Mircea Țoca, art critic

Radu Serban - Painting and drawing exhibition

Radu Serban is a modern artist because he doesn’t make any discrimiantion between genres. He doesn’t set borders between them. He creates art. And he does it with inspiration, under the gifted, fruitful signs of the emotion and thinking happily joint with feeling. But the young painter and drawer is a modern artist also due to his abstracting, due to the way he decreases the plastic language to its basic components, and because of how he purges expression in order to translate it into signs the already reduced to the core forms.

No matter how modern, on a closer look, through all these, Radu Serban is actually subscribing into the prestigious tradition of the Romanian vintage stylization, which spreads from the famous Moldavian frescos of Stefan the Great and Petru Rares age to Dimitrie Paciurea’s Madona Stolojan. As an excuse for the subtle black and white interpretations, some of these elements have fresco fragments and orthodox worship objects with a worthy, ancestral character. These, and I underline this, are just excuses for figuration. Radu Serban starts from them with enthuziasm, boldness, but also with cleverness and skill in order to create compositions with a high level of rigor and with complex, admirable and inspired layouts, that represent not only components, but main characters of the plastic discourse.

… In this Transylvanian fruitful, autumn afternoon’s peace, I have attended the plastic, chromatic, and graphic discourse of the exceptional, unmistakable compositions that wear the signature of an artist of real and original talent, that is Radu Serban. This discourse reminded me of another afternoon, this time a Toscan one, when, while sitting in a Romanic church, I have attended a Bach-music organ concert. It is with the organ’s sound that the phrasings and rythms of Radu Serban’s recent painting and drawing resemble.

published in the “Adevarul de Cluj”, Cluj-Napoca, October 1993.

Translated by Gaby Brezean