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Against the machine

A cruel and comic clash between mankind and industry in the sketches and sculptures of Mircea Roman. Review by Michael Bird

March 2011 - From the Print Edition

4 Photos
A giant wooden vacuum bows down before the visitors to Bucharest’s Recycle Nest gallery, stooping, but seeming poised to suck them up before they have the chance to reflect on the subtleties of its sculpted vision of dominance and subjugation.
This square hollow funnel could be a megaphone, a rubbish chute, a ventilator or chimney, but it has vitality - on its upper level hang a pair of bare feet, while its timber slats bleed with red paint.
Mircea Roman’s large-scale works created from shards of wood and discarded construction materials convey a struggle between industry and humankind, their reliance on one another so strong it can create a hybrid of man and machine.
This micro-gallery is now presenting two giant sculptures from Roman and sketches that detail his leitmotifs – such as rough-hewn bald-headed men restricted, crucified, hanging suspended or yielding to an unseen force.
The London-based Romanian artist is now in his early fifties and gaining more credit at home for his compelling fusion of abstract components and naked limbs.
The most impressive work on display is a mixed media sculpture on fabric and plastic of a veiny hand, disembodied, open, its blood fresh, as though abandoned on a factory floor following an accident.
Roman creates a distinct and disturbing vision which is often tragicomic - but there is a dignity to his shackled and down-trodden characters, revealing a humanistic intent.

Mircea Roman
‘Recycle Nest’
17 Strada Icoanei
Open Tues to Fri: 17:00 to 21:00 hrs, Sat 13:00 to 21:00 hrs
Until 13 March

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