Tiles and Tiles

Roberta Curcă


We are delighted to invite you on Friday, September 27, starting 7 pm, to the opening of Roberta Curcă’s “Tiles and Tiles” solo show, the artist’s first project exhibited at Ivan Gallery.

“Tiles and Tiles” has at its starting point an artistic research developed by Roberta Curcă for the past two years, in reference to the use of ceramic tiles as finishing materials for facades and utilitarian constructions in the public space during Communism. The practice of using ceramic pieces and tiles in postwar architecture is specific not only to the Romanian space and Roberta’s documentation explores, among other topics, the international influences of the Joo ceramic created by the Italian designer and architect  Giò Ponti in the ‘50s. These can be found inside the Socialist block and on the Romanian territory as well, where the mosaic or the ceramic tiles became wide spread in the urban sphere – on the facades of institutions, on blocks of flats, in pedestrian passageways or metro stations – likewise in the rural one, on public buildings or  houses decorated with geometric motifs and compositions inspired by folk art. The artist’s interest in this pieces is not only from a historical or strictly visual point of view, nor necessarily a consequence of a Post-communist nostalgia, but intimately connected to their value and appreciation as architectural practice and to their present state, affected by degradation and destruction. From the urge to retrieve and salvage something that somewhat still exists, Roberta collects the material objects of disparate ceramic tiles which have already fallen from their original sites in different areas of the country as well as digital images of photographs gathered in the online archive of the eponymous Instagram page @tile.and.tiles, administrated together with Jakub Charousek, thus facilitating a subjective and participatory preservation of this heritage not yet classified as such.

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The current exhibition presents the artworks created by Roberta Curcă in response to this architectural tradition. Through them, she appropriates the language and visual mechanisms specific to the ceramic tiles compositions in creating new installations of replica-objects and technical drawings simulations which recreate the process of designing this kind of facade projects. The artist moves forward these pieces’ structural potential in anthropomorphic installations of portraits, self-portraits or Giò Ponti’s portraits, depending on the type of tiles. The present works continue Roberta’s previous line of practice, which integrates personal elements in a creative process based on seriality, sequentiality and repetition, applied at the level of spatial and geometric relationships, as well as her academic research focused on various public space marks and welcome signs.

Roberta Curcă (b. 1991, Romania) has studied at the National University of Arts in Bucharest inside the Graphic Arts Department and is currently a PhD candidate at the Center of Excellence in Image Study (CESI) in Bucharest. Her artworks have been shown in exhibitions at the Accademia di Romania in Rome, Kunsthalle Bega and Spațiul 2/2 in Timișoara, Lateral ArtSpace in Cluj, Arcub, Victoria Art Center and tranzit in Bucharest, as well as in exhibitions by the young artists’ group Nucleu 0000. She participated in artistic residencies such as Electroputere Air in Craiova, Romania and in the 2017 Mobile Biennial. Her visual documentation projects include the online photographical archives of the Instagram accounts @border_marks_archive and @tile.and.tiles.

Special thanks to: Jakub Charousek, Gabriela Curcă, Ștefan Ungureanu, Dan Popescu, Cristi Răduță, Salonul de proiecte.

The exhibition can be visited until November 09, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-18, or by appointment outside the visiting hours.

Photo credits: Cătălin Olteanu.


Roberta Curcă, „Cinema Favorit (Favorit Cinema)”, 2018, installation (montage of resin tiles), 24 x 58 x 1 cm
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