Four years after his last solo show at AnnArt, Vladimir Șetran returns with Love Letters, a series made in late 2019 and still in progress.
The selection brings together 35 works, in small and medium format, acrylic and colored inks on photographic paper, which once again manage to bring about a seductive and profound plastic language at the same time, through the intensity of chromatic imagination and the energy of the mysterious calligraphic script.
"I am one of those enchanted by the work of Vladimir Șetran, by his unbridled vital capacity and by the amazing apparent simplicity with which he pushes us, in a friendly manner, to contemplate.
For instance, the Love Letters series: I've seen them all - over 150; I agonized endlessly, together with Oana, to make a ‘severe’ selection of 35 defining pieces to be exhibited at AnnArt. On a different occasion I thought of Tudor, who was also trapped, trying to choose 85 works he wanted in a film for the artist's birthday.
Similar to the famous nudes, the barcodes or the pitch lungs in metal straps, like the vegetable series - with carrots, hairy radishes or fluffy cotton twigs, like the big abstract works with their stained spots of thick color drawn towards the center of the earth, or like in the 'tins' series (not yet seen by the public) - as in everything that Vladimir Șetran is working on, in the new series of letters, it is impossible to simply chose one work to have and to hold.
It is impossible because in their hypnotic-cinematic rotation, the centers of hyper-greed are activated, the desire to have everything; it illuminates the centers of the illusion that you have finally found, in this pictorial sequence, the meaning and the answer for the joy known only to you. But then there is another work, and another - that you fall in love with. You are always drawn into the grasp of these mermaid-voiced letter-works, which seem to be generated by an interstellar device, unknown to us humans, which holds the secret of infinite and unrepeatable beauty.
From this vortex, which I believe Ezra Pound was also familiar with, the otherwise narrow inventory of the composition slips into view: the color painting, the writing, the border and the signature, with the journal date in Roman numerals. Their perpetual permutation, their astral play, materializes into a truly amazing series of paintings.
The letters are laid out on glossy-photographic and millimetric paper, in small and medium format, in technique with the artist's own rules, supported by his famously invented instrument. (I closely looked at the tools in the workshop: they come from shamans, unsupervised children, anesthetists, drunk surveyors - and painters with absolute grace).
The painting registry, always at the top of the work, is delivered in an irresistible chromaticism and a fulminating gesture; it hints at abstract expressionism, fragments bordering on pop art, a fauvism with aplomb and the fluid-concise energy of Chinese calligraphy. In an unpredictable balance with this, we discover the registry of cursive writing, drawn polymorphically and polyphonically with a wonderful mimicry of "true writing" and addressing syntax that captures our imagination: Love can be recognized on the slippery paper and heard by those who know its voice - triumphant, whispered, sly, thoughtful, shy, happy, imperative, tender, animalistic, forsaken, secretive, lascivious, tearful, tumultuous, dizzy - that is, alive. And after reading the Roman numerals, we realize that we have access to a true artist's diary, directly written, without draft, without return, born from the sensitive memory of a full-lived life, now reaching the threshold of the master artist’s 85 years of age." (Gabriela Massaci)