Cosmic Connections @Cecălaca

White Night of the Art Galleries

The White Night of the Art Galleries marks that time of year when people are encouraged to take a visual tour of the local cultural scene. Not to be neglected are people living in rural areas or those who feel the need to take a trip to the village to recharge their batteries.

So in October we set off for Cecălaca, a village near Ocna Mureș. We arrived near the building of the former cooperative where some villagers were busily husking corn. Three Shar Pei puppies greet me with love and playfulness. They push each other for a touch of attention. I try not to let the scenery steal me away for too long and I enter. That’s where the final preparations for the Cosmic Connections exhibits are taking place. 

The exhibition marked the first collaboration between The Cosmic House Gallery and Studio Cultural Cecălaca.

Exhibited Artists:

Adrian Nicoară . Gagyi Botond. Anca Bodea. Cătălina Milea . Laurențiu Zbîrcea . Codruț Zele. Heidi Tradnik. Ada Muntean. Norbert Dakograff. Sevan Szekely. Smuczer Alexandru Daniel. Csilla Bartus. Orka. Vlăduț Gicoveanu . Marius Bodea. Călin Dumitrașcu.

Cosmic Connections 

Cosmic Connections is not just about people and art, but also about our close connection to what our context offers us and how we make the most of it. Thus, in the first room, the display of works is interspersed with a pile of salt boulders specific to the area, kept in the exhibition space and illuminated by Alexandru Daniel Smuczer’s installation ‘Anamorf’. At the window on the opposite wall, at the boundary between inside and outside, you can see the birds in Călin Dumitrașcu’s wax paintings. In the next room, on the shelves that once kept the cooperative’s goods, now hang works by artists Laurențiu Zbîrcea and Vlăduț Gicoveanu.

Art in the countryside

Art in the bus station – Ațintiș

Coordinated by the Association of the Painting Department of UAD Cluj in partnership with Studio Cultural Cecălaca. Art in the bus station completes the circuit between the cooperative and the Cultural Center. 

The works of Artists: Ajder Roxana . Iulian Bisericaru. Kopacz Laszlo. Feșnic Andrada . Mureșan Diana . Oana Nastasache. Valetin Ionescu. Mihai Muresan. Fazakas Kristina are exhibited in the stations Ațintiș, Cecălaca, Botez and Istihaza.

I look at the works then turn around. I see a cobbled alleyway leading up to the huge stairs of an obsolete temple. A relic of the communist period when the Cultural Center was a space dedicated to cultural propaganda in the village. Now, the Cultural Centre hosted the Show Off 4 exhibition organized by MATCA Artspace.

Exhibited Artists:

Ana Botezatu. Lucian Indrei. Sabina Suru. Lorena Cocioni . Matei Toșa . Xavier Robles de Medina. Oana Fărcaș . Sasha Bandi. Alexandra Mocan. Vlad Brateanu. Xenia Roth. Ioana Iacob . Alexandru Muraru. Vlad Olariu. Alexandru Mihai Budeș . Ioan Grosu. Ionuț Claudiu Vancea . Lisa Marie Schmitt. Gwen. Oana Pop. Luca Florian. Cătălin Ilie. George Crîngașu. Giulia Crețulescu. Mihai Teodorescu. Dan Beudean. Alexandra Freye. Marius Fodor.

I walk out of the dorm and notice that even the village panorama is moulded to the Show-Off 4 theme, the temporary un/common place. The quiet houses, the bar, the cooperative that came to life for a limited time, the school whose façade was painted by the artist Oana Fărcaș, and immediately next to it – the sculptural park inaugurated thank’s the project Cultural Home – Construction Site.

The engineer and ethnologist Gheorghe Ungurean made a wooden portal carved with ethnic symbols representing the three ethnic groups of the commune: Romanian, Hungarian and Roma. The portal is located in the same location as the sculptural installations by artist Radu Cioca and his architect wife Teodora Cioca. The artists received support from the community in the creation of the installations.

The White Night of the Art Galleries

The White Night of the Art Galleries opened an atypical portal for villagers and visitors. A diversion from mundane activities and a breath of culture. A visual marathon in which we had the opportunity to watch the work of over 50 contemporary artists in a very unfamiliar context.

