Pavel Susara

Ion Dumitriu And The Studio As Self-portrait

If many artists have left their studios these last years, at least as many have continued to stay inside them. In their well-defined space, with their checked tools, techniques and materials.

And not because of inertia, conservatism or commodity, but because the studio has become their second nature. Because it has lost its quality of annex and has become the extended portrait of the artist himself.

As any other material, it has gradually shaped, it has slowly sat and has got a profile, morals and a psychology.

Therefore, once constituted, minutely composed in all its articulations, the studio takes the artist over with his creative wholeness, with his habits and his entire personality.

Talking about the house, G. Calinescu was telling that it is the extension of the one that inhabits it, the objectivation of the person in the landscape order and that it is impossible to know somebody completely without evaluating the space that person has conceived for personal use. And the studio, as a space destined to extraordinary functions, to a ceremonial full of mysteries for the person outside, is even more a privileged place, that lives like a creature. It can be hospitable or circumspect, talkative or silent, animated by different playful joys or, on the contrary, thoughtful and gloomy.

The baroque extravagance and agitation, or the expressionist jarring can also be often met, as well as the perfect order, the hieratism and the aseptic atmosphere can be seen in its configuration.

Entering the large category of Portrait-Studio, Ion Dumitriu’s studio combines the voluptuousness, borderless pleasure of contemplating the shapes, with austerity and maybe even a basic shyness. Objects are carefully chosen, arranged in such a way that they fully, but without ostentation, express their face and materiality, and, as many as they can be, they keep their unrepeatable character.

By selection and exposure, the artist invests them with an archetypal energy, as if each of them were not only one of the many possible objects, but the Object itself, its first form. Even if it’s a tray or a pot, a rope or a panel with keys, a real sculpture or a street indicator, they exceed their initial function and acquire an inexplicable noblesse.

The object’s solitude, its pathos in a space that it supports but also absorbs, the sensual but also pure atmosphere, here is a possible image of this studio, in whose horizon one can meet both the solidarity and half darkness of melancholy. As light itself meets the half darkness inside. And who shaped whom, after all? This could be a legitimate question, but what would be the use of answering it?

Libertatea, August 1997

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