In Claudiu Presecan’s recent series of paintings and drawings, Path over Water, his investigation into how gesture is translated into visual imagery continues. Using a variety of methods of applying pigments—pouring, dripping, smearing, dropping, erasing — this series walks an edge between figuration and abstraction. Inspired by the vast Danube Delta which transverses his native Romania with its lagoons, reeds, hidden recesses, and isolated villages this art speaks to movement, change and, in a poetic way, to continuity. This work does not, however, portray a specific landscape; rather it speaks to an experience that transcends place and time.
During the communist regime in Romania, which ended in 1989, reeds from the delta were extensively, and determinately, harvested with the goal of transforming the delta into a large agro-industrial zone. The reed, in Presecan’s previous series, Traces of Water, is a symbol of the individual, freedom, and resistance, essentially a life force that perseveres. In his current work, the imagery of the reed becomes more and more abstracted leaving in its wake a trace, a quivering, of its being.
Movement replaces figuration and form occupies space much as dancers move through their bodies as they alter, momentarily, their surroundings. For Presecan landscape is, in ways, a metaphor for inner psychological and spiritual states that are given structure and certain permanence through the physicality of painting.