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Exerpts from Romanian Criticism on Artist Dorin Baba


Listening to DORIN BABA / Val GHEORGHIU - (painter, art critic, writer, and columnist for cultural magazines), March 7th,2009, Ziarul de Iasi

As I had seen at Dorin's exhibition in "Cupola" Galleries a re-comforting emerging from self-that is from a painting of rare quality, in a somehow traditionalistic posture, in an alternative game, like so many others, today - it was totally something else.
Getting the artist's invitation for "Cupola" the phrase formulation "listen to your next like!" surprised me though not very much. In fact, the frequency, in all those years, when familiar with the intolerant totalitarianism, arts left themselves impregnated by the symbols of Christian Cult. I believed, it was one more, a sending to the creed's values, to Biblical spur to listen to your neighbor, to come to give him a warm shoulder.
On the other hand, not even the varnishing event did vex me, seeing in the new work of my valuable younger fellow - now a ritual one - to check up his expression, to make room to it, simply to stylistic alternative.
Some canvases were marching opaque screens, intermittently activated by small luminous or device sensors which set them in motion, another one showed two characters in jail uniforms then, shocking/thou not too much, small audition equipment, a telephone set, a magnetic tape, etc, However, surprise! A miniature boxing match in which two lads-not much younger than the artist himself-were miming the ring cruelties (Pythagoras was a boxer, wasn't he?)
Therefore this was the scenario from the invitation: Listen to your neighbor.
I was wrong.
It was only in a further discussion with Dorin Baba himself, in my studio from Armenia Street, when I realized my ignorance.
No, it had neither been about a sending to Biblical spur nor the supposed stylistic alternative, but amazingly, about the terror that we were being subjected to through ... through ... our phone conversations being listened to by secret services and not only.
I was actually amazed, Or, I think rather scared a bit we, then were being ... listened to!
I left my much-appreciated younger fellow brother to deliver his nice philippic on matter of villain listening and I dared, finally, an Omni-comprehensive smile.

Therefore,
As I had seen in Dorin's exhibition at "Cupola" Galleries a re-comforting emerging from his self-that is from a rare quality painting in a somehow traditional posture, in an alternative game like so many others, today - it was something else.
I left Dorin finish his philippic against villain phone listening and I confessed him that I had regretted for not attending the event that I didn't put in practice on the varnishing day an intention: to challenge Zamfira who was standing next to me to a second boxing round. It was to be demonstrative one.
Be it a ... listened to one!



Dorin Baba: Listen to the man near... / Nikita DANILOV - Writer, February 25th, 2009, Ziarul de Iasi

... "As I understood, the exhibition is a protest and a challenge as well. The protest has in its vizier the latest law regarding telephone censuring, chat conferences. Information coming out from mail stocking, by Romanian law bodies, SRI, CIA, etc. with purpose to prevent possible terrorist acts, economic and financial espionage, drug dissemination, prostitution, pedophiles and political blackmailing, in a word, the lawful chase that aims ay person and society security and safety. Intention is noble but where this supervision would lead, we still do not know. The memory of recent events makes us cautious. And then, they say, "hell is paved with good intentions"...
The artist Dorin Baba is the first artist who dares approach this matter using his available means. His exhibit is a challenge and an invitation for meditation. "Listen to your neighbor" he says, but not anyway; be careful for his needs and sufferings but do not trod upon his intimacy, do not enter with boots in anybody's life! If you dare do this sooner or later you'll get the same treatment.
"In the course of two hours the public will witness a unique experiment in which two paintings of large dimensions will be drawn by themselves, as the artistic act is un-repeatable. Unrepeatable in the sense that pictures would probable got fire or dissipate throughout the hall. I don't knot too much about exhibition itself. However I know there will be several telephone sets that would ring for nothing" for art's love, they say and also for art's love the calls will be stocked into the walls.
Dorin Baba is not at a first experiment. Contrary to others who practice arts without object, capitalizing their talent in sterile protests that account more to statistics or sociology; his experiment challenge our courage and good faith. His message makes us drill our existential abyss in order to realize who we actually are. Mastering to perfection the techniques of drawing and paining, he comes in front of his audience with something new each time he exhibits. In fact, Dorin Baba experiences in his workshop and outside it all the time. That is why one should not wonder that his art is tangent with magic and (why not ?) with alchemy. Visiting recently his workshop I surprised him painting through flames on the canvas His brush was in flames and the landscape he was paining seemed to be extinct by flames. Following the burning the colors on canvas changed their hues and the landscapes and figures painted seemed about coming from another world. Sitting conformable in an armchair I saw getting materialized from flames the aura of a voivode who defeated in other times, mounted on a horse and followed by a dog. ...
Learning through occult ways Baba was going to exhibit, curiosity pushed me to go to the "Cupola" exhibition hall. I glimpsed to some shop windows. I saw some chairs hanging from the ceiling besides two pictures of a very odd shape. On the floor there were lots of cables coiling like serpents or better tentacles of octopus. Looking at them I at once imagined a mollusk hidden under the floor. I searched for mikes but I did not see any. I neither saw telephones that possible follows to get fire with the paintings. It is possible we get on fire, too, probably and burn with telephones and the equipment in the hall at the same time, too as a protest form, certainly, so, at the end we remain only small piles of ashes smoking on the floor covered by half-burnt paintings. When the show ends audience will get alive like Phoenix from its own ashes pile and will cry joyfully: "Don't listen to neighbor! Not to get burnt!"



