Image of artwork titled "Ceremony" by Cristian Avram
Image of artwork titled "Ceremony" by Cristian Avram

Cristian Avram, Ceremony, 2021
Oil on canvas
35 × 35 inches

Cristian Avram’s ‘classicist’ oil paintings draw together form, tone, colour and light, in aesthetic analyses of everyday environments. Taking photographs of daily life, Avram refines these images through paint, removing superfluous detail to distil the atmosphere sensed within each one; through this process, outer and inner dimensions collide upon the canvas, creating a sense of the future, incomplete pasts, immemorial time, and the concealed places of the soul. His subjects are often rooted in his Transylvanian childhood, in the countryside near Alba Iulia, Romania, where rural life, post-Soviet imagery and a nascent capitalism conflict and coexist.

In ‘Ceremony’, a domestic scene is staged against a gloomy urban landscape. Human presence is more felt than seen: in quotidian objects (plants and evidence of a meal), in silhouetted reflections of two figures in the glass. There is, at once, a gentle, human intimacy in the painting’s ambience, and a subtle sense of uncanny alienation, or removal, reaffirmed by the glass, staving off the night – a sense of invasion, perhaps, on the part of the viewer. Outside, the dusky city evokes both the traditional architecture of Cluj-Napoca, a Romanian city and Avram’s former home, and the anonymised high-rises of a more general urban modernity.



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