Iulian Mereuță (1943-2015) was and remains an exceptional personality and the revelation of his complex and elaborate work is significant. He revealed himself late as a major artist of an art, initially conceptual, but steadily branching between experiment and individual poetics. Unfortunately, he did not make a name for himself in the West (after leaving the country in 1978), and is eventually (re)discovered, and placed in a symbolic orbit that has finally secured him a well-deserved place in the pantheon of Eastern avant-gardes.
The reasons for his existential and professional impasse are manifold, but their common denominator was his eternally misunderstood attitude and tireless fighter with the windmills that hurt and handicapped him in recognition and appreciation. A constant aspect of his work is the obsession of death, a phenomenological dimension constantly played out. The artist’s creations are cyclically ordered, some graphic, others spatial or temporal, installation or “performative” and are characterized by a taste for movement, drama and melancholy in the sense of a reaction to the feeling of loss. Through this subsampling set in achievements and actions that transgress conventional classification, his work manifests itself as an alchemy of creative restlessness. Despite the constant feeling of insufficiency in exploring the profundity, where we could discover the archetype or the secret of the episodic telluric human presence, Iulian Mereuță’s work reveals itself as an exemplary effort of the artist, to make visible – according to Klee’s expression – the philosopher’s stone. “Look for a remote but open place: only fields as far as your eyes can see, deserted beach, a large meadow in the woods. It’s a hiding spot. You must hide as best you can! First, hide from yourself! You will not succeed? Start over! Start from scratch again until it works! When unable to fulfill the mission, you will understand: A project that costs nothing crosses your life.” 1972