Picture shape / Ion TRUICA - August, 2007, Convorbiri Literare

"... Images respond to our need of imagination, man's primordial need" (Jean Casson)
The artist's attitude to image defines with clarity his creating orientation: either traditional commodity or the plunging into innovating tendencies.
It is encouraging to meet within Iasi the exhibition space paintings which propose new, courageous images, with stylistically rigorous orientation. Inspiration is the exhibition of Dorin Baba;s paintings at "The subterranean Galleries of Pogor House". A young man with volcano temperament, the artist discharges his energies in paintings of a striking originality. His painting, totally dominated by red, has a volcanic tension. Painter's experiences are defined by tension charger forms. We witness to an organic articulation of curve and counter-curve ranges with striking composition dynamics. The hues close as value, proportionate as surface lends a high energy to picture area.
However, what actually strikes most is the way he thinks the shape of each painting, always another one for each piece, tensions which become picturesque expressive areas.
New shapes oblige the artist to re-consider image, suggest us compositionally uncommon solutions, plastically in a perfect order. In some pieces forms are torn to bits of graphic signs dynamically oriented in the frame on rising ranges.
In Dorin Baba's paintings there is tension and restlessness, a seriousness attitude in front of life. Worth praising is paintings stylistic unity that proves artistic consistence and seriousness.



Dorin Baba and Form as Interrogation / Veronica MARINESCU - Publicist, August 29th, 2007, Curierul National

A year ago the artist Dorin Baba, from Iasi opened spectacularly at "ARTIS" Galleries with a well-thought form arrangement of scenery an exhibition of "Forms". The artistic world of our capital adopted him with either enthusiasm or with reserve. They eulogized or they simply got silent. Perhaps surprised by the atypical form of his paintings some hurried to agree that the geometry of his chasses may betray traditional square or rectangle in favor of one with steps and or some miming waves, making room to hard to imagine Arabesques to be given to frames. Well the artist's wish was not to "take eyes" by removing the belief in everlastingness of square or rectangle where the world imagined by the artist live to deny in a defiance elan the jail the canvas is subjected.
He inteds to unmask his soul, the way he feel, the way he thinks in order to prove there is mo rule that might fine communication between the painted surface and its limits/frames: that the artist cannot reprimand a creation gesture or mood at the time he is creating.
Learn that "lights", "gardens", "spring times", "nights" and "The soul Bird" taken out fro the whirl of his joys or adness, his inner time - other for each of us were brought on the canvas with hidden emotion and visible discreetness deep anxieties and thoughts flew in the air but above all dear drops and unreadable silence fell upon his unconfused world.
After a year Dorin Baba stopped at "Senso" Galleries in Bucharest with a new exhibition entitled "Ex nihilo"... The way the painter and his paintings have changed one may see freely, obviously for those having eyes to see. He carefully took the arches of the rainbow from which he opens hundreds of chromatic paths in a compositional non-figurative manner he imagined other and other forms for this works chasses, he deepened them in his soul warmth, making us believe they have been born out of nothing. Thou how much hardly whispered beauty in each plastic sign. How lucidity and stylistic coherence in structuring hues, in arranging contrasts! How powers of seduction for a simple "ex nihilo"! It is because Dorin Baba's painting resides in his force to transform color and its performance in a living thing: in interrogation.



