Aculina Strasnei Popa
November 21, 2014 | By Carmen |
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This painting reveals what Rene Huyghe called “double reading". The interpretation of the symbol combines with the deciphering the plastic organization of the image, in order to find out the thinking and feelings which have inspired it. I must mention the fact that Aculina Strasnei Popa spent her childhood with her family, deported in Baragan. Memories of that dramatic childhood followed her throughout the years, enriching her creative subconscious. That is the background the Ciocarlanul's figure, the bird of Baragan, has emerged from. In the artist's imagery, the bird has become a symbol with rich connotation. The bird is linking the heaven and earth, suggesting the cosmic unity the human being is part of A philosophical idea expressed with subtlety and strictly plastic. Actually, we do not find anywhere in this painting any discursive allusion or a "literary" substratum. Everything is what a German theoretician called "picturature". Furthermore, the "Ciocarlanul" from Aculinei Strasnei Popa painting takes our thoughts to the "bird- soul”, the messenger from our folk-tales, a subject of great concern also for Brancusi. "The lecturing" of the plastic organization of the image reveals the soul substratum of the artist's creation. The anxiety, the inner nervousness, the dramatic sense of an existence, or what the ancient Greeks called "daimonion" dictate the net of her chromatic composition. Maybe it contains with fidelity her reaction in front of life. We could say that this chromatic structure has an autobiographical meaning. Yes, this is Aculina Strasnei Popa. The artist uses less tones but of strong sonority Lot of red, a red for blood and life. On this background, the image of the "Ciocarlan" completes its signification; it is the bird symbolizing the triumph of life. This is the intimate message of Aculina Strasnei Popa's art, an optimistic message. In fewer paintings, but with the same expressive intensity, the motive of water appears. Its symbolical meaning takes us on unpredictable ways, to Hieronimus Bosch, that Flemish painter who filled the pattern of this symbol with all his anxieties generated by the contact with the society of his times. The water, through its irresolute fluidity, its unforeseen depths, full of a hidden mystery, is the memorial symbol of the human unconsciousness, where the repressed feelings live. Through an energetic, large brushing, with multiple destinations, the water seen by Aculina Strasnei Popa suggests anxiety, even spleen, a widely generalized feeling of this postmodern age. Watching the unhindered, free flight of the Ciocarlan over the infinite space of the Baragan field, we are not to lose our faith in the human being. Beyond the dramatic expression, the art of Aculinei Strasnei Popa is tonic while the artist she is entirely fulfilled. Horia Medeleanu Historic and critic de arts
Here we are in an area of infinite ingenuity which bursts constantly and fluidly in every movement of the spot, of the dust line, from the cruel network which consumes the infinite, open world, which surround the beholder who is thus invited to reflection. The work of Aculina Strasnei becomes mobilizing, alive, restoring that incomplete confusing hiatus which separates human beings. Integrative plastic work with axiological references undertaken openly. Thus, she revolutionizes the field of plastic research which become a matrix vehicle with structuring role, bringing into an estranged world that diaphanous spring air which saves through sublime, harmony and truth. The picture rail within the Art Museum in Arad, impeccably orchestrated, bring almost ritually the rhythm of the unmatched consonance which comes through naturally, while connecting inseparably the beholder organically integrated, embraced and surrounded by the invisible cells of the artist who transgresses emergently from the work exhibited as a whole, combining empathically in an inimitable, reverberative, magnificent monolith of human mind. The sky bird, the smoke ladder, the hay rustle, the sky hill, are only a few of the favorite support which remake the petal cup of wonders through bright blue eyes, deep, eternal, a little moist, through which the artist regards herself through us. Gabriel Kelemen , PhD Visual Arts Timişoara 2013
In most of her works of Christian-Orthodox conception through using the scholarly artistic language she combined happily the two terms: the sacred and the modern by demolishing the scholastic and conservative forms lacking content and life. Aculina's art has never been made up of isolated elements or forms, but rather always of the relation between forms - symbolic objects ( the wheel, the ladder, the cross, the angel, the icon ), forms- phenomena (the light, the fire, the sky), forms- beings (man, Animal, birds, fish) deepening the sacred symbolism through the transcendence of the telluric and the aspiration towards eternity. As regards the anthropomorphic sign, it tends towards the calophilia of the traditional icon, („Icoana/The Icon” –Cuvioasa/The Venerable”,„Arhanghel/Archangel”, „Inger/Angel”, „Invierea lui Lazăr/The Resurrection of Lazarus”, „Chipul lui Christ/The Image of Christ”) The dedicated iconographic theme creates images which impose transcendence by recovering the iconic tradition through an acute need to project image into space by the help of light. The relation of contemporary art with traditional spaces preservers of faith proves more than vital to Aculina's artistic creed. For the artist Man was a generator of symbols. He is situated in the center of the symbolic world and he appears „depicted” in her works as a synthesis of the worlds, a miniature model of the universe, a microcosm. Whether it is clipped, wrapped or betokened, the human body represents a direction of a plastic culture approached by Aculina in underlining the connection of the sacred to the profane (the connection between the sky and the earth). The key element to transcend is, in fact, the body, the new archetypal body. The ritualistic character is greatly supported by the large conceptual drawing „Genesis I and II” whic h appears as a crust of the dry, arid, unknown lands, a kind of separation of the waters from the land. In the lyrical-abstract works, the artist cultivates a geometrical symbolism where the light is absorbed by matter conferring it spirituality. With a shattering inner plastic tension Aculina offered open spaces, a sort of unleashing of the matter. Hence, the feeling of perpetual burning and extinguishment of inner forms and energies (lightning, fire, stake). There are different temporal states of contraction, expansion, dispersion, concealment, and revelation, lived by Aculina. The human silhouettes (between figurative and abstract), by displacement, leave behind them a light-like void. In order to fill the void semantically, the artist tries to render messages with a biophysical, astrological meaning. There is a vacuum crisis (horror vaqui), a world of signs, an encoded writing which populates the space in its perpetual movement, without stopping and the destructured plans deepen the space which becomes mysterious. The signs and ensigns sometimes coagulated, implosive or explosive step out of the tensioned world of the painting, while the artist proves that joy or misery change the course of time making it hardly perceivable or even endless. Aculina's connection to nature was inevitable and it did not take into account only the privileged places but also the harsh ones, the desolate ones marked by destiny, by fate. („Refugii/Hideaways” ,the cycle „Exodul/the Exodus” or „Amintiri din Bărăgan/Memories from Bărăgan”) . In her artistic endeavor close to nature (mater-materia) Aculina started from the primary village, centrum mundi thus conferring balance and constancy to the artistic discourse. The rural space re-entered the artist's attention because at the back of the memory resides the serious recollection from childhood of the exodus to Bărăgan. The village is a visionary theme performed skillfully and accurately in ink (black and white) which invoke the ritual and morphology of the pastoral works. (carriages with hay, haystacks, sheaves of wheat, horses-horse riders ).