Simona Mihaela Stoia (°1982, Hunedoara, RO)
Lives & works in Ottenburg

Video: Jan Weynants

Selection of works available
A Temptation to Trust
Then Again, Silence Fell II
Silently Swinging on The Clouds
Such an Astonishing Lack of Consideration
Chaotic dance in the wind
Artist portfolio
The silent apparition of a brute confusion (2022) | 257 x 200 cm | oil on canvas
The silent apparition of a brute confusion
The stillness of a dry day I (2022) | 60 x 50 cm | oil on canvas
The stillness of a dry day I
Brute Confusion (2022) | 60 x 50 cm | oil on canvas
Brute Confusion
Feeling a common tragic intensity (2021) | 150 x 150 cm | oil on canvas
Feeling a common tragic intensity
The blossoms began to fall (2022) | 190 x 230 cm | oil on canvas
The blossoms began to fall
Murmur from behind the trees II (2022) | 40 x 50 cm | oil on canvas
Murmur from behind the trees II
Dancing in vain (2021) | 190 x 170 cm | oil on canvas
Dancing in vain
Gathering strength for the coming day (2022) | 200 x 170 cm | oil on canvas
Gathering strength for the coming day
Gallery exhibitions
Fleshy pink, a murmur in blues
The tables turned
The painted picture show
Art fairs
Art Brussels 2024
Art Brussels 2023
Art Antwerp 2022
Art Brussels 2022
Art Rotterdam 2021
Art Rotterdam 2020
External exhibitions
Just for Today I Will Be Unafraid
À la rencontre
Parade, Radicale 1924
Parerga & Philomena

the field

stoia carries a horizon line through many of her paintings. it is the pictorial event through which connection and disconnection from land can be felt; a premise prone to abrupt abandon. landscape is sometimes solved in square and portrait formats, but it is always attenuated —dissolved— into an image unfixed from a dutiful registration of that historical genre. these paintings stare beyond both horizon and landscape, intensifying pictorial structure into hallucinatory imprecision, replacing ungenerous illusions with totemic abscesses at the centre of the canvas.

the exploded colour-fields of these paintings would at first suggest a candied-dreamscaping, the appropriated artifices of contemporary life, but stoia’s exacerbations of temperature generate a visual register which is capable of carving out the silhouette of a dog’s tail as skilfully as it describes the smear of something suddenly dog-like, disappearing into an astral peach hill. colour is hyperactive witness to the impressions left on the painter but also an unreliable agent, narrativising something just beyond the reality of the scene.

stoia’s paintings undo an inheritance of lyrical-pastoral modes depicting the authority of human subjectivity as figure against the ground of the landscape. the land here is not subjugated into an occasion for depicting self-referential human agencies and explorations, but is a way of offering a step into a zone where the manoeuvres of such abstractions can be rendered with their deficiencies (and deformities) brought to the surface. in a conversation with stoia, she spoke about her memories of her grandmother who lived in a reciprocal and interdependent world of exchange between herself and her garden, a life lived in mutual generosity with the natural world and inhabited outside agricultural domination and its attendant systems of extraction.
there is no vision here, stable and clear in its ideation of the (or a) world. instead, a haptic and kinetic field of the substance of the paint itself demotes any image beneath to a spectre, vulnerable to its own undoing by the next gesture or tool, charged with carrying more paint than it should be able to bear. the scale of these paintings would imply that we might step into this volatile window, but something inhibits them from trespassing into our world to that extent, perhaps they intuit that we would demand such clarity of vision, faced as we are with a world of catastrophic climate inequity. to look at these paintings, we must make a way through seeing to feeling, sensing at the limits of the constant mediations and translations of the eye, rehearsing this reciprocal and communal exchange with our environment.

simona and i share an experience of being lifelong foreigners, absorbed by and into a constantly unsteady translation of ourselves. but translation is a way of life, of living beyond the destiny-oriented assurances of national structures. this rehearsal, fleshy and murmuring, reminds me of the provincial drifting of my adolescence, quiet walks alone in fields where the disputes of belonging and foreignness —deficient ways of understanding the world and one’s place in it— could dissipate temporarily. these paintings, at the crisis of romance, where season and colour; image and paint; hill and horizon are collapsing into each other all the time, infer such drift, and the substance of the drive to make something suddenly more than life-like must be felt for beneath the wet ground of these discordant circumstances.

Chris Kirubi, london/ottenburg, 2024

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