unspoken lines – no man is an island
The UK solo debut exhibition of Romanian artist Tudor Titzoiu
featuring all new works produced in Bristol
Hamilton House Gallery, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY
1st – 7th of March 2018; open 9.00am – 8.30 pm Monday-Friday; 9.00am – 4.30pm weekend
On 1st March the exhibition will be open to view as it is being installed
Opening reception: Friday 2nd March 2018, 6.00pm – 9.00pm
with a live performance by Cuban jazz trumpeter Michel Padrón at 6.00pm
and special guest speaker, Richard Holt FRSA, director of Creative Innovation Centre CIC, Taunton
For enquiries contact: email@example.com
Co-curator Ben Pritchett writes:
Tudor Titzoiu attracts comparison to those modernist artists who took the intended insult “even my child could do it” as a compliment. The works in this exhibition span a range of approaches: At one extreme are black and white images, with marker doodles outlining human figures and their settings – landscapes, coastlines, or cloudscapes. At another extreme are works where the marks do not define forms but float free, and colours are unmoored, with patches and washes arranged for contrast and modulation. These images could be conceived as games; Titzoiu considers his canvas his playground and his colours his toys. A third group of works combines these contrasting techniques: clear outlines and free-floating marks are juxtaposed; felt-tip colours are supplemented with subtly mixed painted hues; some fields of colour fill delineated areas, while others escape and fade away. Areas of clear composition emerge out of a chaotic play of marks and colours, and disperse back into it.
One might ask what all this represents. Titzoiu gives the beginnings of an answer: his art “depicts and makes use of a democratic perspective of contemporary social and political situation, constituted in an abstract world of reflections”. Anyone looking here for explicit political slogans, caricatures, or cartoons will be struck by their absence. Titzoiu names almost none of his pictures; he provides no key to gloss their symbolism. This is one sense of the title of the exhibition, “unspoken lines”: the works should speak for themselves. Perhaps the best clue to the exhibition’s politics is its subtitle, “no man is an island”, a phrase from the metaphysical poet John Donne, using geography as a metaphor for human relationships. The analogy resonates with Titzoiu’s pictures that depict figures and coastlines, and what he calls the “continuous line of life” connecting them all. By drawing people with such elementary forms, he points to a shared human essence, and his practice of abstraction goes further still, to fundamental elements of representation and perception: colour and line. Abstraction in art may aspire to transcend differences and find a common language. One can understand the microcosmic world of a well-composed picture as offering an analogy to a well-organized social world, where the good life can be lived. Such a world has its own equilibrium, rhythm, and harmony, but can accommodate experimentation and happy accidents; contrasts and contradictions are not to be feared, but cultivated and enjoyed.