The first UK exhibition of work by the young Romanian painter Serban Savu.
Savu is one of a young generation of artists from Cluj, in the north of Romania, who trained together at the Academy there, and since 2005 have emerged rapidly onto the international scene. It is a group which also includes Victor Man, Adrian Ghenie and Ciprian Muresan. They are linked by their training, and particularly by the common desire to flee the institution, and its academic approach, and a shared experience of childhoods rooted in communism and adolescences spent witnessing its disintegration.
Serban Savu is a figurative painter. His skilfully rendered canvases capture the daily existence of contemporary Romanians at work and leisure. Savu treats his protagonists' facial characteristics in a generic manner, causing their individual identities to remain elusive. Interior scenes depict people unaware of our gaze and absorbed in their own worlds, viewed through glass and embedded in compositions governed by architectural features. Exterior rural landscapes often portray solitary figures in the middle-distance, isolated and overwhelmed.
Savu oeuvre is thus a series of poignant, observational snapshots that obliquely reveal the psyche of the 'ordinary' Romanian as the country experiences political change and economic growth. His subject is the figure in both the urban and rural landscape, but it is a landscape, and a subject that is itself subject to rapid change as the socio-economic situation of Romania shifts as the country enters the European Union.
Savu will be exhibiting a new series of works at f a projects, made for the London show.