciu, Still life with movie projection (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

Mircea Suciu, Still life with movie projection (2021). Courtesy of Zeno X Gallery.

 


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