Beyond and before conventions / Luiza BARCAN - Art critic, July 27th, 2007, Adevarul Literar si Artistic

Meditation on the great philosophical categories, chromatic and unitarily thought paintings by putting in agreement the shape with the contents born seemingly as if from some illumination - these are probably the qualities of a new kind of visual show prepared by the artist Dorin Baba, ... drawing the attention of arts lovers with the totally unconventional of the schusses he stretches his canvases.
The common rectangular or square shape of the picture, that human eye got acquitted since long ago is replaced by other non-symmetrical, surprising shapes thought to directly communicate with the painted surface.
In this way, meeting Dorin Baba amazes and surprises, stirs one to reconsiderate the conventions, carries us beyond and before what hid dens in the expecting horizon of fine arts lover. Nevertheless though at the first sight one leaves himself carried on by the thought that, giving a too much importance to form the artist, leaves to the second background the contents and its significances, a more attentive watch is necessary to prove the contrary.
The content and the form is puts on do harmonize. Attracted by the philosophical categories of Time and Space, by a certain symbolism of spiritual essence, Dorin Baba has expressed lately non-figuratively himself. The genre of abstract painting he practices is a very personal poesis, in an a parted manner of artistic expression of the signs coming towards his from the mysterious universe situated beyond common senses.
The form fatally limited of the canvas fight seemingly to escape from the frame. Just for this the painted surfaces are in a continuous expansion. And at chromatic level things are the same. The artist seems to work his painting in one breath without letting himself guided by prejudices; he put the pain with delicately but firmly leaving contrasts of any sort the right of maximum expressiveness.
There are artists for whom the creation gesture unfolds like a dichtung, probably like a grace mood that brakes them from contingent.
On their art it is most difficult to write just because you must come exactly on the same wave length with the artist. It seems to me that it is the case of Dorin Baba as well. I realize now that he chose to work nore for his painting just because he wishes that through contemporary art one can get closer to the great spiritual truths... Insofar the creative gesture bears inside the valences of an initiated path, an artist may hope to reach the highest point.
Like Dorin Baba's works closed in a given form, perhaps neither his way to see the world can be restricted or compelled one way or another. Do not fail this visual performance as a continuous confession by means of immortal language of painting.



Dorin Baba's Miraculous World / Victoria ANGHELESCU - Art critic, August 10th, 2007, Ziarul Financiar

... One of Dorin Baba's characteristics which stirred in turns admiration or criticism is the transformation of the classical painting into object picture through the non-conformist shape of the frames "The Ovoid", "Twins" or "Height illusion", e.g. the ovoid frame s have double meaning: ovoid frame, the two frames "in mirror" which can be placed either symmetrically or asymmetrically, the trapezoid form of the frame and canvas contain, if accentuated picturesque structures that take over or oppose to the object drawing. The technique brings about a plus of suggestion and adorning dimension simultaneously.
Dorin Baba, master on painting craft seems to think each painting for a certain space to model it according to its expressive functions. The Iasi painter's art, the artist's capacity of constructing a world through colors, a profound one with revealing glittering and his with to charge the image with philosophical significance. Baba's forms become plastic signs meant to equal an intellectual discourse on mankind sense, on its birth and becoming. And in most times he succeeds. At the same time, his landscapes and flowers confess on a direct and delicate sensitivity.
Seen in its assembly, the exhibition in "Senso" Galleries is inciting for the visitor by the many lecturing levels and festive by the chromatic festival the artist accustomed us from even his debut.



For arts province is capital as well / Veronica MARINESCU - Publicist, September 9th, 2006, Curierul National

