ARTS & LEISURE

Maramures rugs on display in Washington and New York

An exhibition featuring traditional Maramures rugs, woven by Victoria Berbecaru, and Mircea Cantor’s “flying carpet” opens today, at La Maison Française in Washing­ton D.C and at the Romania Cultural Institute in New York. The exhibition is part of the International Festival of La Francophonie taking place in the US.


The exhibition was initiated and curated by visual artist Mircea Cantor, known for his works which are fraught with subtle commentaries on the state of contemporary society. His approach is not an ethnographer’s or anthropologist’s one. The object of the exhibition is not to document, but to underline the authenticity of this art, to give the beholders a chance to admire and enjoy the beauty of these artefacts.
Traditional crafts are still very much alive in the Maramures area. Pottery, wood carving and weaving are genuine, day-to-day, activities of the locals. This exhibition includes some of the finest rugs woven by Victoria Berbecaru in the past four decades, some of which are still in use in the local church.


Mircea Cantor is a visual artist who rose to international attention thanks to his subtle commentaries on contemporary society, couched in the most varied media: video, animation, sculpture, drawing, painting and installations. Cantor’s works are included in prestigious collections, such as the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, MoMA, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museum Abtei­berg, Monchengladbach, Ger­many. Victoria Berbecaru, one of the most accomplished weavers in Maramures, contributed to resurrecting the rug-weaving tradition in the 1970s, when she moved to the village Botiza, in Maramures. Alongside the older weavers in the village, she started recording the ancient techniques of plant-based dyeing and traditional motifs, many of which were slowly dying out. She has kept this tradition for over four decades, contributing to creating a new generation of weavers.


The exhibition is organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and the Romanian Embassy in the United States and is running until April 15.

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