Marius Bercea (b.1979) is a painter from Cluj, Romania. He finds his subject matter in the clash of aesthetics within the urban environment, an interest stemming from the shift he witnessed as Romania transitioned from Communism into a free market economy. Bercea broadened his focus onto the convergence of ideologies the world over, reflecting these surreal situations through studies of architecture and topography together with an application of bold colour.

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Marius Bercea 2016 Photo Smaranda Almasan Blain Southern
Photo: Smaranda Almasan

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS

Blain|Southern London
Hypernova

Hypernova

28 March – 17 April 2014

London Dering Street
Remains of Tomorrow

Remains of Tomorrow

8 September – 1 October 2011

INSTITUTIONS

Cluj Museum of Art, Cluj, RO
 A Full Rotation of the Moon

A Full Rotation of the Moon

9 May – 31 May 2017

BIOGRAPHY

Bercea has been described as one of the strongest colourists of his generation. He applies colour with force: a flash of orange or a scrape of ochre butts against an energetic mix of vibrating vivid greens; a lick of sumptuous brown is delicately laced with a dappling of white. He embraces the dynamic between impact and restraint that is necessary to make a painting resonate. Fast-paced strokes are offset with steady washes and the consistency of his paint is varied; thin translucent areas are complemented by thick opaque mark making. At times buttery and fully suspended, at others sand-paper dry, his grounds are as interesting to examine close up as from a distance.

The artist’s ‘Transylfornia’ paintings are born out of his travels from his hometown of Cluj, through the rural landscape of California and into Los Angeles. A series of psychological and sensorially-rich encounters that weave through time, space and memory.  With a pastiche of iconic motifs recognisable from both Romanian and American cultures, canvases depict landscapes of colour and concrete which oscillate between suggestions of utopia and dystopia. The topographical regions of Transylvania and California merge; the city of Cluj and its surrounding Carpathian mountains converge with sun-soaked environments, from the lonely Mojave desert to Hollywood’s hills and bright lights.

While socio-political references clearly influence Bercea’s practice, the artist presents himself as an emotional observer of the effects of the consumerist phenomenon. Often verging on the surreal, Bercea combines sublime visions of the natural world with the jarring electric lights and sprawling architecture of urban developments. Vibrant landscapes slip in and out of immediate focus as urban life is conveyed in a wash of dynamism and transience - fluctuating between the utopian and dystopian, between flux and stasis -  thus blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination.

Marius Bercea received his MA from the University of Art and Design, in Cluj-Napoca in 2005, and currently works within Cluj’s Fabrica De Pensule (Paintbrush Factory), a multidisciplinary space with studios and exhibition galleries. In 2003 Marius Bercea was given an award by the Institute Superieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc, Belgium.

Marius Bercea’s solo exhibitions include: Full Rotation of the Moon, Muzeulde Artă Cluj-Napoca, RO (2017); (On) Relatively Calm Disputes, François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, US (2016); Hypernova, Blain|Southern London, UK (2014); Concrete Gardens, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2012); Remains of Tomorrow, Blain|Southern, London, UK (2011); Time will Tell, Chungking Project, Los Angeles, US (2009); If Through the Copper Woods You Pass, Eleven Fine Art Gallery, London, UK (2009) and Yellow Side of Glamour/Melted Guidelines are passé, Contemporary Gallery of Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, RO (2008).

Group exhibitions include: The Wanderers: Contemporary Painting from Cluj, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, US (2017); SEE Art Gates: States of Reality, 17th Art Biennial, Pancevo, BG (2016);The Mapmaker’s Dream, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, US (2015); Objects of desire, Sabot Gallery, Cluj, RO (2015); Young Collectors 2, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, TR (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); Between Worlds, Galerie ISA, Mumbai, IN (2014); This Side of Paradise, S2, London, UK (2014); Hotspot Cluj – New Romanian Art, Arken Museum of Modern ArtDK (2013); Nightfall, Modem Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrechen, HU (2012); Galerie Ruldofinum (2013); Referencing History, Green Gallery, Dubai, AE (2012); European Travellers, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest , RO (2012); Selektionseffekte, Blain|Southern Berlin, DE (2011); Palets, Barbara Thumm Gallery, Berlin, DE (2011); After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, US (2010); No New Thing Under the Sun, Royal Academy, London, UK (2010); Mircea Pinte Collection, Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, RO (2010) and Prague Biennale 4, Prague, CZ (2009).

