Wed 12 Oct 2016
Works by Romul Nutiu (1932 – 2012), a formidable Romanian artist influenced by Abstract Expressionism, carrying it further and developing it into a flamboyant and solid corp of works.
From the Wikipedia article dedicated to the artist:
‘Periods and Styles of Nutiu’s oeuvre Following Nutiu’s oeuvre through the decades helped to define the different stages of his artistic unfolding. The first steps towards abstraction were the modular compositions from the early 60s, all of which were paintings on canvas. At the same time he also created objects called assemblage, by using different canvases stuck on each other which created a three dimensional effect. Nutiu was always tempted to expand his works beyond the canvas, by leaving the bi-dimensionality. He referred to the works of this period as Utopias. After composing these objects he returned to painting and began a theme called Dynamic Universe; these paintings were made in the 1970s. In this period Nutiu got the idea to build several vessels with dimensions of about 160×160 cm having a depth of 10 cm, which he filled with water and industrial paints that were usually used to paint cars. These colours could not be absorbed by the water, and floated by their own inertia creating unforeseen shapes. The artist influenced those shapes by intervening with a bar until he liked the outcome. Subsequently he arranged a canvas on the water’s surface. The canvas absorbed the paint composition which was a moment earlier in the water. Generally the canvas was covered entirely of these “risky effects” produced in print. In some cases Nutiu intervened with a few brushstrokes or he erased some areas. The very innovative object in space “Sapte forme pictate” (means seven painted shapes) from 1969 was also achieved with this technology transfer in water, while some areas have been painted over. In the 1980s Nutiu was inspired by vegetal structures, especially roots and he subsequently labelled this phase of his artistic production as Sections through Fertile Soil. This title clearly reveals that his abstract works were inspired by nature. Further to this title he was also a passionate fly fisherman and he confessed that the roots of the plants and trees he observed on the other side of the shore inspired him. In the 1990s Nutiu entitled his body of work Beyond Appearances. The paintings became more graphic and symbolical which is evidenced seen in the artwork Blue Universe from 1999. The paintings were of course abstract and in the 1990s extremely colourful, sometimes colour spots surrounded by a line like a cloisonné. At the end of the 1990s he was attracted by water – running in rivers or falling in cascades and until the early 2000s he was extremely engaged with this subject. In the last years of his life Nutiu returned to his earlier themes, one of which was Sections through Fertile Soil. For Romul Nutiu the source of inspiration is especially the plant, its stem and root, as it feeds from the soil and returns fertility to it and in this permanent struggle for survival it is akin to man. He re-explored painting the element of water as he had done at the beginning of the 2000s. In 2011 Nutiu achieved his largest painting called Dionysiacal Space which was almost 3 metres long and 2 metres wide. This monumental work is although structured also directed by spontaneous intuition and reveals the semantic complexity of the artist. Throughout his life Nutiu’s art always evolved and challenged himself to try new paths and develop new techniques. Although Nutiu used different dimensions of canvases, in his eyes, any surface could become a territory and was able to involve any kind of shades, plans, volumes of colour and different tonalities. This means that he did not need a certain type of canvas or a size as he used his colours and geometrical forms in a way that fit onto every surface. Nutiu had always expressed interest in objects and the objectual space as it could offer him a new field to reveal his spirit. While making objects in space he used the same attitude towards colour, but complicated the conformation so the objects would gain individuality. Sometimes the object could be perceived from all sides and therefore had a higher autonomy. Nutiu above all remained a painter in everything he did whether he used wood panels or sheets of paper; colour was always one essential dynamic that kept all his works together. He liked to play with colour and transferred all his emotions and tensions into it; this can be seen when one observes the canvas directly. He always painted abstract, gestural resulting in experimental art. Nutiu also thought about the objectual reality of the image he painted, that there should be a sensitivity to grasp it. His art could be described as a synthesis between lyricism and rationalism. Most of his works have allegorical meanings.’