Observatorul Cultural

The Shadow of the Face: Exfoliations and Sedimentations
Aurelia Mocanu | September 25, 2008

Painter Florica Prevenda (born in 1959) is a brilliant Romanian example of the plastic fragmentarist research. The artist has a consistent studio problematics which has been developing for a decade with each exhibition. It’s in fact a “plastic” personal form of introspection and of dialogue with the spirit of time. On a figuratively schematic  and serial  pretext – the one of portrait-silhouette – the artist prospects the magma of emotions and anxieties that haunt the human condition nowadays, tending towards the consumist depersonalization and reification. From the fundamental theme of The Face (The National Art Museum, 1999) to the anonymous multitude of silhouettes of the Metropolis (Shadows of the Present, Simeza gallery, 2004) and to the self-portrait projected in the urban tide (Time regained, Mogosoaia Museum Complex, 2008) this existentialist pithy message expresses itself in Florica Prevenda’s studio through the metamosphosis of the collage in paste-texture. Her type of pictoriality restrictively deepens exactly in the rind, the leather, the scales, the scars, the imprints and the crust of the tones of white, gray, black, next to the ochre of the wrapping cardboard.

We can notice the importance, in the artist’s creation of the dosage between the textural methods that she consonantly applies to the levels of introspection from her experience on images. The visual psychodrama has a specific treatment from one exhibition to the other. The Face in 1999 collected, without mimic physiognomies or features, an unrest of the matter of the pre-human. The present of the urban horde in 2004 proliferated in poli-matters relief with cassetons and graphic nets, with the zigzag rhythms of the goffered cardboard, with fields of numbers with schematized eyes and palms, with interweavings and garlands of paper bands or painted cloth.
The volumetric unrest diminishes in 2008, the pictorial fields get smooth in favour of the photographic carry-forward from the register of self-portrait. Her own face, caught most of the times by the eye of another camera, is cleared like after a tornado. Icons from her personal album are photocopied, exfoliated, enlarged, cut out, and serialized. Then they are “put in the work” almost exclusively on the black and white scale and on very diverse sizes of canvases composed in their turn, on a diptych or on a triptych with interesting solutions of compositional cutting out. The degree of solicitation is close to saturation, especially in the canvases-screen larger than two metres, symbolically smoking with dramatic load. Prevenda composes or more precisely she lays down visual-tactile fragmented matter, like the ashes of her feelings, over simple urban signs of human presence. The artist neither performs in narrative scripts, nor composes according to effects of rhetoric of the proper abstract image. The processes of growing of the images and of the matters they wear, the densification of the surfaces - symbolically speaking – build for the artist a niche of introspection. It’s a painting of emotional combustion, serious in inventiveness, without falling one single moment into the ludic. And the adopted technique produces a rich pictorial texture which chases away the expressionist distressing. Beforehand, the artist laboriously manufactures the matters of her “pictoriality” and does not exalt the poverist non-finite. Florica Prevenda’s great picto-objectural suites assert, invoking paradoxically exactly the shadow of the human, the withdrawal of the artist from the mundane and the obsession of the body of pictoriality and of its histologic density.

English version by: Marilena Dracea