Alexandru Chira

Garden of Painterly Delights

09 May 2408 June 24

Alexandru Chira, was born in 1947 in a tiny Transylvanian village near Cluj. He attended art school in Cluj and then the Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest. His home village Tăușeni suffered from a long drought. Chira began to intensively develop a quasi-magical system through which extreme weather situations could be acted upon. He withdrew completely into a visionary inner world to design a landscape monument that would serve as a cosmic-energetic receiving and transmitting station and symbolic totemic arrangement to mysteriously affect weather phenomena and soil conditions. Completely obsessed with this task, he neglected family and friends to develop a hardly intelligible visual language necessary for it in sketches, drawings, paintings, and sculptures.

In the 1990s, when he was already a university professor and a recognized artist, he succeeded in fulfilling this lifelong dream, which, in his typical narcissistic self-aggrandizement, he considered the biggest and best thing any man or artist had ever dared to tackle. On a hill outside Tăușeni, Alexandru Chira created an ensemble of enigmatic poetic structures reminiscent of a sculpture garden left behind by aliens as a cosmic riddle to earthlings.

His drawings and paintings are completely wrapped around this visionary guiding principle of his life. Chira's works transport the essence of a compact core of centripetal idiosyncratic condensation of a wide range of ideas from imbued by the far-reaching perimeter of ufology, shamanism, the esoteric content of religions, from gnosis and practical magic. Some of them are reminiscent of impossible metaphysical machines that seem to belong to a very peculiar eccentric space between the earthly and the spiritual.

Chira’s works have been presented in the context of various exhibitions, including Stereopoems, fitzpatrick gallery, Paris, 2023, The Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Palácio Sinel de Cordes, Lisbon; The Sao Paolo Biennial Art Exhibition, Sao Paolo; The Visual Arts Museum, Galati; and The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, which presented a retrospective of the artist in 2015.

The first major publication of Chira’s work was released in December 2022, and features essays in Romanian, with translations in English, by Ionut Cioana, Diana Marincu, Alexandra Titu, Calin Dan, and Marina Ionescu.