Appreciated in our country and the world over, Dorin Baba has lived for the last ten years from the sale of paintings.
The other day I met at "Artis" Galleries. A happy painter, not only because in his paintings entitled, both simply and suggestive, "Light", "Flight", "The sky and the Earth" he projects his feelings, thoughts, experiences in an avalanche of almost unearthly colors; and because there in the tumult of his dear Iasi where he graduated "George Enescu" Fine Arts Academy 11 years ago, the space tender light and chromatic rhythms of parks and laic or cult architecture are deeper than anywhere else, but also because, like many of his colleagues, Dorin Baba has his soul loaded with and known the explosion the world descending from the perpetual flame burning. Out of the magma which brings to surface of the things seen and known, the infinite explosion of the joy of nourishing with the earth's gifts; of the aesthetic and equally soul incantation, of visual illusion and enjoyment. And of the destiny that lent him the power to depict his own things and world transparence from which he extracts his compositions blood.
Don't you think he is a happy painter?! He has all the time been said the he has got talent. He was advised to pursue the path that seemed to open ahead slowly, unhindered and without sacrifice. He took painting as a show; he deciphered slowly the sign mystery which charged him with freshness for his entire life - both professional and family. Dorin Baba's biography passed, however throughout natural obstacles of physical sufferings. There was only one step to go beyond this world. An unseen breadth saved him and became later the molding pot of his inner laboratory for image composing which he flooded over our world, between the somehow bizarre frameworks of his paintings. He works in a rhythm one could envy. And does this not for earning his living from the profession of a painter, but for only through it he defines himself. His art is appreciated everywhere in Europe where he is often invited (and awarded) in international salons. His works also traveled through Japan where have been highly appreciated.
Possibly the most revealing aspect, in relation of his works sales, is the fact that he has found his own manager. Probably this is also a reason for him to be a happy painter... Maybe that is why the painter understands better his own destiny. An authentic satisfaction, unaltered by daily strains subjects his own image on the paintings exposed these days at "Artis" galleries (until September, 12) wrapped in hues exuberance which open the gates to sphere music A regal come from the heart of Iasi Which is not lacking poetry and Christian thrill.



Inscription on a crocodile / Valentin CIUCA - Art critic, October 31th, 2003, Ziarul de Iasi

Let's have a look at the entire surrealistic generic, meant, from the first place, to draw one's attention upon the fact that the exhibition we are talking about had/has an increased rate of challenge. In a period when the world is challenging us in all possible ways, the glove thrown by our artist should be really picked up and therefore, the argument will surely end into a fraternal embracement. Dorin Baba, the painter, so much appreciated by his public and colleagues, with an external artistic experience acquired with an obvious success and, at the same time, not protected by other biographical accidents, if considering the order of a fragile nature, has managed both the varnishing day and the exhibition itself under the sign of a practical intelligence, enabling us to travel together into a journey having not any initiated ambitions, but a necessary intellectual complicity. His wish to complete things in a different way than other artists, did not push him under the circumstances in which he may solemnly declare that nobody existed beforehand. With an honesty that suits him so well, the artist states that the exhibition was generated by his deep reflections, doubts and dilemmas remaining yet unsolved. Like any other authentic artist, he searches different cultural sources and plunges into his own imagery, animating the static environment.
The pictures exhibited at "Cupola" - from now starting to impose the exhibition as the cultural event of this autumn - had the initial impulse in Bauhaus esthetics, in the ideas of geometrism and constructivism promoted by Gropius, Klee, Kandinsky and Itten, transferred in an Art Deco solution or an informal abstract. The visible contamination with such doctrines reveals the need to reformulate the idea of composition, of picture, as an expression of the generic type of visual culture. The picture's frame becomes full part of the painting, and moreover, it bears the ambition of a composition in its own nature. Therefore, it is no wonder that the painter collaborates with the sculptor, their relation emphasizing necessary complementarities. Showing a large variety from one picture to another, these artistic inventions confer decorative and symbolic virtues upon the painting. The show of a painting follows unforeseeable directions, marked by the bamboo's exotic suggestions or by impersonal items produced through the synthesis of the contemporary technology through the substitution of nature's authenticity.
There is no wonder that, under the aggression of this devastating crusher, the true artist reappears in the traditional culture horizon, where he awards the substance of modernity. A Bird will always suggest a flight, but also a fall; it will suggest a dream, but also a reality. In Dorin Baba's vision, the metaphor is included in the fragment; the truth is included in the colour spot. The polychromy, close to fantastic, of a peacock's tail, establishes a direct relation with the enameled lute pot, with the need of beauty that is, of course, essentially for the mankind, in all times, as a size of his sacred being.
Under the spirit of the invoked sacredness, the painter makes fine art investigations upon the theme of church banners, upon the eternal time that fatalistically sets in a human being under the oppression of ephemera, upon nature in the shape of lyrical geometry of love seasons, accomplished by the kiss of death, upon the betrayal or the call of senses, upon the ugly and cunning mouth imposing obstructions upon the noble word of knowledge. Behind the striking visual show, inciting through idea and resolving, it seems to me that Dorin Baba is more serious and more profound that he wants to appear and disclose to us. The explanations offered upon the world's piles do not represent the usual practice of the superficial people or of those who search themselves, seldom through awareness. The artist sees, he must see over such things, he must convert the visible into invisible. The great cross is grief or joy, is desperate fight or humble resignation? These are the questions of a spirit capable to provide fragmentary answers through the symbolic mediation of painting. The glaciation present in some compositions, the angular or softly curved shapes outline the orientation of certain reflections, with the intention of regulating the accounts between concept and expression. The invoked crocodile is reduced to the suggestion of its greedy eating, its saw teeth evoking ferocity and death.
The exhibition of Dorin Baba is offering a chance to be well bred, modern and Europeans, here, at our home. In the corner of the street, at Braunstein palace...



