Madalina Mirea, Curator, June 2013
Matei Enric work is like a novel by Boris Vian: he project reality “through sideways and hot atmosphere, an uneven referential outline, corrugated and presenting distortion, as he said about himself, the author of the novel The Foam of Days.
At the end of a decade of sketches, texts and drawings, in which the artist restore the approach of the medieval alchemist , we are facing a sad poem, full of a profound lyricism and grave. Matei Enric cultivate with a
default erudition a fundamental ambiguity. Henproposes a mystical vision, but nondependent on a particular religion, a vision claiming iconographic repertoire of common motifs to all religions, where each one read what he want. Beyond the tragic lode, fatalist, perplexed viewer is in front of its
work, witness a moment of grace. The deep silence and required for contemplation, reveals to them the most disturbing sense of this works, the eternal and universal humantruths.
Solve et coagula, is not meant to be the alchemical process that coagulate philosopher’s stone, to find the elixir of youth, or to turn a common metal in to a noble one.
Solve et coagula is that magical process, loaded semantic at the sources of medieval mysticism, where religion and spirituality overlay. And last but not least, Solve et coagula is a tribute to the artist attraction to the way of understanding the world of alchemist, to which everything must go through a lengthy process of, baking and making. Nature takes her time, nothing springing up out of nothing, each bud grows, becomes, evolves. After a long process in
which the artist conceived congruent forms and ideas resulted ten works, readable both together and separately, on the principle ofunity in diversity.
Solve et coagula is a spiritual approach, it is opening a vault to spiritual guideline that has to be related to destiny, destination, spiritual uprising and research to identify the
sense of becoming.
It engages the contemporary man in to his humble existance, fighting into a battle that is already lost, with time’s that flowing inexorably, obliged to fulfill his short destiny, a one-way road, that leads to death and
oblivion, passing through the burning of all …
Man, consumed by his own desire for life, he assumes his destiny passing in this world. Like fire, it completely consumes fuel which it is his source, in the absence of a
transcendent reference, this passion becomes your own pyre, burning of all, beyond doubt or evasion.
And although it is accompanied by anxiety, the consumption to the end of their destiny, approaching mans to Confession, as Slave, talk about the balance of power between dominant and dominated, in witch sensuality is non- reticent and essentialized.
       Death watch is about memento mori, so cruelly and abruptly, that no one outside of a museum, it would take home, to hanged on the wall.
Self-flagellation (the Second Skin) is in Matei Enric’s vision, but not only his, a form of becoming. Self-flagellation speaks about three stages of the same body, purified by suffering, with the veil of the thighs – a quotation of a well known quote.
Solve et coagula it’s a universal formula, a programmatic, immutable law. It engages the contemporary man in to his humble existance, fighting into a battle that is already lost, with time’s that flowing inexorably, obliged to fulfill his short destiny, a one-way road, that leads to death and oblivion, passing through. He cried out his fear into the spiral trumpet as the snake Uroboros, and is pushed before the woman who is pregnant (such as the artwork, grow inside in his own creator). They are surrounded by hungry packs, which devours space and time.
Around the cruel scenes, to compensate or highlight them, we find details of decoration of an unbearable refinement.

Francois Launay. 2012 septembrie, Agapa
The mystic is not exhilaration, but progress, and journey towards a certain light” (Albert Beguin, Poetry presence). With Matei the mystical journey takes aspects of walks in the past. It seems, at first, remain in a old time although it is terribly contemporary. Found it fundamentals, work on the matter, space, style. Matei invests matter giving his works the media forms they need. This is no longer a passive framework, it is an element of expression. His monumental paintings invest space around them because they can not be contemplated without being mounted and hung. They give the walls that magical mission to give them life.
Matei doesn’t make icons, even moderns, there is no religious label (no label at all, he claims his utmost freedom) but he describes his paintings of mystical and ambiguous, each being able to see his own interpretation. The art is a spiritual experience totally free, this journey towards progress which Beguin talked to each to see if it leads towards the light.
By choosing “AGAPA” as the title Matei emphasizes the mystical and festive of the exhibitions. Coming contemplate the works between friends is a friendly time, but a painting is always a feast. Works here go beyond aesthetics. They grow to a certain reflection and ultimately it is the spirit which is celebrated, of the artist of course, but ours too seeking to understand his work. Finally, during this opening, Matei invites us to a true happening which we are involved to realize that exposure is never a trivial experience.
He transforms our perception. Matei likes to play with sense and meaning. His works modify the space, material,preconceptions. Is this Phoenix representation of immortality or inevitability? In “Confession”, is to see a gesture of desire or demonic temptation? The ambiguity, obvious or not, the work displays the versatile nature of interpretation and a fortioria judgment. Each work has an element of mystery to find or to invent.
It is well AGAPA, where we are invited to this festive time, before the celebration of the spirit and the reason.

