PRESS CONTACT: Craig Hensala at Scenic, 212 608 5999

Against All Odds

November 20, 2008 - February 7, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, November 20th, from 6-8pm
SLAG is pleased to present Against All Odds, an 11-artist group show presenting two new generations from Romania.

At a moment when the eyes of the art world have turned to artists of Eastern Europe, and in particular to artists of Romania, SLAG presents Against All Odds an 11-artist group show presenting two new generations from Romania. The artists come from different cities and art schools in Romania, and they belong to two different age groups; however they share a context, they are the generations that come after the revolution. The Romanian Revolution was a week-long series of increasingly violent riots and fighting in late December 1989 that overthrew the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceau┼čescu, and after a summary trial, the execution of Ceau┼čescu and his wife Elena by firing squad. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country to overthrow its Communist regime violently or to execute its leaders.

While sharing the same socio-political and cultural context, the artists of Against All Odds have their own unique approaches, and that is at the core of this exhibition. The dynamic of the show is in fact the myriad forms that creativity could take even within the very same milieu. As such the gallery is a site of examination of process, and a vision of new talents rising in the new Romanian art scene.

About the artists in Against All Odds
• George Anghelescu is a multi-media artist whose diverse Day-Glo bright graffiti, installation and painting fuses popular culture with an anarchist's ferociously biting spirit.
• Irina Broboana paints a universe of battered dolls. Something of a hybrid between the horror film character Chucky and the terrorist infants of Kim Dingle, the jangled nerves set off by the painted world of Broboana's world promises to set a mother's teeth on edge!
• Suzana Dan is a painter whose vivid colors, shaped canvases and humorous word play suggest a street punk channeling the feminist giant Ree Morton.
• Gheorghe Fikl is a painter of striking images and violent tones. His is a surreal world in which animals (from bull-terriers to horses and bulls) are strangely depicted in courtly interiors. The works have a feeling of grandeur, luxury, esthetic domination and imposing elegance as well as an apparent classicism; through dark, powerful tones and the representation of powerful, yet displaced animals, a sense of political surrealism is achieved.
• Mihai Florea is a painter obsessed with midriff bulge, or to be more accurate, with belt buckles. And what a portrait in belt buckles they are, ranging from "suck my cock" to "shaved" and two Pac-Man game figures, the buckles become a comedic take on the wearers and their bellies. Slyly comic, sociopathically charged, the paintings are a cleverly subversive take on contemporary portraiture.
• Ioana Gorzo is an emerging painter who with this exhibition appears in the United States for the first time. Her paintings are of pedestrian views of telephone poles and their web's of cables; the poles she paints are symbolic for Romanian post revolution landscape. There are many communications companies, and each company has its own communication wires, even the secret services probably hook they wires to the same poles. They form an oppressive mesh that in these paintings block the sky. As metaphor, these paintings match the chaos that describes all other aspects of Romanian life.
• Dumitru Gorzo is a painter and installation artist. Since 1999 he has shown extensively in Romania where his work has garnered extensive press coverage and a growing audience. His exhibitions have frequently generated controversy for their political and sexual subject matter and the artist’s unusually bold treatment of issues that are still considered quite controversial in Romania. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions in Romania, Germany, Luxembourg and Austria, his work has been included in group shows in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania. In 2006 he was the subject of a major, one-person exhibition at the Romanian National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest (2006) and then traveled to the Brukenthal Art Museum, Sibiu, Romania (2007).
• Aneli Munteanu makes graphite drawings that at first glance suggest coils of intestines, but in fact are delicately and precisely drawn tangles of bed sheets. The beds we lie in, love in, and die in should be a powerful subject for exploration; and in this case, with these ever so lightly drawn images, we have the gentle sense of beds in our memory.
• Bogdan Rata makes fragmented polychrome sculptures; all cast from human body parts, they sometimes have surreal alterations such as a wall mounted foot with toes that on close inspection are actually fingers.
• Mircea Suciu is a figurative painter whose monochrome deconstructions of 1940's and 1950's American advertisements suggest social alienation. He has been exhibiting his work since 1999 in group as well as solo shows in Belgium, Romania, Slovenia and Italy. This season he had his first solo exhibition in the United States at Slag Gallery. He is the first of the noted Cluj School painters (a group of painters that includes Serban Savu, Adrian Ghenie and Victor Man) to have a solo show in New York.
• Roman Tolici's recent paintings introduce a cast of down-trodden street people, each one topped by a formal bejeweled crown. Like a dispossessed royal family, these elegantly painted portraits have an immediate humor to them, as well as a certain poignancy to the subjects destitution.

Artists featured in Against All Odds --
George Anghelescu
Irina Broboana
Suzana Dan
Gheorghe Fikl
Mihai Florea
Ioana Gorzo
Dumitru Gorzo
Aneli Munteanu
Bogdan Rata
Mircea Suciu
Roman Tolici

For more information on the artists, please visit SLAG Gallery or online at <>.

The exhibition catalogue design and curator’s essay have been supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York

SLAG Gallery specializes in contemporary Eastern European art and is operated by owner Irina Protopopescu. Mircea Suciu, featured in a solo show at SLAG this summer, is on the cover of October’s ArtNews.

Against All Odds will remain on view through February 7th, 2009.
SLAG Gallery is located at 548 West 28th Street, 2nd fl. (between 10th and 11th Avenues).
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm.

For press inquiries and reproductions contact Craig Hensala at Scenic: 212 608 5999.
For general inquiries contact the gallery at 212 967 9818.