Chess, mythology take unexpected form in new art display

Emily Krivograd


The November 2018 art gallery reception and show, which ran from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, showed off numerous colorful, mixed media and print pieces of art. The new display, located in the Brent and Jean Wadsworth Family Gallery, features work from contemporary artist Ilie Vaduva in its 58th show.

Vaduva was born in Romania and began studying art at an early age. He studied mural painting at the High School of Art and then moved on to study graphic art at the Art University in Timisoara. After working as a decorative and mural painter, Vaduva immigrated to the U.S., where he now develops his artistic style.

“I started [art] when I was a kid,” said Vaduva. “It’s like an addiction at some point.”

Vaduva’s mixed media technique allows for the creation of pieces composed of layers of transparent oil colors and pen with white ink on canvas. While maintaining a modern twist, Vaduva incorporates surrealism and the extreme contrast of light and dark. The darkness in his pieces achieve depth and drama. Vaduva’s works have been shown in both individual and group shows in the U.S., Mexico and Romania.

Upon entering the gallery, it was clear that Vaduva played with the element of line in his pieces, as the humans and creatures were portrayed as being woven together in a pattern to create the illusion of the subject. These pieces showed mostly browns and greens, and were constructed with as many as 20 layers of paint in order to be finished.

A work titled “Eagle Pawn Trap II” sparked attendees’ interests due to bright reds and blues peeking through to the surface of the art piece. This was done by using a palette knife to manipulate colorful paint to create a bumpy texture. Vaduva painted his main concept over this, and then finished it off by sanding away the top layers of paint to show bits of the color underneath.

Vaduva’s other pieces were prints on paper, made through a process of sketching out the idea, carving the shapes of the image into lino, a surface which can be cut into easily, and is often used for printmaking, and then running the work through a press in order to get the print. The prints transferred onto handmade paper, created from recycled matrerials. The paper displayed a torn look on the edges, giving the pieces texture.

“It is the most affordable and easy-to-do technique,” said Vaduva. The artist was also inspired by chess pieces and mythology in his subject matter. 

“It was interesting to see a classic board game and mythology merged together in a fantastic display of artwork,” said freshman computer science major, Austin Jones.

The gallery talk, which concluded at about 7:40 p.m., ended with Vaduva informing attendees that he created prints for those interested to take home with them. The rest of the night allowed for attendees to admire the gallery or observe Vaduva as he discussed the process of making prints and paper more in-depth.

Vaduva has a studio at The Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago. For students interested, a trip to the center was offered on Nov. 16.