In his most recent paintings Marius Bercea makes a willing shift as he goes beyond the local Romanian scenery that has been customarily associated with him until now. Commenting on the postmodernist cultural confusion and uniformity that partially stems from applying the same Hollywood standard worldwide, the works are no longer connected to any specific geography. Instead, Romania, still very much present, is accompanied by an unlikely juxtaposition with a certain Californian state of mind as the dystopian landscapes speak of the artist’s nomadic character in the international art world. The transnational modernist architecture continues to be one of the most visible elements, but at the same time it seems to be drowned by a flora with a mind of its own and the luscious greenery poses an interesting question: are these scenes part of a private paradise or are they a premonitory reminder of the downfall of manmade structures? The sporadic human figures do not offer a clear response to this as they are mostly featureless and humbled by their surroundings, while the viewer glimpses them in a rather voyeuristic manner. Just as worlds collide in Bercea’s works, so do colours and textures, flashes of neon are accompanied by subtle greys and rich greens in a masterful way which points to the artist’s deep commitment to the tradition of painting.
Born in 1979. Lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where he is a professor at the renowned art and design university. Recent solo exhibitions include Hypernova, Blain|Southern, London (2014); Concrete Gardens, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2012); Remains of Tomorrow, Blain|Southern, London (2011); and Time will Tell, Chungking Project, Los Angeles (2009). His work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including Young Collectors 2, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul (2015); Love: The First of the 7 Virtues, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA), Peekskill, US (2015); Defaced, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, US (2014); Hotspot Cluj – New Romanian Art, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2013); Nightfall, Modem Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrechen (2012); No New Thing Under the Sun, Royal Academy, London (2010); and the Prague Biennale 4, Prague (2009). His work is a part of several public and private collections, including the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill and the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.