Ekphrasis. La Folia is Constantin Rusu’s fourth solo show at AnnArt and it brings together works with an awe inspiring expressivity and dynamic: oil paintings, ink sketches, video and performance. Produced during 2019-2020, the works explore the deep connections between music and pictorial language, confirming the rise in maturity and originality of the (still) young artist. 

Ekphrasis. La Folia*

Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713) composed the sonatas op. 5 in 1700, of which the sonata in D minor is called "La Folia". In 1929, George Enescu played the sonata on the violin and recorded it, accompanied by pianist Sanford Schlüssel, in the Columbia record label's studio. This important moment is evoked in my painting, in the form of a series of works in oil on canvas. Along with them, there are works made listening to pieces by composers George Enescu, Dan Dediu and Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi. For me, their music represents moments of strong inspiration which, along with the music of Arcangelo Corelli, generate fulfilled feelings in the form of painting and sketching.

La Folia

The musical theme adapted by Corelli was initially developed towards the end of the 15th century, coming from Portuguese folklore. In addition to the literal meaning, folia - madness, with reference to the vivacity of dance, Folia is a means of compositional development and improvisation. Initially, it did not involve a specific theme or a fixed sequence of chords, but was mainly a system-process that generated musical succession. Later, Folia implied a predetermined melodic line - the fixed musical theme that appears at the beginning and end of the composition. The theme delimits a series of variations, leaving room for sections of partial or total interpretation. 


Mihai Pintenaru and Daria Tofănescu conceived a musical moment using a Folia variant by composer Marin Marais as a fixed musical part. The parts of this composition, performed on flute by Daria, are interspersed and superimposed with moments of improvisation, supported by Mihai on clarinet. Performance is a relationship between musical improvisation and gestural improvisation in drawing and painting, based on predetermined musical and visual forms.

Sound, music, living, gesture, painting, sketch. Ekphrasis. (Constantin Rusu)