RIVAA artist Ioan Popoiu has thrilled local art lovers with his vibrant abstract canvases, but now, we have a special case. His new show, filled with fresh works of art, opens tomorrow in Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island. And there’s a free, meet-the-artist opening reception on Saturday, November 11th.
Here at The Daily, we’ve written about Ioan Popoiu’s brilliant art many times over more than a decade.
This time, we’ll let the artist speak for himself – from his website…
Ioan Popoiu received his B FA from the Institute of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania, in 1975. After graduation, he participated in most of the Annual and Biennial exhibitions organized in Romania.
In 1980, he applied for the permission to immigrate to the US together with his wife and daughter. It took over four years of continuous struggles, including his 45 – day hunger strike, in order to obtain permission to leave. That permission was finally granted in 1984, when the three of them embarked on the most important journey of their lives in pursuit of political, emotional, and spiritual freedom.
Since his arrival in the US, Ioan has participated in multiple group and solo shows. His first exhibit was in 1989 at the Morin Miller Gallery in NYC. In 1990, the Stedelijk Museum included him in a fundraising event, “Unveiling the Communist Romania,” under the auspices of Christies. Another major artistic success came in 1994, when one of his works became part of the permanent collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis. Since 2003, he has been a permanent member of Gallery RIVAA and has participated in numerous solo and group shows.
“in my work I use fluid of the paint as a form of expression, which gives me the opportunity to explore freely and deeply the universe of abstraction. I began working with fluids sometime in the 80’s and I became more involved with it in the 90’s. Even now, it still captivates me. Every one of my works is an exploration of color and texture obtained by juxtaposition of many layers of paint and polymer. I like to develop my work by employing the laws of nature. The shapes and forms in my painting speak of my surroundings and they are related to the concepts of time and space. The structures and transparency, obtained by overlapping multiple layers of color create a 3-D effect, a form of expression which is continuously changing.”
“In recent years, I have used bright fluorescent colors, perhaps in response to a previous experience I had as a young artist in my native Romania, when I first visited the region of Maramures. I was fascinated with its rich folk art. People there use very bright colors as a form of expression of their positive vision of life. I try to carry this philosophy and convey the same message in my work.”