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ART ENCOUNTERS    |    Appearance & Essence    |    3-31 OCTOBER 2015    TIMISOARA | ARAD

Marian Zidaru (1956, România - lives and works in București & Liteni, România)

Marian Zidaru is the main figure of radical, neo-Orthodox trend in Romanian art today. Sculptor, painter, draughtsman, performance, community-, video-, and installation-artist, photographer and designer, Zidaru seminally contributed to the establishment of the only art-based, apocalyptic religious community in Romania, the New Jerusalem, a self-styled monastery (though not recognized by the official Romanian Orthodox Church) in Pucioasa, not far from Targoviste. The whole compound, including houses, church, enormous gates, traditional tools, gardens, clothes, books, art-works and interior design, was drafted and created mostly by Marian and Victoria Zidaru, his wife (born 1956, lives and works in Bucharest and Liteni, Romania). Eschatological visions based on Old Testament, proto-Christian re-enactement of a Cathar-like, spiritual purity, made the two Zidarus into nationwide, influential models of reviving the extreme, mystical experience as artistic practice throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Ranging from a synthetic neo-traditionalism based on ancient, Byzantine iconography, blended with wilful, idiosyncratic, modernist reflexes, the major work of Zidaru is the ”social sculpture”, the heavy intervention into given communities, shaping both their semiotics and ethics, starting from a symbolic, sophisticate sign-system, passing through impressive, monumental works of art and going as far as exclusivist, minutely crafted dietary prescriptions and dwelling principles.Thus, through Zidaru, New Age and neo-traditionalism, mysticim and conservationist ecology, old and new are stick together in a powerful aesthetic, nationally specific idiom. (Erwin Kessler)
Exhibitions
Appearance & Essence Timco Halls



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