"Labyrinth" is the first solo by Gheorghe Fikl (b. 1968), a Romanian artist from Timisoara, opening on THU, April 2, at SLAG Gallery. Fikl's striking images and the violent tones, in which the antagonistic symbols of absolute piety and aggressive carnality explore each other from a distance, and reveal a permanent and almost unbearable psychological tension that focuses especially on a "no one's land" in between them.
Also opening on THU, April 2, 6-8 pm, at SLAG Gallery “A world I never made”, a solo exhibition of drawings by New York artist William Downs (b. 1974). This presentation brings together two installations of drawings that illuminate his vast range of ideas and materials. The exhibition will include over 80 new drawings that cover the walls of the gallery and can be read both collectively and individually. Downs is well-known for infiltrating and occupying spaces with narratives that depict his process of automatic drawing, revealing a balance between conscious and unconscious states.
Gheorghe Fikl’s approach is starkly uniform. His compositions are almost always balanced, with a central elongated animal figure set against a symmetrical background. The central figure is lit dramatically, with a single source of light from above, as if taking center stage in a theater production. Indeed, his works seem plucked directly from the theater, with a complex drama unfolding in each painting. They are like sinister operas rendered in paint.
“Strange worlds meet on the surfaces of Gheorghe Fikl’s opulent paintings. The grand and awe-inspiring kingdom of Life, of animals and nature, is set against the luxurious backdrop of lavish objects and decadent settings. In Fikl’s paintings two forms of bounty collide to produce a hybrid world in which glory, beauty, and elegance reign supreme.” —from the catalog essay by Chen Tamir
Fikl’s solo shows include “Solo Exhibition,” Gallery Calina, Timisoara, Romania (2008); “Solo Exhibition”, Gallery Carturesti, Timisoara, Romania (2005); “Solo Exhibition”, Gallery Posibila, Bucharest, Romania (2005); “Solo Exhibition”, Art Club, Timisoara, Romania (2004).
Fikl’s group shows include “Against All Odds”, Slag Gallery, New York (2008); “Group Exhibition”, Dana Gallery, Iasi, Romania (2007); “Exhibition Organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute”, Romanian Embassy, Paris, France (1999).
An illustrated catalog including essays by Lyra Kilston, senior editor of Modern Painters, and Chen Tamir, independent curator and director of Flux Factory, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
[Image: Gheorghe Fikl, Sheep with Chandelier, 2008]