My Time with NOIMA, 3 of 15 years
NOIMA emerged in front of the gallery windows in Vienna out of a blizzard, armed with easel, canvas and paintbrushes. They moved themselves in the desired position outside, square shaped. Snowflakes were dancing like in Constantin Flondor´s famous paintings, while the four artists, Ciprian Bodea, Cosmin Fruntes, Andrei Rosetti and Sorin Scurtulescu, were kind of dancing, following a secret choreography, changed their positions clockwise and added layer over layer on their canvases. This procedure and empathic capacity for artistic depiction was a new experience for me. I got fond of their love for art and their approach as an artist group.
As students of Constantin Flondor they are aware of modern and contemporary art development in Romania. Their cumulative established knowledge of Timisoara tradition in art lies in the realms of education by Flondor, who was a member of 111 and Sigma Group. The 111 Group, founded in 1966, focused on the study of the principles of constructivism, and the Bauhaus School model. Its members – Ștefan Bertalan, Constantin Flondor and Roman Cotoșman – found their personal artistic language quickly, and presented a well coagulated theoretical research, strengthened by a close friendship. During the Nürnberg Biennial trip, Cotoșman emigrated, while Bertalan and Flondor continued working on common artistic projects, based on interdisciplinary and inter-medium ideas, forming a new group – Sigma – which included Doru Tulcan, Ion Gaita, Elisei Rusu and Lucian Codreanu. A defining characteristic of Sigma group was the declared program of work, based on the principle of team and interdisciplinary work (mathematics, cybernetics, bionics, but also plastic structures).
Out of this tradition NOIMA are playing joyfully with different medias, oscillating between classical painting, performance, photography. The idea of going out, like French Impressionists, to observe and research nature, was one of Sigma´s motto. Learning by deconstructing flowers and herbs, monitoring elements, finding out everything about structure and static. They transformed flowers into abstract sculptures, the Dandelion by Doru Tulcan i.e. still appears like a futuristic animal.
NOIMA is following these traditional approach, but moves it in the 21st century.
They are still practicing like mad, they are going out in nature or during the night in cities and paint what they see. Light, movement, air, nature, objects. They love the procedure of classical paintings, the altercation with image composition, the influence of natural light.
Short before we met they decided that NOIMA should not be any longer only a dialogue space between individual painting projects, but a visual environment. The group is figuring as an organism, a living system, which is talking about the big (collective) eye, the tactile whiskers… in form of performative dialogues with the surrounding space. Following game-moves and a particular grammar, searching for collective visual perspectives in different contexts, disputing drawing, painting, performing, photographing, sharing visual experiences, changing perspectives and approaches is the way for NOIMA to take together.
Gathering and working together is the best possibility of surviving in contemporary art. As a group every single member is feeling stronger, together the appearance is more effective, louder and surviving becomes possible in lean times.
As we know it is great to have a shared history over 15 years, but it ain´t easy as well. Therefore it is even more impressive to see how they are working out their projects, though all of them are employed for daily living and three of them having children too. Even though they have spare time for meetings and workshops, for education trips with collectors and for participating in group shows all over Europe, based on the understanding of their wives and families.
We are working together for three years now, realizing different shows and projects. It has been really thrilling for me to observe their evolution of site specific performances, to realize the development in painting, to experience their theoretical background. They keep me aware, talks and meetings are inspiring, cordially and open minded. Meanwhile our discussions include topics like literature, politics, religion, as well as relevant issues of contemporary art. I have learned a lot about Romanian Art History and I reduced my knowledge gaps.
Out of a spontaneous blizzard meeting developed a cooperation and friendship I will not miss anymore.