On the Road: Eugen Raportoru’s Solo Show at RCI London

24/03 - 21/04/2022 @ Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PH

Eugen Raportoru, one of the most important Romanian painters of his generation, is having his second solo show at RCI London showcasing and celebrating the rich culture of Roma ethnic transnational communities. On the Road – with a literary reference to J. Kerouac’s eponymous work – holds a strong and emotionally charged translation into Romanian, "de căruță" conveying the utter desolation of an individual who is left behind and also depicts the ancestral means of transportation for the Roma people. The 15 works together with a metal wagon used as comment on the nomadic presence of all Roma communities in Europe are depictions of Roma men and women, mothers, families, individuals who have long endured slavery and multiple forms of aggression throughout their European journeys.

Opening in the presence of the artist and his guests| 24 March, 2022, 7 PM | RCI London| SW1X8PH

On the Road” features the artist in his own psycho-magic healing act to pulling this wagon, that holds an entire history in its bruised, tainted, and tinted scraps of metal that put together compose a symbolic means of transportation for the Roma, the wagon that is the house, the collective memory, the remembrance of a fugitive secular past. He strapped white, yellow- blue air balloons to his Wagon of Dreams, which he built with the help of his long-lasting friend, Valeriu Lazar, a metal worker. The wagon is a keeper for all his ancestors’ hopes and projections for a freer future.

The canvases to lighten up by rushlights are depictions of Roma elderly, or young mothers or the old Romm – the individuals who despite their cultural heritage they could enrich the world with, have long endured slavery and aggression of all sorts throughout their European journeys, facing punishments, torture, and death. His impasto style using a wide range of tainted greys is often warmed with pink hues while painting a motherhood theme, as his interest in how the Roma woman is viewed nowadays has become a point of discussion in his recent installation works and canvases depictions.

The Roma woman and her status, her presence, and body image are tackled from a personal view, as Raportoru images of his mothers, his wife, and Marcela, a mysterious neighbour from the slum he grew up in, are resurfacing as his subjects. Approaching such themes, he opens a thread of discussion towards the act of healing, awaiting to be performed into his installation context in Venice with the help of female Roma actresses and activists invited to perform into his solo show. (Ilina Schileru, curator).

Eugen Raportoru is an acclaimed visual artist and the only Romanian artist of Roma origin to have exhibited his works at the Royal Academy of Arts, at the Vatican - under the aegis of UNESCO, at the Ethnic Museum in Oslo and in Stockholm. With a Master’s Degree in Painting from the National University of the Arts in Bucharest, the artist’s talent for painting and graphics was already discovered at age of 14, when he exhibited at the Grivița Cinema in Bucharest. In Romania’s capital, Raportoru has also exhibited at the Palace of Parliament, in the Brâncuşi Hall at the Simeza Gallery, at Art House or at Gold Art, and his work was also presented in the cities of Sibiu and Sinaia. His mentors were Mihai Cizmaru and Ion Brodeală, followed by Corneliu Baba and Marcel Bunea, whose workshops he frequented always bringing his works for evaluation. Eugen Raportoru was commissioned to illustrate several books such as the Romanian-Hungarian-Romany Trilingual Dictionary (Vanemonde Publishing House, 2001); a volume of Biblical texts in Romany, published by the PROVIDENTA Foundation (2002); a reader for Romani children by Vanemonde Publishing House (2001); and The History and Traditions of the Romani People and the Civic Educational Guide, both editions of A.M.M. (2004). His works can be found in private collections in Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the USA and Canada.

When:  Opening: 24 March, 2022, 7 PM free entry. Please confirm your attendance on EVENTBRITE.

                 The exhibition continues until 21 April 2022, Monday to Friday between 10.00 – 17.00.

Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PH

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