A feeling: Dorin Baba's exhibition / Mihai PAMFIL - October, 2003, Cronica

The forces which burst out asymmetrically from his paintings are bending the frame's lines, by stretching or breaking them; sometimes these lines are entirely cleared. The PICTURE, which is the object itself, becomes something else: it is not anymore the classical window through which the world, in a half-incurious mood, penetrates in our private space; the picture becomes the excited screen on which the painter expresses himself. The painter is not anymore the mirror bearing an illusionary depth in which all kinds of entities are moving inertly, but he transforms into a space of an excited confession, tridimensional and wide.
Dorin Baba does not rely on the petty picturesqueness, in the null and derisory appearance. He does not stick photos on canvas and does not collect aleatoric curiosities fetched from the large world (those who travel all over the world for touristic purposes consider themselves the world's conquerors!). As I have already mentioned, his program, genetically revealed, points out the expression of his being - his confession and faith -. The content of his pictures, even though it resides in a centrifugal state, will always crystallize around an internal vector (named feeling).
In fact, the authentic art does not allow you to do otherwise: you cannot paint the clepsydra by uniting the angular tops of two isosceles triangles (in fact of two arrows!) at the sand grain's level, without having the feeling that the time arrow penetrates you vertically!
You cannot paint the light collected in the round shape of an hypertrophic eye, reflected as it is on the canvas screen, within a circle, if the light is not firstly organized in a certain direction which seems to be the direction of your life. You cannot paint the depth of a blue color if that blue does not induce a metaphysical dizziness to you, like the ocean in which you dive in a dream, during an extreme experience.
Dorin Baba succeeds to paint the abyssal inside of the blue color, time and light because he is not only the energetic and ingenious master, proud of its canvases, flatness, impeccably drawn, without a wrinkle, on the complicated wooden supports made of various curves, counter - curves and right segments, but because from the very beginning, he is the painter himself. In other words, he owns the experienced meaning of everything he does and says.
Turned to himself, the painter does not live in arrogance and autistic constrains which should come out from such attitude. He is indeed very attentive to what is happening in the outside world. He does not ignore and does not refuse the suggestions and challenges of the environment surrounding him. Contrariwise, he really looks for them. The painter does more than that: he often works upon customer's request, painting various pictures intended to decorate houses and public institutions. Therefore, he must design the pictures starting from the existing architecture. With all these, what he owns in himself remains unchanged as he doesn't agree to sacrifice anything belonging to his being, to his natural essence. The painter doesn't accept any request for painting except that which fits him sympathetically and which doesn't destroy the sacred feeling of freedom.
Is there a more exciting feeling of freedom than the contemporary architecture in which the lines are waving and running in all directions, stimulating all kinds of perceptions, flowing outside the Newtonian physical field and concentrated in the pure wonder of sight and heart only?
When I refer to us, the viewers, can anything else offer a more exciting feeling of freedom than the calm-tensioned contemplation of Dorin Baba's pictures, painted in the shadow of Pissa Tower (a "post-modern" monument) or in the shadow of Sagrada Familia cathedral, which are wonders living freely, for ever, outside the gravitational turning point?



