“The Hours / Memory Images” was Florina Coulin’s first solo show at Ivan Gallery, on view between 22 November 2019 - 31 January 2020. The exhibition brings together works from the beginning of Florina Coulin (Lăzărescu - the artist’s name at the time)’s artistic career, after graduating in 1971 from the “Nicolae Grigorescu” Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest and until her final departure from the country and settling to Germany in 1977.
Inside the exhibition, an important series of works are the lithographs created by Florina Coulin (Lăzărescu) in the Romanian Artists’ Union Graphic Art Studio on Speranței Street in Bucharest. The artist learned the technique of lithography after concluding her training in painting and she often employed it in rendering compositions with urban sights, landscapes and moments from her daily life. Some of them have been exhibited in international exhibitions dedicated to graphic art in Sofia, Barcelona, Moscow or Stockholm. Nevertheless, they have never been shown in a solo show, nor together with the selection of paintings and drawings from the current exhibition, which picture dreams, diary entries, personal thoughts and events. The whole body of works lies under the sign of “memory” and “remembrance”, this early stage in Florina Coulin (Lăzărescu)’s practice had been “closed and sealed” at an inner level - in the artist’s own words - once she left the country in the historical and political context of the ‘70s.
“While I was studying painting in Bucharest between 1965-1971 I had the luck of more open, brighter times, compared to the following era of political restraints. New horizons had been made available to us through important exhibitions, such as American Pop-Art, Henry Moore, Paul Klee, African Art, Tachisme from France and many others.
From 1972 and until emigrating I was able to develop a sustained artistic practice. For three years I had been a teacher at the Carmen Sylva Fine Arts College in Ploiești, while at the same time initiating the setup of my artistic career in Bucharest. After repeated exhibitions participations I was accepted as a member of the Romanian Fine Artists’ Union. A good friend, my colleague Ion Grigorescu introduced me to the Union’s graphic arts studio. From this friend I’ve also learned lithography and many other things on art. He was the guiding figure from our circle of friends, for whom realism and photography were of main interest. We photographed a lot, we painted, we reflected on our attitudes and our works, we exhibited together. In the graphic arts studio, where I did lithography and etching I enjoyed the same peer support and stimulating creative environment. Thus we were able to participate in numerous exhibitions in Romania and abroad.
But from mid ‘70s the political discourse had changed. The political pressure extended to the artists as well; since then on the subject of the exhibitions had been prescribed from above. But even gloomier times were lurking on the horizon.” (Florina Coulin)
Florina Coulin (b. 1947, Roşiorii de Vede, Romania) studied between 1965-1971 inside the Painting Department of the “Nicolae Grigorescu” Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest (today’s National University of Arts of Bucharest), professor Octavian Angheluţă’s class. After graduating she took part in national and international group shows (in Moscow, Barcelona, Sofia, Stockholm) and in 1975 she became a member of the Romanian Fine Artists’ Union. In 1977 she married Georg Coulin and moved to Germany, where she resumed her artistic career. She joined the Artists’ Union in Augsburg and she took part in solo and group shows in Villefranche (France), München, Vienna, Istanbul, Iowa City (USA), among others. In Romania, Florina Coulin has had solo shows at Galeria Curtea Veche (2006 and 2007, Bucharest) and has participated in the group shows “Ion Grigorescu and friends” (Mogoșoaia Palace, 2004), “This Part That Seemingly Needs to Be Extruded Through a Place in My Body” (Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, 2019, which travelled in an extended version to Cultuurcentrum Strombeek Grimbergen, part of the Europalia Arts Festival Romania, 2019). She lives and works in Augsburg, Germany.