Marius Bercea

(b. 1979, RO)

Portrait of Marius Bercea. Photo: Alchetron.


Marius Bercea, born in 1979 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, is a visual artist living and working in Cluj, Romania. Bercea is known for his painterly oeuvre depicting scenes of post-communist Romania in an early-capitalist state. His works are marked by vivid colours, exoticism and a horror vacui setting of a vast array of objects and figures filling the canvas.


Being one of the most important painters from the Cluj contemporary art scene, Marius Bercea has been a leading figure for Romanian painting since its remarkable upswing during the first decade of the new millennium. Alongside the likes of Adrian Ghenie, Mircea Suciu, Serban Savu and Victor Man, Bercea is one of the most important representatives of the so-called Cluj School [of Painting].[1]


The Romanian artist paints from memory and from photographic source material. As stated before, Bercea depicts Romania in a state of transition of post-communism and early-capitalism. Marked by a vivid use of bright colors, Bercea's paintings feel almost as exotic as David Hockney's paintings depicting life by the pool and the palm trees in Los Angeles. Most often, the depicted figures are in a state of leisure or engaged in a collective activity in front of a dynamic, rhythmic and often even dramatic backdrop.[2]


Metal fences, plants, people by the pool, alternating colour patterns of fabrics such as clothing and curtains or plastic chairs are some recurring motives in Bercea's oeuvre. Painterly skill is combined with wit and humor, as not only does the paint seduces our eyes but it also incites our mind with smart comments, subtle details or implicit jokes.


Career facts


Marius Bercea studied at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where achieved his MA in 2005. Bercea has exhibited across the globe and is represented by industry leading galleries such as Blain Southern, Berlin and François Ghebaly.


The Romanian painter has been included in group exhibitions at major institutions such as the Art Encounters Foundation in Timisoara, Romania; La Kunsthalle Centre D'Art Contemporain Mulhouse in Mulhouse, France; the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art in Istanbul, Turkey; the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), Colorado, the United States of America; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania; the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Debrecen, Hungary; the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague, Czech Republic; the Mucsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest, Hungary; the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) in Peekskill, the United States of America; the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) in Knoxville, the United States of America; the Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca, Romania; the Lucian Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles, the United States of America; the Museum of Young Art in Vienna, Austria; the Museum Kuppersmuhle fur Moderne Kunst in Duisburg, Denmark; the KKL Art Center in Lucerne, Switzerland and the National Art Museo in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.


Bercea participated in the 17th Art Biennial of Pancevo, Serbia in 2016 after the 2015 Timisoara Art Encounters Biennial, Timisoara, Romania.


Further, Marius Bercea features in major private and public collections, including the collection of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia, the United States of America; the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark; the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) in Peekskill, the United States of America; the Kistefos-Museet collection in Jevnaker, Norway; the Zabludowicz Collection in the United Kingdom; the Olbricht Collection in Berlin, Germany and the collection of the Space K Museum in Seoul, South Korea.


Selected works

Marius Bercea, Modernism and after, 2020. Oil on canvas – 188 × 155 cm. Courtesy MAKI.


Marius Bercea, Bouquet of tender rhymes, 2020. Oil on canvas – 300 × 400 cm. Courtesy MAKI.


Marius Bercea, Winter Solstice, 2020. Oil on canvas – 160 × 190 cm. Courtesy MAKI.



Marius Bercea, Unititled, 2019. Oil on canvas – 75 x 63 inches. Courtesy François Ghebaly, Los Angeles.


Marius Bercea, Semantic Pair, 2020. Oil on canvas – 76.2 × 61 cm. Courtesy François Ghebaly, Los Angeles.



Marius Bercea, Untitled, 2015. Oil on canvas – 50.2 × 40 cm. Courtesy MAKI.



Marius Bercea, Mr Echo, 2014. Oil on canvas – 140 × 160 cm. Courtesy Harper Deyong, London.




Notes:

[1] Bogdan Teodor Iacob, "The Cluj School of Painting: Main representatives of a contemporary art phenomenon" in Brukenthal. Acta Mvsei, XII.2 (2017): p. 441. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320536793_The_Cluj_schoolw_of_painting_Main_representatives_of_a_contemporary_art_phenomenon

[2] Artsy, Marius Bercea at https://www.artsy.net/artist/marius-bercea consulted 12/01/2021.

[3] Fracois Ghebaly, Marius Bercea at http://ghebaly.com/work/mariusbercea/ consulted 31/03/2021.







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