The collaboration marked the end of an extensive project – Cultural Home – Construction Site. The Project aimed to draw attention to the need for culture in the countryside and to the “Cultural Home” as an institution dedicated to the promotion of culture.

Guggenheim Art Center Bilbao

Where is the Guggenheim Museum?

One of the world’s most memorable and famous art centres… Or, more precisely: the Guggenheim art centre, located in Bilbao, Spain , which showcases stunning installations by many talented artists.

A memorable arts centre

Have you ever wanted a broad perspective of what contemporary art has to offer? If so, the Guggenheim in Bilbao is a must-visit. Not only does it house permanent collections and masterpieces by renowned contemporary artists. The museum exhibits artists such as Fuyiko Nakaya, Louise Bourgeois and Jeff Koons ( and many others). The building itself is worth seeing, as it is a piece of art, like all the others. The museum is among the most distinctive places in the city. In fact, it has been declared one of the world’s most outstanding buildings in the deconstructivist style.

Like the Cosmic House Foundation, each room has its own unique atmosphere and personality. Naturally, the same is true of the Guggenheim Bilbao: a vast light-filled atrium that naturally gives the art centre a cheerful and bright look, rooms that are spacious, giving you plenty of room to enjoy the art around you, and finally, breathtaking views of the hills and estuary around the museum.

The best contemporary artists and artworks

Apart from the unforgettable design, you make sure you get to know and experience a great diversity, incredible creative work such as such as Richard Serra’s 100-metre-long snake, Tulips by Jeff Koons, Puppy (also by Jeff Koons, located in front of the building), numerous paintings by Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still and countless others. Perhaps the best part is that this is only part of what the museum has to offer.

Stimulate your mind and explore huge maze-like sculptures, see the possibilities of flowing LED phrase columns, dive into themed exhibitions of Russian or Chinese art, and also lose yourself in paintings… Or installations by a diverse cast of contemporary artists. That and the works are just waiting to challenge your imagination and creativity.

Inspiring cultural places

Similar to places like the Cosmic House or the Brandhorst Museum on a visit Guggenheim Bilbao is like entering a whole new world without borders and restrictions. Once there, you’ll see what the possibilities are in terms of art and aesthetics; how simply they can be used to create complex, profound works and leave a lasting feeling or impression. It fills you with inspiration.

If you’ve ever felt stuck in a rut, if you’ve felt the need for creativity, the need to break free from everyday monotony, or if you just wanted to show your appreciation for the artist and art, the Guggenheim Bilbao is the place for you. Good things happen in museums – go and pay a visit!

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art is a model of a museum that can inspire people of all backgrounds to discover new ways of understanding and relating to one another through art. From innovative exhibitions and programs to free public access, MoMA has always been on the cutting edge of visual culture. MoMA’s mission is to inspire people to experience and understand art. Just like The Cosmic House, the museum appreciates the creative process, and connects people.

What is the purpose of museums?

Over the last century, museums have become increasingly important as providers of cultural resources and as leaders in public engagement. They are not just artefacts of history or an expression of taste—they are especially spaces to engage with each other and the communities in which they live. They provide a place to show off your culture, to share in the benefits of exchange and to engage with the world.

The Museum of Modern Art

MoMA is a private non-profit cultural institution devoted to modern art. MoMA was founded in New York City in 1929 by Alfred Barr. Evidently dedicated to the principle that modern art has the potential to uplift and change lives. Its initial collection was formed primarily through the bequest of MoMA’s first two trustees, Lillie P. Bliss and Gertrude Vanderbilt Bloome. Since then, MoMA has grown to become one of the largest museums of modern art in the world and also houses the largest collection of contemporary design objects in the United States. 

MoMA NYC Haim Steinbach’s Hello Again

Best Events

The annual MoMA Art Book Fair is one of the largest, most noteworthy events in the art world. An annual fair that’s open to the public. The Art Book Fair features works by artists and writers like Ali Smith, C-Scape, and Rachel Cusk.

There are more than 30 curatorial departments at MoMA, organized into four main groupings—Arts of the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and the special collections department. 

MoMA Collabs

The museum has a long history of organizing and sponsoring artistic events in conjunction with nearby institutions. In recent years it has focused especially on collaborating with international artists and art organizations… Including the Berlin Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, and Venice Biennale.

