Vasile Dobrian, Landscape at Eforie, 1971
I love this artwork (which otherwise might not be stellar after all) for two reasons: one, it’s by one of my favorite artists from my country, Vasile Dobrian, and two, Eforie is a summer resort on the coast of the Black Sea and, in a way, my second hometown. Dobrian is not very well-known, not even in the country, even though he has a special place in art history: the first and most important Romanian modernist engravor (before him, engraving was not an art in itself, only a way of illustration), he gained quite some critical acclaim in the 1930’s with his social realist/expressionist engravings (although in poetry he preferred a sort of neo-mannerist/imagist poetry promoted by the avant-garde revue UNU). Because of some constructivist artworks from the 1940’s, he was declared a formalist by the communist regime and banned alongside most serious artists, so he resorted to making scenery for the plays of the Jewish Theater. By 1960, he resurfaced with works depicting construction sites and shipyards (though in his earlier style, and not in socialist realism style). Around 1965 (if I recall correctly) he starts his series of abstractions based on alphabet letters - from this point, he’ll gradually develop and polish a style that could only be described as “lyrical hard-edge”, using vibrant colors and poetic titles. Landscape at Eforie is merely an abstract landscape, but it is a remarkably balanced composition.