From June 6 to July 25, 2015, Galerie du Forez presents a selection of paintings, drawings and lithographs by Tudor Banus. Some of the pieces on show are recent, others are older, thus constituting a cross section of the artist's varied output.
A prolific and multifaceted artist -painter and draftsman, illustrator of books, magazines and newspapers-, Tudor Banus handles with equal ease old oil painting techniques as well as reprographic techniques, ranging from the traditional to the modern, from gelatinography to digital lithography.
In his works, Banus reveals a world that is concomitantly familiar and disquieting, immediate and fantastic. It is a world viewed "through the looking glass", in an entirely unique and original manner, but in which we can perceive the reflection of our own feelings of anguish or enchantment. The mixed media on paper entitled "Avenir", the lithograph "Evasion", or the elaborate drawing "Amour caché" are good examples of this complicitous relationship that the artist succeeds in establishing between his reverie and the eye of the public.
It is a world in which we encounter the latest fads that occupy -too much so, as a matter of fact- our contemporary spirits, as in the lithographs "Web-girl" and "Selfie". Fantastic creatures, in complex compositions, illustrate with a lot of humor our entirely human weaknesses, as in "Narcisse aux miroirs", "Le Maître du Monde" and "Gaïa", for instance. All these allusions to our contemporary life style intermingle with erudite themes derived from mythology and art history, in ways that put this life style in perspective.
But the works that are arguably the most surprising and mysterious are those which create alternative universes, architectural structures à la Escher, with names such as "Alchimie", "Musique des sphères", or (the mixed media on board) "Un quart d'heure avant le déluge".
Banus' style, very original and personal, inscribes itself in a tradition relating the medieval bestiaries to the modern comic strips, via Bosch and the surrealists. Unabashedly narrative, the images created by the artist -reaching a degree of complexity that requires an intense effort in order to be grasped- take us into a universe that is sometimes humorous and playful, sometimes dreamy or nightmarish, but in any case always magical.
Tudor Banus was born on July 8, 1947 in Bucharest, Romania. He is a graduate of the Architecture and Urbanism School of the University of Bucharest and he studied engraving and ancient oil painting technique at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
He has lived in Paris since 1972 and has carried out the bulk of his career in France, but he has also worked in New York and in Germany. He has participated in over 60 personal and group shows in France, the US, Germany, Belgium and Romania. He has collaborated with over 50 journals and magazines (publishing drawings and covers), among which Le Monde, The New York Times, Die Zeit, L’Express, Le Point, Marianne, etc.
In 1979 he obtained the most beautiful children's book prize for his book project for Grimm Brothers' "The Bremen Musicians".
In the last few years he has been organizing conference cycles at the Carré Coignard in Nogent sur Marne, where he resides at the Guy Loë Artist Residence. These conferences focus on art in general, and primarily on modern and contemporary art.
A volume with 260 colored illustrations consacrated to Banus' work has been recently published by the Romanian Cultural Institute.
Tudor Banus' long and rich artistic career is multifaceted: he is in his element whether he paints or draws, illustrates books, journals or magazines.