Bercea’s work is in several public and private collections, including the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill and the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Skowej.

 


 

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CV

1979, Born in Cluj-Napoca, RO
Lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, RO


EDUCATION

2005
M.A., University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, RO

2003
B.A., University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, RO


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018    
Marius Bercea, Blain|Southern, Berlin, DE (forthcoming)

2017
A Full Rotation of the Moon, Muzeul de Artă Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, RO

2016
(On) Relatively Calm Disputes, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2014   
Hypernova, Blain|Southern London, UK

2012     
Concrete Gardens, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2011   
Remains of Tomorrow, Blain|Southern, London, UK

2010   
Qui Vivra Verra, François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2009   
Time will Tell, Chungking Project, Los Angeles, US
If Through the Copper Woods You Pass, Eleven Fine Art Gallery, London, UK

2008   
Shorn lambs fall behind, Mie Lefever Gallery, Ghent, BE
Under 18, H’art Gallery, Bucharest, RO
Yellow Side of Glamour/Melted Guidelines are passé, Contemporary Gallery of Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu, RO

2007   
The Games we Played, Eleven Fine Art Gallery, London, UK
Lapte Gros and Stuff Like That, Hʼart Gallery, Bucharest, RO

2006   
Soft Snapshot with Gentle Atmosphere, Mie Lefever Gallery, Destelbergen, BE
It was Supposed to be so Easy, Contemporary Art Museum and K.O.K.E.M. Gallery, Miercurea Ciuc, RO


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
The Wanderers: Contemporary Painting from Cluj, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, US

2016
SEE Art Gates: States of Reality, 17th Art Biennial, Pancevo, RS

2015   
The Mapmaker’s Dream, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, US
Appearance and Essence, Timisoara Art Encounters, Timisoara, RO
Objects of desire, Sabot Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, RO
Young Collectors 2, Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, TK
Love: The First of the 7 Virtues, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA), Peekskill, US

2014   
Deface, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), Colorado, US
The Romanian-Bulgarian Union. A Retrospective, Part of Salonul de proiecte Curatorial Program at
National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, RO
The Art School of Cluj, Województwo Małopolskie, Kraków, PL
Between Worlds, Galerie ISA, Mumbai, IN
This Side of Paradise, S2, London, UK

2013
Hotspot Cluj – New Romanian Art, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, DK

2012   
Crossing Cluj, Art Market Budapest at Millenaris Cultural Center, Budapest, HU
Nightfall, MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen, HU; travelled to Galerie
Rudolfinum, Prague, CZ
Referencing History, Green Gallery, Dubai, AE
European Travellers, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, HU
Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles, California, US

2011
Selektionseffekte, Blain|Southern Berlin, DE
Palets, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE

2010   
No New Thing Under the Sun, Royal Academy (RA), London, UK
After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA), Peekskill, US; travelled to Knoxville Museum of Art(KMA), Knoxville, US
Mircea Pinte Collection, Cluj Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, RO

2009   
Close to Home, Galleria Davide Di Maggio, Milan, IT
Invisible Body, Conspicuous Mind, The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles, US
Prague Biennale 4, Prague, CZ

2008   
Memorials, Laika Art Space, Cluj–Napoca, RO
7 Parallel 7, Museum of Young Art, Wien, AU
Under Natural Circumstances, MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen, HU
15 Hungarian and Romanian Painters, Plan B Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, RO

2007   
PLUS 2, Museum Kuppersmuhle fur Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, DE
Donau Donumenta, Regensburg, DE

2005   
I Love Pictura, Under Construction Space, Continental Hotel, Cluj-Napoca, RO
Blackout, Hʼart Gallery, Bucharest, RO

2004   
Maps Without Roads, KKL Art Center, Luzern, CH
Air-Bag, National Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, RO

2003
Re-location, Casino de Luxembourg, Luxembourg City, LU

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2015
Charlotte Mullins, Picturing People: The New State of the Art, Thames & Hudson, London, UK

2014
Michael Bracewell et al., Exhibition Catalogue, Blain|Southern London, Marius Bercea

2013
Antawan I. Byrd, Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes, Phaidon, London
Stine Hoholt, Dorthe Juul Ruggard, and Christian Gether, Ehibiton Catalogue, Ishøj, Arken Museum For Moderne Kunst, Hotspot Cluj: New Romanian Art

