5 Briton’s public works

June 17 1997

The Daily Yomiuri, Tuesday June 17 1997


 “5 Briton’s public works” by Mark Austin


The eclectic works of five young artists with strong links to London are on show at seven galleries in Tokyo, in the group exhibition “British Art Now Tokyo 1997.”

The artists are staging a highly accessible series of workshops, seminars and other events communicating the exhibition’s central theme: “All art is public art.” 

The paintings of Alexandra Calinescu, 30, display an intense emotional honesty. Her charcoal series The Secret Which I carry Silently in My Heart blends with aching sadness – suggestions of stoop-shouldered, defeated figures – with Blakean intimations of spiritual yearning. 

These cryptic messages are more overtly evident in her mixed-media “Earth of the Night series. We might impute here a preoccupation with “numen” – the spiritual force identified with a natural object, phenomenon or place – on contemplating the fervent sweeps of white and ochre that scour the gritty topography of her canvases. These paintings convey a powerful sensual mood.