Cătălin Marius Petrișor Hereșanu: It's all in your vivid imagination

8 Dec 2023-20 Jan 2024
PV 7 Dec 2023, 6-8pm

Elizabeth Xi Bauer
London SE8 3DX


In this survey of Petrișor’s oeuvre, seminal pieces will be displayed with works from across the artist’s career, as well as newly created paintings, as a way of exploring the artist’s reinvention of his style and practice
Cătălin Marius Petrișor Hereșanu is a multidisciplinary artist who favours the field of painting. Cătălin Petrișor’s paintings are carriers for his interventions. The surfaces of his paintings are an exploration into deconstructing reality to reveal the action of image making. For example, in the important solo exhibition The Illusion of Depth (2015) at the Mind Set Art Centre in Taipei, Taiwan, Petrișor explored ways to challenge the Renaissance principle of perspective. Petrișor’s works also examine the notion of space and imagination as the viewer’s guide to exploring the world around us.  
Early in the artist’s career, Petrișor created a series of semi-realistic, black and white paintings, which incorporated scientific-like elements drawn on the top layer of the works in graphite. These included motifs such as beating hearts; our solar system; and light refracting through prisms. Combined with a grayscale palette, the works from this series have a supernatural and eerie quality to them.  
Petrișor then went on to introduce colour to his next series of works, creating bold, almost confrontational works. The crescendo of this creative process came when the artist decided to cut his paintings, sometimes completely, into strips. This was due to a mixture of creative frustration and the urge to begin anew by pushing his practice to new realms. Each strip was destroying a previous creation whilst simultaneously threading a new work. 
These ‘recycled’ strips were woven into lattice arrangements which then became new artworks, each square like a pixel on a screen. Petrișor developed his style by painting on top, adding photographs, drawing, and even adding some sculptural elements to his paintings to play with scale and the boundaries of painting and sculpture.    
Another body of work, whose idea was conceived in 2021, explores pulses. The artist explains the concepts behind this series, ‘’In these paintings I attempted to transpose the concepts of ‘rhythm’ and ‘animation’ in parallel with other themes that I was exploring through my work. I imagined that these paintings would represent a rhythm with a chromatic scale that would transfer good vibrations to the viewer. I created the paintings in the Pulse series in such a state of peace and, I believe, this is conveyed in the works. I generated the vertical rhythm by horizontal spots, and the horizontal one by brighter vertical spots, like slits of light.’’ 
More recently, Petrișor has marked a new direction in his practice. At first glance the works appear to be the artist’s cut up and recomposed woven paintings, however, on closer inspection, the viewer witnesses that the artist has created the same ‘illusion’ through the act of painting alone. The fabric effect is created by scratching the wet layer of paint on top of the dried underlayer with a knife; it is a process much like the sgraffito technique. The artist explains, ‘’Working on these paintings is like an exercise in attention, the horizontal and vertical gestures, those that create the illusion of fabric when viewed closely, also create a good rhythm.’’ Beneath the top layer, forms can be seen underneath, such as natural forms and faces, after a period of ‘sinking in’. 
Since becoming a father, Petrișor has balanced caring for his young child with working in the studio. He explains the impact this has had on his outlook as an artist. ‘’The time spent with the child is completely different from all my experiences I have had so far as a painter. Somehow, I was led to believe that these two, working as an artist and raising children, are incompatible, however, I now believe this to be a false prejudice. Walking with [my child] who is curious about absolutely everything connects and anchors me to a reality full of curiosities about the most ‘insignificant’ of things. I wish to use this lens whilst in the studio: this wonder that the child has for the world they are discovering daily for themselves.’’