Delight and Humanistic Values in the Paintings of Anna Ravliuc, Feb 2014
by John Austin (John Austin is an art historian and writer who lives and works in Manhattan)
The artist Anna Ravliuc recalls man’s most urgent needs to capture a sense of both the movement of time and its frozenness through the activity of artmaking. For the artist, this process expresses her most private moments in which she attempts to articulate her sense of herself as a medium between the forces, both current and historic, personal and transpersonal.
She does this with enormous assurance and vitality. Not surprisingly, the artist’s notes regarding the series of paintings Yorik’s Lounge Ravliuc refers to the relationship between an individual and a society. She writes: ” It’s my reflection of a society and an individual within society, an individual who is thinking and suffering, trying to solve today’s issues of hunger, diseases, wars and death. It’s a visual reflection on the crumbling of the old world that burns to ashes. But the remaining ruins give birth to the new world…”
Keeping these remarkable words in mind, it becomes clear that the aesthetic dimension in Ravliuc’s work incorporates a certain amount of narrative and naturalism. Her paintings such as Conspiracy of Pleasure and Kidnaping of the Moon, for example, seem to reiterate the theme that art reveals moral and ethical truths. The artist uses the evocative symbolism to express her cultural reflection on the purposes of traditional narratives and the dire inter twined motivations of man. Images we see in this majestic work remind us that the past spread its arboreal roots and branches deep into the mindset of human-beings since time immemorial.
Anna Ravliuc moving artworks fulfill one of the most important functions of the aesthetic experience, namely to arrange sensations in such a way so that they, in Roger Fry’s words “arouse in us deep emotions, [through which] this feeling of a special tie with the man who expressed them becomes very strong.” As` we scrutinize the various paintings of the artist we are led, ineluctably, to the realization that Ravliuc’s emotional investment and investiture in her visual work enriches us because she reiterates that art is not merely imitation, as Plato would have it, a simple process of mimetically codifying the “world out there.”
Ravliuc passionate wrestling with the imagination allows us to enter into an ideational world that subsumes our own, that is capable of inspiring sentiment and of filling the mind with great and sublime ideas. Using her remark able gifts to combine harmony, form, pattern, design and color in order to arrive at her vibrant surfaces, the artist strives and attains the watershed moment in each of her paintings. It is the place where the intellect strives to engender in beauty a view of the world that transcends all materialist, empiricist or pragmatist positivist grounds for understanding the world.
Thus, Ravliuc’s work wisely allows us to apprehend her own unique approach in which a Heideggerian impulse to allow the world to “unconceal” itself is the primary, motivating factor in the making of her art. Here, intuitive knowledge is the ordering principle of the world. We are all the better because the viewer experiences Anna Ravliuc’s poetic integrity on two levels: the first allows us to feel a common thread of the common experience of humanity.
The second is the quotient of otherworldliness, of transcendence that charges all of the artist’s works with convincing rightness.
Figure Variations, 2010
by Jonathan Goodman
In the Romanian painter Anna Ravliuc’s evocative colorful seascapes, nude women stand or sit on the edge of the water. The artist sees her task as indicating the achievement of a higher purpose—as she puts it, “The greater the talent of the Artist—the harder her burden—their suffering is more agonizing, and the fire of their candle burns brighter, yet faster.” It is easy to see an archetypal relationship between Ravliuc’s nymphs and broad stretches of ocean; her figures enliven the sea as they look out into the distance of green waters. In Nymph Admete, a nude female figure looks across the blue-green water, whose color is reiterated in the sky above the horizon. Her broad back is of course an attraction in its own right, but it is the pose of the female against the vastness of the ocean that captures our interest through the archetypal nature of the image. Here the figure is contrasted with the water, yet the image is full of harmony—the true subject matter of Ravliuc.
Anna Ravliuc – highly imaginative and allegoric, November 2009
Work by Anna Ravliuc on display at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts until November 19 (Photo courtesy of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts)
By Ica Wahbeh
AMMAN – Delicate and strong, real and mythological, pastel and bold, Anna Ravliuc’s paintings do not fail to transport the viewer into a world of their own, familiar at times, otherworldly at others.
This modern impressionist Romanian painter who exhibits her works at The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, sensitive and deeply imbued with the traditions and legends of her people, is highly imaginative and allegoric. But she is an equally skilled observer, and portrayer, of customary life, certainly with artistic licence, with a twist.
The patterns of the famous Cucuteni ceramics find their way on pregnant women bodies, ripe and erotic, ready to give birth or already holding the new life close, wrapping, cradling, protecting and loving it.
These women, symbol of fertility, acquire in other works slender, sylphlike bodies – sometimes playing the violin, a sensual instrument similar to the female body – presenting another form of rebirth or transformation which she uses a lot in her works.
The generous curves that shape the women flow seamlessly, create fertile wombs out of a yin-yang symbol, spirals that represent a never-ending circle of life and full breasts, all often protected by powerful, expressive hands.
A lover of horses, Anna depicts them realistically – strong, shiny muscles tensed in movement, mane flying, nostrils distended, eyes focused. In some works that did not make it to the gallery, true to her style, the artist transforms the horses into unicorns, mythological creatures of immense and elusive beauty, often skillfully accompanied by a knight holding a spear that transforms him into a one-horn being as well.
Layers of paint, layers of symbols and meanings, intriguing worlds and characters.
Colours in the widest palette render Anna’s images calm or fierily passionate. Pale pastels or intense tints create beautiful geometric patterns, swirling eddies, almost abstract images, still life and vast landscapes.
Delicate blooms and dreamy scenery find their way among the mystic images laden with symbols, but Anna’s paintings have mostly a hauntingly mythical quality. They are highly imaginative and passionate.
Metamorphosis occurs at different levels: cocoon-like mother gives birth to her child, the horse becomes unicorn, the unicorn knight, the skeleton clown, death life. It is more like the duality, or maybe the cyclical course characterising life, material and immaterial worlds that find a happy medium in this artist’s paintings.
Anna Ravliuc’s works leave a lasting impression on the retina; she creates a universe of beauty and emotions whose scope is as vast as her range of colour.