104GALERIE (Nakameguro, Tokyo) is holding a solo exhibition by Teodora Axente, “The Body as a Coat of Shadow and the Coat as a Body of Light”, from November 4 (Sat.) to December 1 (Fri.). This exhibition, two years after Axente’s first at the gallery, will feature 10 new pieces.
Axente’s theme explores elements of spiritual journeys: building the inner self, and accumulating practices through different methods and influences to discover a new identity. The work expresses the individual as matter that always transforms from one state to another, and through this process always travels on an esoteric route. It elucidates part of this transformation through the clothing and objects that make up the composition, with an eye towards the supernatural.
“My approach to clothing is interpretive. That is, I allow my imagination and intuition to create new forms and interpretations of clothing and its roles. A coat is not only a covering for the human body: it represents the body itself, helpless, and tributary to the material world. I was greatly impressed by a detail from Michelangelo’s work in the “Last Judgment”, a scene in which a saint in a crowd of saints holds the skin of his own body in his hand, as though he had detached himself from it. It is like self-denial through suffering, considering that the body endures, suffers pain, and changes for its own salvation, while still remaining ephemeral matter. I see the body as a coat of change, displaying both inner and outer transformation.”
Half-human and half-animal figures often appear in Axente’s recent work (such as “The White Satin Sin”, “The Eye in the Shadow”, and “Bright Face”), suggesting the spirituality of mankind, who continue to aim higher, and the greed and natural instincts of the wild. The animal nature that resides in all humans is made visible through the carnal, weak, and fallible parts of the body. Axente’s work is influenced by the Gospels and the Bible, Orthodox iconography, and the vestments of priests and bishops, which can be seen in elements like fish, lilies, and scissors that relate to Christian lore. This can be said to be a part of the artist herself. These motifs may encourage us to view the paintings, at least at first glance, as classical. However, it is clear that Axente’s surreal expression sublimates them to be quite contemporary. The artist’s rich imagination, which vividly raises the lives of individuals in the process of change, is the very source of her expression and her art.
An opening reception will be held with the artist on November 4 (Sat.) from 17:00. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
Born in 1984 in Sibiu, Romania and completed Ph.D at The University of Art and Design of Cluj in Romania in 2004. She currently lives and works in the Cluj-Napoca. In 2011 she received the Essl Art Award, and participated in a group exhibition at the Essl Museum in Vienna, Austria. In 2015 she exhibited her work in various museums like Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, (Colorado/US), Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and also Art Center Hugo Voeten (Herentals/Belgium), where she then had her solo exhibition in May 2016. In 2017 she was awarded with the 3D Frissiras Award for European Painting in Athens (Greece), followed by solo exhibitions at Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca in 2018 and Frissiras Art Museum (Greece) in 2019, gaining international acclaim.
Selected Group Exhibitions
Teodora Axente, Robert Bosisio, Donata Wenders, Group Exhibition, 104GALERIE, Tokyo
Inspirations from the ancients, rosenfeld porcini, London, UK
Painting the figure, rosenfeld porcini, London, UK
Contemplating the Spiritual in Contemporary Art, rosenfeld porcini, London, UK
3D FRISSIRAS AWARD FOR EUROPEAN PAINTING 2017, Frissiras Museum, Athens (Greece)
New Horizons of Painting part one: The identities of others, Frissiras Museum, Athens (Greece)
L’echo Des Murmures, Galerie Valerie Delaunay, Paris, France
The Figure In Contemporary Art, rosenfeld porcini, London, UK