Lucian Popăilă



Lucian Popăilă’s paintings are visually arresting attempts to depict the realm of the commonplace, while granting it ontological dignity and a sort of iconic status. Applying paint on the surface, in a process that appears both intense and concise, reminding of the spirit of the Byzantine tetra-chromatic painterly practice, Popăilă imbues most of his depictions of such humble things as bushes or branches, which he scrutinizes with transformative attention, with an unmistakable spiritual intensity and often with a particular, vibrant smoothness. A painted bush becomes a reminder of Moses’s burning bush, as the impastoed surface appears somehow to allude to the miraculous process of matter burning without being consumed. Other images can equally be described as abstract, gestural compositions, possessing a tensed visual beauty or as lavish, sensuous depictions of burning flames. Finally, in other works, reminiscent both of Morandi’s subtle sensuousness and de Chirico’s calm, yet mysterious solemnity, branches and fragmentary tree trunks are represented in a stylized manner, attaining both a hermetical, semantic conciseness and a distinct metaphysical quality.


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