The air starts to get thinner once you go north of 26th Street, but one of the few significant galleries in Chelsea’s upper stretches is this one, whose mullions are painted an unmissable taxi cab yellow. Up now is an intriguing, biting-its-own-tail show, “All Images From a Book...,” by Ciprian Muresan, one of several prominent artists from Cluj, Romania — an unlikely new European art capital whose other hometown heroes include the painter Adrian Ghenie and the video artist Mircea Cantor. Mr. Muresan, who’s taking part in next month’s Venice Biennale, makes allusive “palimpsest” drawings, for which he copies every image from a book of Holbein paintings, or from an issue of Artforum magazine, into dense webs of images and information. But a better and more inventive example of creation through duplication is a cast-resin sculpture, with forms that draw on multiple busts and statues in Cluj’s art museum, lying on the floor like a casualty of history.
We’re so vain, how could we resist this painstakingly produced drawing of an entire issue of ARTnews all on one sheet of paper with each page of the magazine reproduced atop the last to create a dense palimpsest?
It is the work of the Romanian artist Ciprian Muresan, who said in an email: The drawing is part of a series of five works, each taking as a starting point various art magazines issued in December 2016: ARTnews, Art Papers, Frieze, Art in America, and Afterall. All images reproduced in each magazine are rendered on a single sheet of paper in overlapping layers. Accumulating and superimposing the images is a destructive act, at the same time preserving the ‘identity’ of the magazine. By choosing magazines issued at the same time, my intention was to provoke a sort of a comparison of accumulation – as you might compare the ‘ashes’ or the chaos created by superimposition.
Art Matters | A Medieval Romanian City With Major Art Talent
by Zeke Turner
Lacking a famous art school, government support or even a location most people can point to on a map, the small medieval city of Cluj, Romania, has become an unlikely breeding ground for the next generation of art stars. Two years ago, the painter Adrian Ghenie was in his friend’s studio, having a coffee with some former classmates — all Romanian artists and gallerists in their mid-to-late 30s — when it sunk in: they had made it.
By Brian Boucher
Utopians often have a hard time of it in Ciprian Mureşan’s work. The Romanian artist’s hilarious photograph Leap into the Void—after 3 Seconds (2004) mimics Yves Klein’s classic image of the artist in a swan dive from a rooftop. Mureşan’s abject version shows a similar street, a man’s body sprawled on the pavement—the aftermath of a moment of glorious flight. Flight his recent show at David Nolan, his first New York solo, Mureşan (b. 1977) continued sending up utopian artists, though perhaps treating them more gently, while also introducing themes of translation and transmission of knowledge and ideologies.
Art in Review: Ciprian Muresan
By Holland Cotter
Ciprian Muresan, born in 1977, is one of several remarkable young Romanian artists (Mircea Cantor and Serban Savu are others) who were on the verge of their teens at the time of the 1989 revolution, and adults during the period of confused politics and disappointed ideals that followed.
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and Galeria Plan B, Berlin, Germany
By Mitch Speed
In the midst of an unseasonably hot Berlin summer, Patriarch Teoctist, former head of the Romanian Orthodox church, found himself pinned between a stray meteorite and the floor of the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. This blasphemous tableau, The End of the Five-Year Plan (2004), is Romanian artist Ciprian Mureşan’s interpretation of Maurizio Catellan’s La Nona Orta (The Ninth Hour, 1999), in which Pope John Paul II is felled by a meteorite. Teoctist’s inert body lay opposite Incorrigible Believers (2009), an arrangement of eight black pews and an altar, topped with an open copy of Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel The Castle (1926).