Over the winter, Chert presents Marius Bodea’s untitled series of paintings in the outside vitrines surrounding the gallery.
The outdoor setting supports Bodea’s treatment of interiors and exteriors. The work meditates on a fluid perception of space, but the paintings themselves are small and contained.
The Romanian artist draws unusual associations between geometric order and spatial chaos. Space is maleable, rooms don’t have windows or walls, but gaps that show snatches of landscape. Grey sky is glimpsed in the background as thick paint-smears inhabit the foreground. At times the unpainted canvas shows through; there is no illusion to reality, but this off-world is recognisable.
Bodea looks to natural history museums for inspiration. His environments have no human presence – the only mammals are stuffed animals, often framed on plinths. The simple forms seem prehistoric: dinosaurs in an estranged context, on show behind glass boxes.
It is in this context that the works are on view in vitrines outside the gallery. Working within the framework of an exterior/interior dichotomy, the nature of the vitrines – an inside pocket of outside space – mirror the content of the paintings. Sober landscapes synthesize with Berlin’s bleak winter. The artist’s imagery comments on absence and emptiness.
Marius Bodea was born in Dumbraveni, Romania in 1986. He studied painting at the University of Art & Design, Cluj-Napoca. This is his first exhibition in Berlin.