Mona Ardeleanu: Softskin / Wagner + Partner, Berlin

With Mona Ardeleanu’s Berlin debut, Wagner + Partner open their new gallery premises at Strausberger Platz. Under the title of Softskin, the 28-year old Stuttgart painter exhibits her most recent works. Following her studies under Daniel Richer, Franz Ackermann and Karin Kneffel, Ardeleanu has forged her own unique path in the field of painting. In this video, Cai Wagner (director, Wagner + Partner) provides us with an introduction to the exhibition. Mona Ardeleanu talks in detail about the process of painting. The show runs until March 09, 2013.

Mona Ardeleanu was born in Lörrach (Germany) in 1985. The artist lives and works in Stuttgart. Since graduating from Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design in 2010, Ardeleanu’s painting have been shown internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. She has attended grants and awards: Graduiertenstipendium des Landes Baden-Württemberg, (2013); Stipendium der Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg (2012); Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn (2011) and Stipendium Junge Kunst 2010 der Alten Hansestadt Lemgo und der Staff-Stiftung (2010). Her solo exhibitions include: Puppenruhe, Städtische Galerie im Eichenmüllerhaus Lemgo (2011); Es ist in der Haut, wär’s im Kleide, so wär’s vergänglich, Galerie Rainer Wehr, Stuttgart, (2011); Epidermis (Sieben Häute hat ‘ne Zwiebel), John Doe Projects, Karlsruhe, (2010); Patina, Städtische Galerie im Stapflehus, Weil am Rhein, (2010).

Mona Ardeleanu: Softskin at Wagner + Partner, Berlin (Germany). Interview with Cai Wagner and Mona Ardeleanu, January 25, 2013. Video by Frantisek Zachoval.

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Ardeleanu’s compositions investigate interiors, although other than this fundamental enquiry, everything remains open. The associative references of the collage-like arranged objects are primarily situated within the interior themselves and seldom within the picture’s environment. Nonetheless, Ardeleanu’s paintings are also not entirely abstract. Through her conscious placement of patterns, fabric textures and visual allusions to pieces of clothing, one gains the impression of seeing something familiar. However, the non-referential background or rather the interior of these paintings creates a necessity for revision in the viewer. What remains is uncertainty.

The carefully considered tension between abstraction and realism is also mirrored through forms (shapes, bodies) and material (fabrics, textures). Beyond these formal criteria, it is with questions related to dissociation and transition that the artist concerns herself with. Originating with the epidermis’s function, her paintings question the constraints of what one labels inside or out. What is skin? What is a cover? The series “Schnürungen” (Lacings) 2011 refuses to answer these questions through the use of imaginative, fabric-clad bodies and aims to redefine the body through these means. In this way Mona Ardeleanu’s paintings also encourage a compelling discourse beyond the stereotypes of male and female. In doing so they reveal the aesthetic tensions within the confines of our own patrimonial bodies.