2010
Jane Neal, Exhibition Catalogue, Prague, Galerie Rudolfinum, Nightfall – New Tendencies in Figurative Painting
Jane Neal, Exhibition Catalogue, Debrecen, MODEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, Nightfall – New Tendencies in Figurative Painting
Marc Straus and Mihnea Mircan, Exhibition Catalogue, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, After the Fall

2009
Nicola Trezzi, Barbara Spinelli and Gea Politi, Prague Biennale 4/Prague Biennale Photo 1, Giancarlo Politi Editore, Italy

2008
Exhibition Catalogue, Debrecen, Museum of Contemporary Art (MODEM), Under Natural Circumstances
Exhibition catalogue, Wein, Museum of Young Art, 7 Parallel 7

2007
Exhibition Catalogue, Duisburg,Museum Kuppersmuhle fur Moderne Kunst, PLUS 2
Exhibition Catalogue, Regensburg, Donau Donumenta
Bazis, nr.1 January

2006
Open Studio, nr. 13/2006, January - March

2005 
Exhibition Catalogue, Bucharest, Hʼart Gallery, Romanian Painters,
Open Studio, April-June

 

SELECTED ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

2016
“In conversation – Ali Banisadr and Marius Bercea”, turpsbanana.com , Issue 16

2015
“Incadrare in atemporal, Despre Marius Bercea”, Tribuna Magazine, March

2014
R.Francis, “Romania”s 10 Contemporary Artists and Where to Find Them”, The Culture Trip, November
C.Albu, “A Brush with Cluj”, Christie’s Magazine, October
Zeenia F. Baria, “International artists showcase works in Mumbai”, The Times of India, 7 July
V.Reshamwala, “State of Flux”, Time Out Mumbai, June
J.Sam, “Marius Bercea paints Romanian Diary”, The Asian Age, 18 June
J.Sam, “Marius Bercea paints Romanian Diary”, Deccan Chronicle, 18 June
S.Nastac, “Marius Bercea – Hypernova”, Arta Magazine, May
C.Gleadell, “Market News: Lowry lots fly”, The Telegraph Luxury, 1 April
J.Wullschlager, “Critics” Choice – Marius Bercea: Hypernova”, The Financial Times, 22 – 23 March
J.Wullschlager, “Critics” Choice – This Side of Paradise”, The Financial Times, 15 – 16 March
A.Farrell, “The March Culture Guide”, Vogue Blogs, March
A.Dymoke, “Romania Dreaming”, City AM, Issue 10, February p. 10-11

2013
“Tíz kérdés: 08 - Hog y kezdesz munkához? Vannak szertartásaid?”, Flash Art, September - October
J.Neal, “The Romanian Art Scene”, L”Officiel Art, September
T.Ross, “Lovende rumӕnske kunstnere indtager Kobenhavn”, Politiken, 22 July

2012
“Hit List”, Modern Painters, December
“Green Art Gallery introduces the works of renowned eastern European artists to the region”, Art Daily, 26 September
“What Lies Beneath: Painting and the Archeaology of Invisiblity”, Flash Art, July - August
“Something New, Captivating and Disquieting” This Artweek. LA, Huffington Post, 22 May
“Marius Bercea “Concrete Gardens” on View at François Ghebaly Gallery”, Art Daily, 25 April

2011
B.Iacob, “Marius Bercea at Blain Southern”, Iacob”s Review, 11 November
R.Wright, “Marius Bercea”, Studio International, 10 October
C.Milner, “Movers & Shakers”, The London Paper, October
“Marius Bercea: Remains of Tomorrow”, The Week, 24 September
D.Grant, “Romanians of the Day”, Art News, 10 May
M.Schwendener,”18 Journeys Forged in Communism”, The New York Times, 14 January

2010
M.Maertens, “lʼécole de Cluj”, artpress, May, p. 58
R.Unwin, “City Report”, Frieze, March

2008
B.Iacob, “The good, the bad, the beautiful; schoolyard version” re-title.com

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, DK
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, US
Olbricht Collection, Berlin, DE
Zabludowicz Collection, UK

 

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