Cătălina Milea’s first solo exhibition at IOMO Gallery

A Gathering of the Invisible is Cătălina Milea’s first solo show presented by IOMO Gallery. Alexandra Ioniță, the curator of the event, unites nineteen oil paintings and a single installation, the exhibition route being articulated in such a way as to highlight the subtle correspondences and mechanisms that bridge the factual, concrete, palpable worlds and the volatile realms inhabited by invisible creatures and forms.

“Imaginative play is not mere escapism; instead, it is a game played by the creative to temporarily distance themselves from reality and bring forth new ideas from the depth of their mental landscape. This makes the artist a pursuer of inner truth and, at times, a lifter of veils. The world, with its many rules, structures, and problems, can be perplexingly complicated, and we might occasionally ponder whether the artist can generate anything new that has not already been imagined and whether we can peek through the keyhole of one’s mind to uncover clues that enable us to unlock doors in real life.

Exhibition view | “A Gathering of the Invisible“, Cătălina Milea, IOMO Gallery, Bucharest, 2023. Courtesy of the gallery

With its playful intricacies, Catalina Milea’s aerial world reveals stories within stories, presenting surprising elements combined in unearthly scenes, persuading us that they exist in a better, possibly more developed place that we now have the privilege to observe. The images represent not only a way of seeing but also a way of stimulating the intellect, as the air element is associated with thinking and communication.

John Berger opined that an image’s meaning can be altered depending on what is immediately adjacent to it or what follows it. Thus, the artist’s first solo exhibition is presented to us as a jigsaw, pieced together so that one might either concentrate on a single painting or construct a new narrative by establishing different correspondences and conversations between the artworks. The ambiance generates the impression that “cloud matter” – and all that it may conceal – is being brought near to one’s head, giving clarity, as opposed to the observer having their head in the clouds and thus feeling confused. Hidden in the transparency of air and materialized on canvas and wood, the visual experiences offered by Catalina Milea present a fresh viewpoint, evoking a potent discourse and causing the viewer to question their beliefs by bringing something from their subconscious to the surface. ” (excerpt from curatorial text)

The exhibition can be viewed between 11:00 and 18:00, from Tuesday to Saturday until September 30, 2023.

Cătălina Milea (b. 2000 – Bistrița, Romania) achieved an MA degree at the University of Arts and Design of Cluj. In 2022, she won a scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Her medium is oil painting on wood and canvas. In her art, Cătălina explores the uncanniness of being by unwrapping the exterior world to find its soft and hidden core. Contradictions are a significant key to understanding her artistic vision. Most of her characters are displayed in tragic-ironic scenarios, inside frames that tend to infuse the viewer with the feeling of a past world that still has to come.

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