Madalina Mirea, Time Out, June, 2008
Large panels, of old wood, reconstructed from pieces, like in a giant puzzle, take over and distilled the Byzantine rhetoric in a recovery speech. Jonah in the whale’s belly saved by
angels, a masterly bird, a knight without fear and without blemish astride his whirling horse, a prince languid playing a horn, a flattened angel and a fish in a chalice, as many
reasons for tales that the artist narrate to modern man. Nothing in Byzantine repertoire is not overlooked. From sober and majestic colors, reduced to red, green, blue, gold and black, to the drapery materiality, and disparate fragments of indoor or outdoor decor that you will recognize from the icons, to the oriental floral motifs and gold leaf applied diligently.
Not missing the wings open wide, neither inverse perspective, neither figures in foreshortened. And no iconoclast thrill not pierce, and tired eyes against the grain he
may grant a bi-dimensional respite. Flattened representations, in the manner of Egyptian drawing, reveals, once again, the origins of Byzantine painting. The steep and ingenious stairs, leading to the basement gives you the
same restless feeling that you penetrate through the narrow corridor, deep in the Egyptian pyramids. It is a mobile bridge
thrown between two worlds. Cross it!

Cosmin Nasui, Curator, Romania Libera, 2008, June
The most unusual and troubling artistic forms of  representation of the sacred may be the result of the mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles, descended into a world of  miracles. The exhibition entitled “Gothic” does nothing else
that to demonstrate the power in which that”Gothic spirit” and Byzantine historian substrate are present in Romanian contemporary art in other forms than we are accustomed 90s neoortodoxism.
In Matei Enric’s paintings, pious atmosphere detached from the canons of the Orthodox iconography is swallowed by the
obscurity of Dark Ages style. Even more, some messages are from an unsettling world of a heathen sacredness. Hi’s works there are populated by knights, armourers and
possessed spirits that haunt bi-dimensional worlds in search of peace. The means of expression specific to the grandeur of the Byzantine canons are turnedagainst iconographic  content, that comes, most often, in a world anchored in the
present. The byzantine canon “evokes the prototype” and keep such way a high hieratism art. Exaggerating the bizarre
atmosphere, Matei uses as support of his painting wood panels joined imperfect, with irregular joints and antiquing. The composition of the whole, from fragments that seem to
need attention restorers, send the art of Matei back into the mysterious times of voivodes. Painting in tempera on large wood panels, Matei Enric combine techniques of the icon
with specific expressive interventions a fresco. Gothic style practiced may be associated with fantasy art, with the bizarre, the blasphemous, the mysterious and the frightening, resulting in a form of modern grotesque, wrapped and painted in a medieval calligraphy. “The holy crime” is the
emblem work of the attitude of changing significance that Matei Enric gives his works.
The sophisticated Byzantine “Religious” can be “desecrated” by the worst forms, rough, gothic. Applied decorative gold leaf on portion of the background, invests the bi-dimensio
-nality, with the dimension of brightness of the spirit. But Matei’s images are rather about the enchanted dark forces of bygone times.
Rewriting a possible history of “primitive” modern Romanian painting, Matei Enric’s art makes the transition from Byzantine iconography, to a painting of non-messianic
compositional interpretation, sometimes “heretical”.

A Symphony of Symbolism
A Symphony of Symbolism is an extraordinary selection of works that speak to us through their unique styles and unusual materials and techniques. In this grouping are artists that do not rely on conventional imagery, but expound their worldviews in their own individual terms. Beholding the beauty of these works and interpreting their meanings is an exciting personal journey of discovery.
Matei Enric’s paintings combine the techniques of easel and wall painting, creating images which both integrate and create an aesthetic environment of symbolism and intrigue. Enric draws on varied influences, including Byzantine painting and modern masters such as Malevich, Klee or Mondrian. The assemblage-like works create a scene by integrating their background: “Space circumscribes the work; the wall (the vital space around the picture) is inserted in the piece of work, becoming in this way an element of the composition.” The compositions reveal fluid natural rhythms as well as materializing a fusion between visual geometry and linguistic communication.
Enric was born and studied art restoration in Romania and currently resides in Bucharest. He has exhibited his works across Romania in both group and solo shows, has restored many works of classical and ancient painting, and taken part in scenography for shows in Romania and France. His paintings can be found in private collections in Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Italy, and the United States.
Agora Gallery, Press Relese, Octomber 2008

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