Meditations on the same being, on the same street

(i)… (ii)… (iii)… (iv)… is the third public appearance of Iulia Nistor on the Bucharest art scene, as well as her second solo show. Iulia Nistor was born in 1985 in Sibiu. She emigrated to Germany with her family and settled in Nuremberg. Her return to Romania took place recently, in 2012, more than twenty years after, due to a nostalgia for her roots. Her first solo show, entitled Non-Sense, opened in 2013, at Gallery 26 (OTA) and presented painting, photography, a series of puzzles made out of photo fragments and a labyrinth constructed from domino tiles.

After studying Philosophy and Arts in Regensberg, Iulia enrolled for Ph.D. studies on Fiction, and continued her artistic practice thoroughly. Her painting is created from absences – whole areas filled with painted matter and then discharged, that sort of absence that stirs the stream of memories after a complex process of introspection. The challenge is having these memories depicted in signs and shadows which describe random, but extremely personal, fragments of a story about herself and the outer world.

In the current show, each canvas looks as follows: the painting – with all that it implies – continues outside the surface of the canvas and projects itself into space, through fluorescent networks that repeat the inner compositional structure outside, in the environment. The discreet nodal points of the painting are traced in the intersections that create the network, the structure of the overall composition.

The images created by Iulia Nistor are neither exuberant nor uptight, they do not tackle tabu subjects, they are more on the abstract-meditative side, and when I say abstract, I refer to an abstraction of thinking, and not of shapes, this difference being testified by the decorative abstraction, the ‘beautiful’ one, of paintings ready to be hung in homes and offices. And I mean abstraction of thinking because, at a closer look, one can easily recognise fragments of objects from known, already visited places that were differently composed in her own abstract universe.

Her latest experiments are paintings on plastic surfaces, with large erased areas, that create shapes and rhythm through absence and transparency. The familiar objects described above become more abstract, they disappear or metamorphose into lines and networks, like in a huge inner landscape.


The installation presented in the exhibition, consisting of a rolled painting creating a spiral, surrounded by light and sound, was inspired by the depth of a human being (by inner sounds and nervous spirals). It ends the route of the exhibition in an exemplary way, after its start at (i) or maybe at (iv).

(…) In the street. No one. Besides her.

She had this funny feeling as she was walking by. She was looking downwards. She felt as if her feet – those feet down on the ground! – [were] moving ceaselessly, as if they were a step ahead of her.

Indeed! [They were] one step ahead of her. How could this ever be? How could one read into what had happened?

Yet, these were but her feet, after all – ever since she had been a little girl.

Thus: [it was] just her, walking in the street, grey skies above, closed doors behind. Not unwelcoming, just wide shut. Pigeons filling the alcoves, with their heads couched beneath their wings, dreaming –

If only she were to walk that little bit faster… Maybe that was it. Maybe, those legs could morph into her legs. (…)

(Text by Manuel Niedermeier, translated by Bogdan Lepădatu)


Iulia Nistor, (i)… (ii)… (iii)… (iv)…, with a text by Manuel Niedermeier, was at Aiurart Contemporary Art Space between 17 September – 7 November 2014.


Simona Vilău

Simona Vilău (b. 1983) is an artist and curator based in Bucharest. In 2011, she was the curator of LC Foundation Contemporary Art Centre in Bucharest and started as a member of Spațiul Platforma...

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