Monday, 21 January 2013

Made to measure


Stairs, stone and wooden rafters all make the Centru de Cultura Urbana a stimulating exhibition centre. Inside the 15th Century Turnul Croitorilor four exhibition floors and a café have been imaginatively fitted into the ancient tower’s lofty space. The current exhibition of artworks and photographs is all the more delightful for the modest scale of the pieces. Alexandra Tatar’s work in fabric and paint jumps at you as you get to the top of the stairs leading to the main exhibition space. The pieces are bright and arresting carrying a mix of femininity and a youthful brazenness akin to the early punks who pierced their skin with safety pins. The quiet, almost unobtrusive monochrome paintings of Corina Oprea appear unexpectedly, prompting delight in their discovery. Some are almost like strips of Rothko in his purple patch. The first floor houses an exhibition of photographic nightscapes of Cluj covered in the recent snow. Dan Tamas took pictures from several of the vantage points surrounding Cluj. He brings a wonderful array of fresh views of a familiar subject, our dear city. His photographs in the main exhibition have the quality of dreams, surreal and disturbing yet something you want to remember, something that makes you wish to go back and look at again. Above all this, completing the quartet, Valeria Dragan’s air-work of paintings are literally ‘Head in the Clouds’. The canvases are suspended in space coloured on both sides instead of being pinned flat against the wall. They are butterflies that are alive rather than brought to earth in an entomologist’s box.  This exhibition does more than justice to the city’s urban culture centre, it makes it shine.



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