Is it the best Art Collection in the world?

The MoMA collection is, by many accounts, the best in the world. This is because the museum has, over the years, set its sights high, acquiring great works by artists of international renown.

One way to understand the modern art collection at MoMA is to recognize that it consists of both paintings and sculpture.

With rare exceptions, every piece in the collection has been painted by a living artist. Also, with rare exceptions, every piece in the MoMA collection has been made by one artist.

The collection does not include any photographs, prints, posters, or film stills. All of these media have yet to be more widely embraced by museums, though the MoMA may put more of these works on display in the future.

Museum Brandhorst

Contemporary Art Centres

What is so special about contemporary art centres and galleries? Why should you consider visiting them? What impactful experiences will they have in store for you? Museum Brandhorst might just give you the answers here and then some more to think about, get inspired by and put into good use in your own life.

Best Cultural Places to Visit in Europe

The aforementioned places can serve as a journey to the past. Like a spiritual trip to realms just waiting to be discovered or simply open a door to great minds to expand your perception of the world and unleash your inner creative capabilities… By seeing through the eyes of great authors. And understand how they were and many still are thinking and feeling, during bringing their fantastic ideas and visions to life. 

Brandhorst art centre is no exception. What started out as a rather humble private collection has become one of the contemporary art core pillars in Germany. Upholding values such as free thinking, creativity and artistic diversity. Or bold expression of emotions and thoughts.  Containing more than 1200 masterpieces from a wide roster of world-famous names like: Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Jeff Koons, Sigmar Polke and Cy Twombly. And this is just to name a few. There are countless of visual works of art just waiting to be discovered. Inject you with a surge of exhilaration and energy and envelop you in a wonderful and limitless world of contemporary art.

Inspiring Cultural Experiences

Museum Brandhorst does all this while remaining warm and welcoming to people with all kinds of backgrounds. Whether you are already familiar with big names and famous displays or installations such as Cy Twombly’s “Lepanto Cycle” – which is a must-see there by the way -… Or only taking your first steps in this whole new world, there is something for everyone to see. Furthermore, Museum Brandhorst ‘s central task is to make sure that visitors would get as intimate, engaging and inspiring experience as possible through a wide exposure and educative approach to art. 

If you are still on the fence about whether or not this is something for you, imagine the possibility of experiencing art. Some of the most remarkable works of contemporary art the world has to offer. Think of it as a deep intellectual journey to stimulate your mind. Free yourself from the mundane shackles of daily life. Unleash yourself and immerse in a world of limitless expression – like taking a dip in a cool lake on a hot summer day. Or emerging invigorated, ready to take on new challenges and bring your own visions to life.

Sounds intriguing? Need that extra boost to get started in your new endeavours whatsoever they might be? Then pay Brandhorst art centre a visit.  Appreciate the authors and their work and let them reward you with a rejuvenated spirit and a memorable experience in return.

Promoting Young Artists

Similar to its Romanian correlative, The Cosmic House, Brandhost Museum aims to maintain the art scene fresh and interesting by promoting young, local artists. Moreover, Brandhost values forging new relationships with artists. And giving them a voice and an aesthetic impact through exhibitions and installations. If you are a young artist seeking inspiration or a place to meet like-minded individuals like yourself… You might find it right here.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

Never has there been a more epic artistic depiction of a simple supper than by the  hands of Leonardo da Vinci – a known artist, inventor, engineer – the list goes on –  who seemed to think:” If I am going to paint people eating then I might as well go all the way: include Jesus and obscure signs, apply a completely new technique of painting and break the fourth wall to really mess with people’s perception.”

If you’re a visual artist, here’s some advice!

Once again, representing the religious painting genre, “The Last Supper” hides more than meets the eye. If you’ve ever wanted to express hidden meanings and convey certain notions using only a brush, colors, or any other artistic tool of your choice then Leonardo’s interpretation of Jesus’ last supper is a perfect example to learn from. Also, if you’re struggling to figure out how to add more depth to your artworks and make the impression stronger then even more the reason to familiarize yourself with “The Last Supper”.

