Impermanence Opening at Hendershot Gallery

Michael Louie



Former Barcelona resident, Fanzine contributor and Fanzine buddy Jess Shaefer just got a new gig as gallery director at Hendershot Gallery on the West Side and they’re having an opening tonight. Impermanence—it’s her first as gallery director and it’s a group show featuring the work of Boukje Janssen, Iosef Király, Sanja Medic, Ana Maria Micu, C?t?lin Petri?or, Victor R?c?t?u, Kathrin Schlegel, Vera Weissgerber, and Carine Weve. The artists hail from across the lands of Europe—Romania, Holland, Serbia, Germany, and Luxembourg. Jess sent me the following press release:

The notion of impermanence, of a shifting world in flux, has taken on a profound meaning in the post-war period, one that is particularly timely in the international climate of the post-9/11 world. In Eastern Europe, especially in post-communist countries such as Romania, “impermanence” characterizes a common feeling of fatalism, uncertainty, and endemic precariousness. In Western Europe and America, the same notion evokes a sense of liberation as well as anxiety, for it represents the possibility of escape from the rigidity of formerly fixed social, cultural and political meanings, paradigms that have been rendered ambiguous, if not null and void, by the upheaval of recent history.

Having approached the forefront of the art world in recent years, contemporary Romanian art has gained exposure and momentum through major gallery and museum exhibitions, as well as through the efforts of curators such as Maria Rus Bojan, who has been instrumental in the collaborative organization of this show. Generally characterized by the smoldering aesthetic darkness of its pared-down realism, contemporary Romanian art is most often discussed in political terms, with curators, critics, and viewers attributing the contemporary Romanian creative impetus to the turmoil of the country’s turbulent, violent history; Romania’s clichéd past appears to overshadow its present on the global stage. While such a view may be partially valid, to restrict the assessment of contemporary Romanian art entirely to such cultural specificity is to clip its wings. To this end, Impermanence proposes the productive and worthwhile use of a more universal lens in the (re)consideration of contemporary Romanian art by placing it in a pertinent dialogue with works that arise out of different European cultures, but which ultimately share a common creative interest.

Indeed! Check out Hendershot Gallery at 547 W. 27th St., Suite 504 and give a hello to Jess while you’re at it. The show runs through June 10.


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