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Alex Calinescu - New Paintings and Prints - Fermynwoods Contemporary Art

Established in 1998, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art is set in a beautiful rural location in Northamptonshire. Alex’s solo exhibition included paintings made since her return from her residency at the Albers Foundation and two new series of prints made especially for the exhibition, working with Kip Gresham at The Print Studio, Cambridge.The work of Alex Calinescu offers the viewer the experience of a pure note, or a group of notes, even as the sound is in the act of disappearing. By using space, line, scale, tone and colour Calinescu invites us into the realm of revelation with an exploration of the precision of momentary change caught in stillness. 


"The paintings and drawings in this exhibition were created in London between 2006 and early 2007, and are a series of temporal sequences which have a contingent interdependence that compose their wholeness. Each piece emerges from a rhythm of dependent origination yet can be experienced as both part and whole because of simultaneous similarities and differences. 

There is an inherent inevitability about Calinescu’s imagery which takes this work beyond concepts of subject and object towards continuity and direct experience. A subtle aura of rapture evolves from the extraordinary attention to detail and process which are central to her practice. An essential element is the existential territory of the creative act which involves the precision of how a line crosses over another or sits separately, the tonal balance and the size of the work. 

Calinescu works in different disciplines, mediums and scales, but she uses a specific combination of materials which best support her intentions. All the paintings are acrylic on linen, willow charcoal or white chalk on raw, or painted, cotton duck. The drawings are ink, oil stick, willow charcoal or white charcoal pencil on a variety of papers and board. 

For Calinescu it was an intense physical experience to make this series of paintings and drawings. She works sometimes with speed and at other times with excruciating slowness. She thinks, looks, listens and feels her way through the process of making by considering each colour, tone, space, placement and mark with a critical and uncompromising attitude. She completes a piece only when she feels it is ‘right’, when the essentials of presence are both imminent and active. 

In Calinescu’s lines are memories of vibration, echo, and synthesis. In the space there is colour, tone, scale and context. The finished works contain a fusion of harmony and discord, sound and silence, movement and stillness, form and emptiness. 

In this engagement with the pure note Calinescu explores enigmatic visual territories in which the dimensions of existence are investigated through a subordination of the literal to focus on formal considerations and respect for the subconscious. 

As a result these works are the material of truth, not illustrations of reality. They help make visible creative fundamentals which focus our minds beyond the inpidual to the universal. Calinescu does not create what she sees or hears, through the journey of making she creates what she knows." 

Daphne Astor, January 2007