LYRICAL FIGURATIVE ABSTRACTION
by Genu Berlo
“I am happily confused about my painting on many levels, but this is part of how I am using my work, as a tool for knowing and becoming. The experimentation with the blurred lines between matter, gesture and thought-forms, constantly revolves in the elaboration of my process.“ —Genu Berlo
Living in Queens, NY and Bucharest, Romanian-American artist Genu Berlo has created paintings, installations, drawings and prints that explore the interrelations of art, beauty, human life and mind. His work is carrying elements from his multidisciplinary background, like the obvious obsession for line and color fields, structure and human form. Through the concept and display of his first solo show Predictable Constructs at Atelier030202 gallery in Bucharest), the primitive and minimal geometric installations articulated in dialog with his organic-line oil paintings, are raising questions related to the contemporary men’s lifestyle.
Many paintings from the 2010s, his first decade as a committed artist, are informed by his comparative studies of works by artists such as Brice Marden, Willem de Kooning, Georg Baselitz and Christopher Wool. His interest in line, space and color is coming from a personal perspective -to reveal, accept and build upon their existence as a means of self cognition. The more figurative approach at the beginning of the decade, characterized by the use of thick impasto, had slowly yielded to experimentation with non-objective lyrical abstraction.
When he becomes involved with the legacy of gestural abstraction, he is expanding on the established techniques used by his artistic predecessors, to include random folds, colorful repetitions, and whole body pressure printing of simple geometric shapes, resulting in a recognizable expression of his own.
“I am fascinated by repetition and rotation because they give a sense of settlement, and persistence. Recurrence often appears in my work even though it can be obfuscated by transformation or thought-spacing.” —Genu Berlo
The most recent large scale oil print-paintings titled Kalpa are lushious in tones of turquoise and raspberry, colors that Genu had pursued since his summer visits to the Greek islands. The rhythm of the vertical patches of colors, body-weight printed with large blocks of oak wood, are drawing from the archetypal fence construction but taken to a lyrical dimension of time, space and life cycles.