Ligia Macovei and the poetry of Tudor Arghezi
The “Ligia and Pompiliu Macovei Art Collection” contains hundreds of works signed by the artist, made in various techniques (oil, mixed media, watercolor and gouache). While she is famous for the illustrations of Eminescu’s lyricism, her contribution to the poetic creation of Tudor Arghezi must be also mentioned. The exhibition “Ligia Macovei and the poetry of Tudor Arghezi” proposes a journey among the most representative works in the series of illustrations dedicated to the master.
Ligia’s work is impressive for its stylistic richness, strong color and accents used. The expressionist inclinations are noticeable from the details of her works ‒ the artist taking over elements full of strength and color, which give expressiveness to the composition ‒, as well as her ability to build images full of meanings and symbols through simple lines. Refinement of the technique and spontaneity are the qualities of his work.
Among the lyrical variations he approaches, Tudor Arghezi outlines a universe where he deals with various themes, giving rise to miniature worlds, parallel dimensions where he mirrors principles, concepts and ideas that he reduces to feelings, experiences and impressions. Ligia Macovei manages through her artistic sense and perfected technique to transpose this universe by highlighting each outstanding element of poetry and taking over the defining principles of the Arghezi’s style. If, for Eminescu’s poetry, Ligia takes on melancholy and musicality, often reducing feelings to their essences by using line as a way of raw expression through drawing, for Arghezi’s work she adopts a playful attitude, punctuating by using color accents the harsh, but very suggestive expression. The novelty and the strong contrast to the refinement of Eminescu’s lyricism place Arghezi on a revolutionary level of Romanian poetry,. This sharp attitude is transposed into strong images through the plastic expressiveness of Ligia. No matter how narrative, the creation is impressive through its color tones and contrasts traced in a playful setting.
Arghezi’s lyricism is marked by the thirst for knowledge of the world, through which the poet tries to understand the meaning of life. Ligia Macovei takes these feelings and transposes them through her artistic filter, outlining a world of symbols, crucial for the perception of the dimension of the Arghezi’s universe and its drama. Arghezi addresses various topics: philosophical poetry, social poetry, love poetry, but also the miniature universe. The artist manages to interpret it with a plastic sincerity, without hiding from the viewer. She exposes tragic feelings, fear, despair, melancholy through an expressionist line. She thus adjusts very well to the Arghezi’s style, as both of them refused to promote conventional beauty and traditionalism. Sometimes she manifests herself by symbols, other times by an overflowing and sincere spontaneity.
Arghezi is also interested in the surrounding universe, the world of flowers or pets. The frankness Ligia chooses in order to draw the elements and characters sometimes metaphorically analyzed by Arghezi offers substance and confirms the dimension of the poetic universe that has become tangible, by supporting it, the feelings being thus closer to the readers’ perceptual power. Illustration manages to give voice to the unspoken words of the master, perceiving the musicality through the strong accents and the chromatic harmony.
The exhibition plan involves the display on easels of 12 graphic works (6 illustrations made in ink with pen on paper and 6 monotype works with gouache intervention and ink on paper). Some works are more complex ‒ those where the chromatic force is glimpsed by applying gouache outlined with ink, and others are composed of simple line games. Regardless of the technique approached and complexity of the work, the artist manages to convey the most important poetic feelings. The power of expression is a witness to the undoubted talent and perfect technique of Ligia Macovei, a strong, sincere personality, who always manages to transmit the essences of feelings and experiences.
Cristina Ioniță-Măciucă, museographer