Mircea Cantor

Mircea Cantor - Galerie Negropontes


Mircea Cantor was born in 1977 in Oradea, Romania. He is an artist who, in his own words, “lives and works on Earth”. His polymorphous practice draws inspiration from everyday life, ingeniously using repetition, rhythm and symmetry to create powerful poetic images that leave an indelible mark on the mind. His works encourage us to meditate on our own freedom of movement, on the concepts of boundaries and limits, and on courageous but often audacious attempts to sublimate and subvert the world.

He came to prominence in the early 2000s with the film The Landscape Is Changing (2003), in which demonstrators hold up large mirrors as slogans. Two years later, he made the video Deeparture (2005), which shows the encounter between a wolf and a doe in the empty space of the Yvon Lambert gallery in Paris. However, his means of expression are more diverse than film. He has experimented with sculpture, installations, photography, drawing and most recently set design for Alexandru Dabija’s production of The Little Prince at the Teatrul de Comedie in Bucharest (2017).

For the Paris Opera’s 350th anniversary season in 2019, he was invited to illustrate the season’s various programmes with drawings made in situ during rehearsals. Drawing is becoming an increasingly important part of his practice. Since 2011 he has been interested in nineteenth-century Chinese and Japanese Zen painters, particularly the speed with which they give form to ideas and subject matter. It is this search for the prima linea, the vivid, concise line imposed by circumstances, that Mircea Cantor affections. He is the winner of the Prix Marcel Duchamp (2011) and the Prix de la Fondation d’Entreprise Paul Ricard (2004). His works are included in major international collections such as the MoMA (New York), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia), the Musée national d’Art moderne – Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Kunsthaus (Zurich), Collection Pinault (Paris), Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris), Rennie Collection (Vancouver), Castello di Rivoli (Turin).

Recent solo exhibitions include the Villa Medici (Rome 2021); the performance “The Sound of my Body is the Memory of my Presence” at the Greek Theatre of Syracuse (INDA season, Syracuse, 2020), as well as at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature for the France-Romania season (Paris, 2019), the Musée d’arts de Nantes (Nantes, 2019), the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès (Tokyo, 2018), the Fondazione Giuliani (Rome, 2017), the Fondation Francès (Senlis, 2016), the Rennie Museum (Vancouver, 2014).

Mircea Cantor has been awarded the Ordre d’Officier des Arts et Lettres, France (2019) and the Ordre National du Mérite au rang de Chevalier, Romania (2019).

The latest extensive monograph on his work was published in 2020 by Dilecta, Paris.

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