Three-dimensional perception and how to achieve it

As the story goes, Leonardo hammered a nail into the wall. He then proceeded to tie strings to it and drew them out to form guidelines that would help him trace back the focal point of his painting at any given time thus adding the element of depth. 

Imagine a centre dot in the middle of the picture with diagonal lines coming out of it and extending toward the edges of the picture. It will help to create that three-dimensional perception that sucks the viewer into the creator’s world.

That is basically what da Vinci did and by using this automatically drew the viewer’s eyes on the main character – Jesus.

Bringing your work to life

What gives “The Last Supper” more personality is how dynamic and active the twelve apostles appear to be. Jesus alone seems calm and composed but others look animated or agitated: hand gestures, leaning towards the central figure, engaging in a lively conversation.  This naturally begs the question: “What is going on?”. And this right here is a perfect way to capture your audience’s attention: give them emotions, show events unfolding right before their eyes, tell them a story. 

Da Vinci – the story behind the painting

Here is a brief overview of this particular tale. Apparently, Jesus is indeed having his last supper and has just casually announced that there is a traitor among the people close to him who will turn him in to the authorities which will lead to his crucifixion. Most, if not all of his disciples are in disbelief and cannot either believe or accept what Jesus just said and fathom his tranquil state. This has caused them to reaffirm their loyalty and express their concern for Jesus.

All of this and much more Leonardo masterfully managed to capture in his painting.

Renaissance

Hiding signs and omens in your art

If you want to create something worth remembering and appreciation you need to understand both your craft and subject of inspiration on a decent level. Fair enough, you don’t have to be a flat-out fanatic but the more you know, the more it shows. 

Da Vinci for instance appeared to have a certain level of understanding of Jesus and his disciples. This is reflected by a figure believed to be Judas (5th from our left) who is holding what seems to be a bag of silver, thus indicating his lust for money and reward for betraying his teacher.

Another figure, who has caused numerous arguments and disputes over time, is the person sitting on Jesus’ right hand. While some believe it to be St. John others claim it to be Mary Magdalene due to the person’s feminine-looking facial features. Something that Leonardo was notorious for using.

The Last Supper

Tempera, Oil and debates

By understanding the zeitgeist of his era and either deliberately or unwillingly creating controversy in his tempera and oil paint on plaster, the author managed to make sure that his work would be remembered for years to come.

What happened to the painting and where is it now?

The final fate of “The Last Supper” is bittersweet: while it was managed to preserve as a whole and is located in Italy in the city of Milan, in the convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, very little of Leonardo da Vinci’s original brushstrokes have remained due to numerous restoration efforts and being exposed to different climatic conditions over time. Due to a series of historic events.

You can still appreciate the artist’s work but keep in mind that like many other historic masterpieces this one has also had its fair share of repainting and suffered damage.

Michelangelo Buonarroti’s “The Last Judgement”

The Last Judgement- Short History

Out of all the works of art, what made “The Last Judgement” stand out from the rest? Some of the most compelling reasons would likely be that it was created by the one and only Michelangelo Buonarroti. He was among the most highly regarded artists of his era. And it was part of the religious (Christian) genre that depicted scenes out of the Bible. Or perhaps Michelangelo’s reputation as the greatest master of male nude models in which case “The Last Judgement” would serve as the ultimate flex in more ways than one.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Be it as it may Pope Clement VII himself would commission a great artistic project from Michelangelo to decorate one of the walls of the Sistine Chapel as Christianity has had a remarkable impact on Europe (and the world in general) for centuries.

Eventually, Buonarroti accepted the challenge and the rest is history. Fast forward a bit more than 4 years from the beginning of the painting process and this huge – and scandalous –  masterpiece was complete. 

Taking up the entire altar wall of the chapel, the artist’s work depicts the second coming of Christ and contains over 300 different muscular… And in the beginning numerous nude  figures. Rather than depicting just one small scene, the fresco tells a story in different phases. The resurrection of the dead. Passing the judgement, salvation of those deemed worthy and accepted to heaven. Damnation of doomed souls who are sent to hell. Additional scenes also depicted and a special thing to point out here -how symmetrically different events are placed on this fresco. For example salvation on our right and condemnation on our left. Both at the bottom corners. The Christ at the very centre of the painting. Just like in ‘The Last Supper‘. In the centre of the lower part are the trumpet-blowing angels of the Apocalypse who are wakening the dead. And these are only a few things to point out in this detailed work of art.

