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  George Turcu

George Turcu CV (PDF)

George TURCU
21 July - 7 August 2004

GT: What are you going to do with those notes?

George Turcu’s studio is full of machinery, tools, incomplete and finished works. There is no heater or kettle (the work warms me up). Simply, it is a place for working in. And work in it, he does. Turcu is a sculptor: a craftsman of wood and bronze. He is a ‘voluntary’ exile from Romania and is little known here. Yet he is not unknown because of a lack of productivity or lack of dedication to his art. If nothing else, Turcu should be recognised for his single-minded devotion to his medium. His dedication to it is all the more apparent in the face of the constantly evolving and emerging new forms of art. Installation, video, sound, happenings, performance and whatever else, seem to dominate the current explorations being made by Australian and international artists. In light of this, the viewer might ask, where does someone like George Turcu – with his sculptures that are merely explorations – fit in? The answer, I hope, is at least, somewhere. 

GT:Write a little about the works.

The sculptures in the exhibition at Watson Place Gallery are a response to Turcu’s travels in central Australia. The works though, are also of the coast: the Blackwood used in all of the works is from Apollo Bay. The works are united by their vertical structure. All remain reminiscent of their original form as being part of a tree. And indeed, this is important to Turcu. For him it is a way of honoring the tree, honoring the material. Technology may allow the sculptor to do all sorts of things with the wood – turning it into something beyond recognition from its original form – yet these works rebel against the possibility for the artist to assert total control of his source materials. In this sense, the work is not fully disguised as being collaboration with nature.

Viewed one way, Turcu’s loyalty to sculpture and aesthetics could be considered anachronistic, viewed in another way it could be virtuous. Either way, these are the works of a sculptor who has been on a journey of exploring three dimensional form for a length of time which has seen many fashions in the visual arts come and go. The novelty and achievement of Turcu’s sculptures are not limited to the newness of the medium itself. Turcu’s newness is in the judgments, the choices and the conclusions about what can go where and how it can create a balance of form. His sculptures are a consistent display of resolved aesthetic vision. His sculptures do not refer the viewer to problems in contemporary art theory or criticism, but merely to his own works – whether in this show or others. In this sense, they maintain a conceptual unity. That is, to understand his works, all one needs is the work itself.

Sculpture, Turcu says, is his first language. For viewers – whether they are already familiar with him or have only just come across him – Turcu’s language is worth getting to know. In ‘Turcu’ the tones are varied, meaning is subtle and the dialogue – once fluent – is engaging.

GT: Keep it short.

Andy Fuller 2004
Watson Place Gallery