Without varnishing event / Val GHEORGHIU (painter, art critic, writer, and columnist for cultural magazines), September 13th, 2001, Ziarul de Iasi

Interrupting the series of the dull, vacancy exhibitions brings back to "Cupola" Galleries its temporarily lost prestige. And he does it assuming two risks, neither major ones, nor negligible: 1. He exhibits during a "dead" period when art receptors are in solar laziness and 2. He avoids the conventional exhibition as somewhat necessary occasion of express marking the event. (Out of my own experience, I know that it is not a good thing to calendar point to calendar, moreover, the varnishing event modernity has its own scheme: breaking up the monotony by whipping up our worldly stallions.)
It is an exhibition of a peculiar beauty. It is not one of common use (the others have been enough for this), but rather elitist, with a slight calophilic nuances as looks good to the artist when young.(And aged too). Dorin Baba belongs to an Iasi exceptional generation, the one which, perhaps, (if he honestly develops), will also modify - had he not already done it - the relief of local painting, it's understood, not a very common one, but necessarily to get drained from time to time. He has exhibited when even a student - and in a singular manner - and he is besides us, the veterans in annual salons as, very important, otherwise, his colleagues - circulate. He navigates on "practical sites", exhibits at international fairs, he is curious and temperate - and eager in joining world stylistics. They are motives which place him within the perimeter of well-tempered vanities, sufficient in themselves, anyhow, non-exhibitionistic. Hence the "risk" not to produce spectacle with his recent exhibition and maintain in an ironically acted modestly.
However, there is nothing of the somewhat Humulestean irony of the character to pass over here on the severe seriousness paintings. Conceptual and artisanal this here is the decisive imprint. Not a bit of tolerance to anecdotic as, the same, none to the ability at any cost. It is an irrepressible will to keep everything under control, to make no concession especially to denomination of traditional nature. Abstract decision seems - for the time being - definite and it fits well the young painter. Only in "cactuses" we perceive, somehow, hints to a suspected reality, and it is perhaps also due to a slightly escaped from under control gesture, a not too well controlled truism, but nowhere, in the rest of exhibition will one encounter "the heresy".
The striking newness of the present series - compared to the previous ones - lies in net modification of tonal agreement-renouncement, for the time being to older quasi-decorative temptation and fixation on a minor of refined gravity.
"Uplift illusion", "Eclipse", "the Sixth Commandment", "Gates", "Gardens", exhibition's solid piles though by titles seem to suggest narratives , they indicate, in fact, retina in the cleanest abstract descend masterfully supervised from above, with always waken and fresh eye.
Splendid!
If to all these we still add the special ludic availability of color matter maneuvering and diversifying (a painting is placed inversely, so...) we certainly are in the presence of an already inconfoundable profile.
It is only in Dorin Baba's power to maintain-un-tempted by perverting sirens - into a territory which he projected with so much ingenuity, and mind, he administrates it now with so much virtuosity (Let it also be without virtuosity.)



Painting - luxury, calm and rebellion / Val GHEORGHIU (painter, art critic, writer, and columnist for cultural magazines), February 8th, 2001, Ziarul de Iasi

The third episode from my brief serial regarding young Iasi painting takes in view now DORIN BABA.
My contact with his art has already a small history. When he was still a student and enrolled in the range of exhibitions from ex-Trianon, in Lapusneanu Street, meant to illustrate the seriousness of the studies in the Institute (Fine Arts University) I have stopped for a jiffy of my "reporter" walk in front of the paintings of the then unknown junior. Challenging, anyhow by a truculent though also pert assuming a stylistic option which // here it is now! - with the year passage, it confirms its validity. And this occurs not anywhere, but, among others, in an elite entourage as the first event of.
The International Visual Arts Fair at the Art Museum of Bucharest looked to be. When my pleasant surprise has just been in re-finding the same unknown from Lapusneanu of Iasi with his already shaped formal peculiarities on namesake the construction of apart beauty of the gallery. For me, the character (with a somewhat risky name in the range of his notorious namesake) he continued to remain as unknown in his biographical data, leaning me in confabulation imagination hands. And it was the same later on when we were, now on the same panel in the art galleries from the town whose pavements we both kept trodden without meeting one another.
Let me interrupt my telenovela here remembering only the stage in which, during the further two events of the same International Fair, we had already become panel neighbors and shook hands. Firstly, by virtue of the irresponsible temptation to search for man-work conditioning, I shall sketch out a possible phigzionomic pattern. Dorin Baba, the unknown, sometime seen, accidentally in a workshop photo, looked rather officiating, with hermit shyness, an ordeal known only by him. I saw a nicely modeled head, inocent-penetrating sight, abundant hairiness, robust arms, slender build, and Voronetz painter apprentice shirt, large not to grip his torso too tight during work. Yes, however on the white wall, one of his paintings producing the shocking contrast: suggestions coming, abundantly from a still grave post-cubism, freely distributed on the large canvas of him who would have been so fit to paint rather icons for Sihastria Monastery.
In fact, here, in this time deceiving man-work inter-conditioning the brand of the kind rebel is to be searched for who, mind it!, was haunting now Europe's galleries with his daring paintings.
One may speculate on the margin of this late synchronization with European modernism of 20th century beginning, with an accent on cubist register, or, maybe, on that of the later Hans Arp or Ben Nicholson, but what Dorin Baba works is more than a comfortable reporting. Against the harshness and not only once rigidity of the current-school, the Iasi artist counter puts a delicate modulation of treatments, whether the painted surface knows, above all, a trenchant limitation of surfaces, the parting line remaining sovereign and in exchange, the warm tonalities happily tame the whole. The dulled ochre accords, deafened brown, leveret green are courageously juxtaposed to them, exuberant pigmentation with red, yellow and more seldom blue. Protecting him programmatically to suggest possible identifications into reality, this elevated painting sustains itself through its pure beauty. Triumphantly, mind it!
If to "flat hues" we also add not al all secondary component of the saucy shapes - unexpected wings, bugles, frameworks arrangements on the walls, of ladders - we have, finally shaped the profile of this challenging painting practiced by (apparently) kind hermit.
During my visits - no few - in subterranean places I discovered sometime, in the famous cell of Pogor House, placed on mossy walls of cavern stone, a lot of paintings of a contrasting luminousness; they were of the then unknown Dorin Baba.
I recently wished to reconstitute that unexpected contemplation and, in order to challenge the doer himself to become again at "crime" spot, we fixed up a meeting in the cell I've just mentioned. However, the uncommon heaven of those paintings had been replaced overnight by the poetically refined elegance of the pub.
Were we desolated?
We smoothed our moods with a large glass of Dry Gin.



