TONY STANCIU CONTEMPORARY ROMANIAN PAINTER OF LANDSCAPE _ A BRIEF APPRECIATION BY DERRICK HAWKER
In the early 90's, when many Romanian artists were understandably reacting or responding to the breaking of a time-lock and the uncertain re-emergence of their nation, I found one young painter celebrating thc, timeless and certain beauty of the nation's landscape.
The land, one of the best kept secrets in Europe and unknown to me, was so keenly but sensitively perceived, drawn and described by him with such positive colour and brush-stroke, as to make me want to seek out, not just more of his paintings but more of this country, cornered in the eastern-most reaches of the Occident.
Tony Stanciu's natural source of experience and image may flow from the East and his family home; from the Danube Delta and the Black Sea coast to Bucharest where he has his studio. However, particularly in his smaller works which I most admire, the intimacy of his perception, the close framing of his subjects, and the transcription of nature through a bold palette, together form images which may be recalled like a haunting phrase of music; a song; a scent; a line of poetry, as one travels the length and breadth of this big, kaleidoscopically varied and startlingly beautiful country.
To a western eye, Tony Stanciu's aesthetic source might be considered to flow from the Fauvist tradition, but the clarity of his vision; the strength of his pictorial and compositional structure; the confidence of his statement , the freedom of his color and brushwork, have not been gleaned second-hand from textbook and postcard reproductions, or even from limited access to early works by Derain or Matisse. They have been transfused from natural and artistic sources, lit and warmed as much by an eastern as a western sun. They stem from roots sustained in a different manner than those which were tended and nurtured into flower by Moreau at the end of thc nineteenth century in Paris. However, the statement by Louis Vauxcelles proffered in. misplaced irony in 1905, as he criticized what he considered to be 'the exotic literary style' of the Fauves, may be used with new, unintended meaning now, forming an appropriate connection in this context ninety years later. Vauxcelles declared that the Fauves were cultivated by Moreau "to the point of Byzantinism".
The disciplined commitment and dedicated approach which Tony Stanciu applies to his often prolific work, as well as the poetry in his painting which issues from his affection for and comprehension of the land, reflect perhaps less of the Fauvist style and character, and hopefully more of the building of Byzantium and a reemerging, re-appraising and re-forming of Romania's traditional and native cultural influences.