Art opening New Haven Public Library Saturday
New Haven Free Public Library Art Gallery
133 Elm St., New Haven
Fluid Abstractions: Artworks by Ioan Popoiu
Mar. 15—Apr.19, 2008
Artist Reception: Sat., Mar. 29, 2008, 2:30—4:30 p.m.
The Art Gallery of the New Haven Free Public Library is proud to present the works of Romanian-American artist Ioan Popoiu. This exhibition of paintings created between 2007 and 2008, constitute an exploration of color and texture obtained by juxtaposition of many layers of paint and polymer.
"In my work, I use the fluidity of the color as a form of expression," says the artist, "which gives me the opportunity to explore freely and deeply into the universe of abstraction. Time is an important factor in my work: each layer needs a natural time to dry in order to obtain the expression I want.
"I first started using fluids in my work probably sometimes in the '80's, and I became more involved with it, in the early 90's. I use bright, fluorescent colors, perhaps as a response of a previous experience as a young artist in my former country, Romania. When I first visited the region of Maramures, I was fascinated by that experience. People there use very bright colors as a form of expression of their positive vision of life. It is not a mistake that there, it was created, probably, uniquely in the world, the 'Happy Cemetery.' It is called that way because each cross contains a poem and a picture about that particular person. The picture is painted in very bright colors. Each poem talks about that person's life, sometimes with humor sometimes with sadness. There is a sense that there is life after death.
"The shapes and forms in my paintings speak of my surroundings and of the concepts of time and space. The structure and transparency obtained by the overlapping of the multiple layers of color create at times a 3-D effect. These forms of expression are in a continuous change."
Ioan Popoiu, born in 1952, received his BFA from Nicolae Grigorescu Institute of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania. Before coming to the U.S., he won awards in Suceava and Bucharest, Romania, and was represented by Dalles Gallery in Bucharest.
As a politically dissenting artist under the dangerous Ceausescu regime in the early 1980's, it became necessary for him to undertake a 45-day hunger strike before finally being allowed a visa to exit Romania under this dictatorship.
He and his family presently live on Roosevelt Island, NYC, where he is active in Gallery RIVAA, (the Roosevelt Island Visual Artists Association), and in 2007 had a solo exhibition there. He has also had solo shows at the East-West Gallery in Manhattan in 2004, at the York Square Cinema Gallery in 1998, and at Morin Miller Gallery on 57th Street in NYC in 1989. He has participated in group and juried exhibitions in many venues each year, and his works are included in private collections in the US and Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, Japan, and Romania. His artworks are in public collections in the Frederick R. Weisman
Art Museum, in Minneapolis, MN, and the Museum of Fine Art Collection, and the National Gallery in Bucharest, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Suceava, Romania.