In a mysteriously beautiful marriage of Northern Renaissance style painting and haunting surrealism, Georges Mazilu’s painting explores and reconciles his past—deconstructing how his Romanian childhood has influenced his unique and curious aesthetic and subject matter. Beginning with abstract, organic sketch strokes, Mazilu morphs ambiguous base shapes into human figures in a stunning amalgamation of his skill as a classically-trained painter, and in his vision as an ambitiously contemporary creator. In every piece from Mazilu, traces of the technical expertise learned at the prestigious Grigorescu Institute of Fine Arts clash harmoniously with the influences of the modern art world as they were first introduced to Eastern Europe, catalyzing a distinctive, bewitching depiction of his distorted figures.
Battle, that is both enchantingly stylistic and intensely contemplative, can be witnessed in Mazilu’s paintings: an interesting controversy between the capacity to speak to the navigation of his near-Soviet upbringing, his voice as an artist, and the nuances of art itself as a therapeutic practice. Ultimately, this speaks to the dynamic push-pull of the Romanian moment.
Mazilu’s process explores finding reason in shape and dimension, but nevertheless with a final appearance rooted in his mastery of realism. Furthermore, his medium brings into question the functionality of material, as his acrylic depictions closely resemble the behavior of traditional, oil portraiture. This developmental process, constructed from these controversies, as described by the artist himself, “permits [him] to sound [his] unconscious by developing the signs into harmonious structures…a mirroring of [his] present state of mind.” The human forms that emerge from the ambiguous universes he elegantly crafts are the consequence of his experience in the world, displaying a visceral passion for his practice, the meditative intention of his introspection, and his virtually unprecedented creative vision.
Essay by Morgan Bakinowski
Opening Reception Friday, September 6, 2019 from 5 to 7pm.
Romania’s history is cloaked in mystery, but it possesses an art history that is rich and beautiful. Golden icon paintings and ornate monasteries grace the countryside. Consequently, artistic training in Romania is highly rigorous, with 9 years of schooling. The first four years focus on the human figure; the last five years focus on a specific media of choice. Georges Mazilu was trained as a realist, portraying the human figure. After mastering realism, Mazilu became an abstract painter. For several years, his works were purely abstract assemblages, based on the patterns of his upbringing with a tailor parent. The patterning is obvious in Mazilu’s blend of abstraction with realism, creating final forms somewhat anthropomorphic. Today, Mazilu’s paintings display perfectly blended fusions of abstraction and stunning realism. He combines his magical realist style with the European Old Master palette, creating a masterful fusion of old world and dream world.
Noted art historian and Professor Emeritus of Princeton University, Sam Hunter, wrote the most recent monograph on Mazilu, but the late, preeminent South African writer André Brink described Mazilu’s work most poetically:
“Mazilu’s originality, even when he mockingly inserts himself in an admirable and exciting tradition, lies in moving beyond what has been done, in painting precisely what Bosch or Redon or Dali have not imagined. This is the challenge to which each picture responds, each constituting a ludic leap of the imagination, or of faith, into the dark of the as yet unimaginable: it is this motion towards ‘something beyond,’ this act of ‘crossing over,’ of defying limits and boundaries, that defines the…dynamism, of an art that dazzles as much through its technical virtuosity as the subtlety and outrage of its imagination.”
Opening Reception Friday, September 15, 2017 from 5 to 7pm
[n.b. that this event takes place in Santa Fe]
With the earthiness of clay, and the stylings of the old master palette both artists in this exhibition present explorations of the human and animal forms. Hands on, from the Earth, yet changed.
Opening Reception Friday, August 26, 2016 from 5 to 7pm
[n.b. that this event takes place in Santa Fe]
New work by one of France’s most idiosyncratic painters, whose work was recently added to the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Denver Art Museum.
The twisted world of Mazilu’s creatures with their curious forms and faces is thrillingly presented by Turner Carroll Gallery. Originally from Romania, Mazilu now resides in France after he could no longer live under the harsh rule of Nicolae Ceausescu. His artwork reflects the complexity and unpredictability of modern society. Mazilu creates creatures that have characteristics of the human form yet have unnatural details that cause one to pause. When the artist begins a new piece of art he first lays down figures and shapes and only after he has the abstract form does he begin to incorporate familiar forms from the world surrounding him.
Mazilu works with opposites within his art: working in a medieval style that mixes with his own contemporary views, with dark undefined space to great mechanical detail, and with contrasts of bright forms against dark backgrounds. His nine-year training in the art of the human form is apparent through his clearly defined bodies, yet his own contemporary twist forces the viewer to contemplate the human body. Many of his subjects represent toys as they have mechanical aspects, wires and metal limbs, yet their resemblance to the facial aspects of a human in the face makes it clear these are complex creatures. Mazilu is shown in museums across the globe including the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Sophia Museum of Contemporary Art in Bulgaria. He has also shown in various venues in France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgium, and throughout the United States. This exhibition represents Mazilu’s first US exhibition since the Denver Museum of Art acquired a large painting of his.
Turner Carroll Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of Georges Mazilu’s newest body of work. Internationally recognized for his ability to fuse both contemporary surrealism and Northern Renaissance portraiture, Mazilu’s brilliantly executed paintings portray mysterious settings that entice us delve into these enigmatic compositions.
Georges Mazilu earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the Grigorescu Art Institute in Bucharest. His works can be found in prestigious permanent collections including San Francisco’s de Young Museum and the Bulgarian Museum of Contemporary Art. Mazilu is represented in Romania, Germany and the Netherlands, and a member of La Maison de Artistes. Mazilu’s newest body of work is not to be missed!
(Images: Georges Mazilu, L’espion, 2010, acrylic on linen, 18.1 x 21.6″; Le chien messager, acrylic on linen , 21 x 24.25″, 2010; Courtesy Turner Carroll Gallery)
Posted by Abhilasha Singh on 10/10/10
In 2002, a Georges Mazilu work entered the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The watercolor painting, “Le Rhinoceros Rose,” is a gift of Diane and Sandy Besser.Le Rhinoceros Rose (Red Rhinoceros) - Georges Mazilu _ FAMSF Explore the Art
This Romanian-born artist has become on the of the most sought-after painters in Europe. Since 1980 Georges has lived in Paris, where he has drawn attention from curators and art historians alike for his unique vision. This exhibition will celebrate Georges’ most recent paintings and the monograph by Professor of Aert history Emeritus Sam Hunter.
Opening reception Friday, September 8, from 5-7 pm.