Zoltán Béla (b. 1977) graduated from the University of Arts and Design in Cluj after studying ceramics at his local high school in Baia Mare. His paintings often originate from a space of personal memories, images that he modifies, pictorially translates and pairs with other elements to arrive at compositions that are purposefully nurture the past into the present. His work is situated between abstraction and figuration, construction and improvisation, the surface of the canvas, and the translation of space. Incorporating discarded objects and modeled elements in art-object and uncanny installations, Zoltán Béla hybridizes the ready-made with the upcycled objects, establishing a direct rapport between sculpture and painting, deriving from a curiosity about the everyday and a virtuosic grasp of texture and materiality.
His works are part of numerous solo and group exhibitions: AnimaL (2019, Diptych Art Space, RO), Zoom (2018, Új Kriterion Galéria, RO), The Intense Yellow and other Colour Patterns Resistant to Sense (2018, The Art Museum Bistrița, RO), BN Connections (2018, The National Library, RO), AD-HOC (2018, Új Kriterion Galéria, RO), Winter Celebration (2018, Anca Poterasu Gallery, RO), Colonia pictorilor (2017, Baia Mare historical artistic centre, 2017), The Black/White Biennial (2017, The Art Museum in Satu Mare, RO), The Privileged Eye (2017, Vienna Contemporary, AT), The Map is Not the Territory (2017, The Romanian Cultural Institute in Lisbon, PT), Sympathy and Signification (2017, The National Library in Bucharest, RO), Werkschau Spinnerei Gallery Tour (2016, Leipzig Spinnerei Galleries, DE), EXTENSION.RO (2016, Triumph Gallery, RU), L’Espace Ventriloque (2016, Anca Poterasu Gallery, RO), Installation (2014, The Annex – The National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, RO), Vom Allmächtigen zum Leibhaftigen (2016, Avantgarde Apolda, DE), Multicultural ArtWalk (2016, RO), Contemporary Art Biennial Art Encounters (2015, Timisoara, RO), Traces (2012, Anca Poterasu Gallery, RO), Bucharest Biennial 6 (2014, Pavilion Unicredit / Combinatul Fondului Plastic / The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, RO), The New Contemporary (2013, Vienna Fair, AT), Traces (2012, Anca Poterasu Gallery, RO), In meditation: Feeling the Silence (2011, Anca Poterasu Gallery, RO), The New Figurative (2011, Victoria Art Centre, RO), The 4th Biennial of Contemporary Art – Coloring the Grey (2011, RU), Preview Berlin (2011, DE), Out of Sacred (2011, Arezzo, IT), The 4th Biennial of Young Artists – Police the Police (2019, RO), The Berlin Wall (2010, Promenade Gallery, AL), A Certain Time, A Certain Place, A Certain State (2010, Little Yellow Studio, RO), Global Art Local History #1 (2010, Nasui Gallery, RO), Self-Reflecting 30 (2009, Point Contemporary Gallery, RO), Transition Icons (2009, Carini & Donatini Gallery, IT), Car Wreck (2007, Sadaba, EE).
One Day Together
04.05 – 21.05.2022 @ Anca Poterasu Gallery
The playground, with all its fantastic possibilities, is a terrain of encounters. Unwritten rules are being made and remade everyday, between children and adults meeting in a place of real purpose, albeit not taken too seriously least the magic evaporates.
In Zoltán Béla’s oil on canvas through transfer paintings and in-situ installations, there is a direct transfer of memories – from his very own, in his old neighborhood in Baia Mare, with a couple of metallic swings and slides, now replaced by many more plastic ones on soft surfaces where no knees can scrape anymore. His childhood is now projected unto his young daughter’s memories in the making, whose playtime in the new, plastic and colorful public parks of Bucharest is just at its beginnings. The monotype technique used to transfer the shapes unto the canvas relates exactly to that – to the use, and re-use of materials, of recuperating and re-assimilating what once belonged on a surface of experiences unto another.
The show ultimately connects to the places where we teach and learn how to be with one another – conflictual, generous, possessive, or patient. Depending on how we remember our playtime, we can either think of playgrounds as places of freedom and imagination, or on the contrary, as sites of constant supervision and surveillance, a controlled environment for acting out being human – screaming and crying ourselves off on our way to adulthood.