It also acts as an everlasting reminder to the Pope. That his role as a shepherd of souls is temporary. In the end he will also have to answer to his Lord.  The fresco depicts a man believed to symbolise Pope handing keys back to Christ as if agreeing that his role on this earth has also come to an end.

Michelangelo’s work

When looking at Michelangelo’s work now, you might not even notice or be aware of it, but just barely after his fresco was finished, another artist was asked to censor certain parts. Mainly covering genitals with clothing because the original was considered to be obscene.

Imagine painting it all by hand and all by yourself, showing this as the ultimate proof of your skill and talent, only to have it altered shortly after to fit into a certain moral codex. This makes the whole story rather contradicting. All because “The Last Judgement” was, and still is, considered to be a masterpiece and got seemingly approved by the church at a time. The possible explanation is that it was finished under the rule of a different pope, hence the changes.

A fresco painting can go through a lot, can’t it? Even if it’s on a renaissance Chapel wall. 

This graphical interpretation of the Judgement Day was originally meant only for small, well-educated audiences. People who knew how to appreciate it… but life quite often has its own plan. Whether he intended it or not, Michelangelo managed to immortalize himself in the eyes and minds of thousands of people throughout the world. His works have become exceptionally famous and are visited by countless people until this day.

Fresco painting – short history

Masaccio, Cimabue, Fra Angelico, and Correggio, among a number of other artists from the late 13th to the mid-16th centuries, produced magnificent frescoes in the Italian Renaissance. Michelangelo created the most renowned frescoes of all time in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael created the Vatican murals.

By the mid-16th century, fresco had been largely replaced by oil painting, although it was briefly used again in the 20th century by Mexican muralists, as well as Francesco Clemente.

The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino

Nexus of thinkers and test of knowledge

The perfect cross-over does not exist. Or does it? 

Renaissance paintings

When looking at Rapahel’s artwork “School of Athens” a simpler mind would probably notice a bunch of old men walking, engaging in conversation, reading, and in a multitude of other activities and probably wouldn’t think much of it. Just another artful wall decoration from a time far passed, right?

A monumental fresco

There is far more to this painting. And if you are familiar with Greek history and philosophy, even if just on the surface level, you will probably notice that Rafaello Sanzio da Urbino has brought out the heavy artillery of classical thinkers on a fresco. The Renaissance artwork that is considered to stand among the world’s greatest… And for a good reason as it is decorating one of the walls of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican itself and is part of the series of his three other works, each representing a certain branch of knowledge. “School of Athens” symbolizes philosophy.

What was Raffaello trying to say?

Several works of art back in the Renaissance period were originally intended for a limited-sized sophisticated audience, so Raphael’s work serves as a perfect test to measure the depth of your knowledge. Try out if you can notice some familiar philosopher’s here. There is a good chance you’ve heard of at least some of them. Perhaps you can even find the author himself hiding among the crowds? If so, take some healthy pride in it… Because it’s likely a sign that you’re more sophisticated and educated than your average person.

 If you’re willing to “go full philosopher”, you might also notice that the painting is a figurative symbol of opposite schools of thought. Two main – and opposing –  sides of the coin are Platon and Aristotle who are, similar to “The Last Supper”, placed right at the very centre of the painting and given the main stage. Here the distant horizon and three-dimensional perception are also masterfully used to suck the viewer in and naturally draw his/her eyes to the main characters.

Sacred Art & Hidden Details

There is even more to it. Raphael intended to tell us how all the great thinkers from different times have been brought together to discuss and exchange knowledge. He also wanted to depict the complex lesson on the history of philosophy by showing us the capabilities of the human mind. By depicting mathematicians, thinkers, and scientists – each engaged in rigorous mental work.

All in all the author gives us the recipe for an outstanding work of art: be ambitious and depict the “celebrities” of any given time. Add obvious and hidden details so that people would have the thrill of discovery and learn something new about the painting every single time they look at it. And finally, make it controversial and harmonious at the same time by bringing together opposites… And have them exchange and complement knowledge. 

Raphael’s Artworks