Modern art tensions / Ion TRUICA - July 1st, 1998, 24:ORE - Supliment de Cultura

... In 20 century there are many attempts to change picture shape, to give up classical rectangle and try to impose other geometrical shapes. In Romania, the most daring attempts belong to Dorin Baba, a young painter preoccupied by a new shape for pictures, a form able to harmoniously dialogue with the shape universe it enframed. In this way one obtains a picturesque image equilibrium with the new picture shape; gradually by surely the artist comprehends that the new shapes should have a symmetrical structure. The picture new shapes are to be harmoniously thought of so that lines should continue from one picture to another. The artist also comprehends something: he gives up anecdotic, accidental details that brake deteriorates the shape of the new picture and decisively projects with slightly curved lines the new shapes universe. When the picture shape is structured by triangles, the movement of the paintings becomes more dynamic and expressive...



Dorin Baba / Traian MOCANU painter, essayist and poet - August 12th, 1998, 24:ORE - Supliment de Cultura

Dorin Baba comes back to "Cupola" with a series of paintings which unfortunately a few have seen in the cells of "Pogor House". Has the exhibition been thought then for that space, it did not hinder the artist to expose in the only representative Gallery of UAP (Plastic Artists Union).
Dorin Baba became a Romanian UAP member due to his talent and consistent effort in the Romanian fine arts picture.
I once reminded that Dorin Baba (predestined name...) makes the face of a more special avant-garde in the context of today's fine arts. The strategy of his artistic discourse is too uncomfortable for many, "the poor conscience sleeping pill" finding no place in the attempt of manipulating the looker.
The artist's sensitiveness is whipped, aggressed and paradoxically fascinated by this reality today's politicians named "transition". In fact his whole being is engaged between these significant, antinomy realities. In one word, life as life, analyzed by an artist, becomes a cultural and existential response (a system to which few relate at the time), the artist asking himself questions on measure and not on "business-canon" in the mire of the so - called market economy. The painting itself escapes from under the constraint of the rectangular framework, gets out the space, becomes irregular, whimsical. The visual- tactile information is exaggerated, exotic. Cultural references from the subtext are rich, the place emblem defining an attitude protruded by a dramatic thrill; images are of a conceptual expressionism.
Dorin Baba belongs to that artist category that Hans Sedmayr calls "with significance" and with all consequences emerging from this "one can conceive valid art works of this type only when it is seen in the objective correspondence between visible forms and the significances proper to them, between the sensitive world and the spiritual, psychical one, between a sensitive figuration and the significances that are related to them through election. However, as long as such certainty exists, art tents to a new plan, to the same purposes as the old ones." In this sense, abstract painting that understands to have a significance which historically is an ultimate chapter of traditional art...
The so-called modernism is in no way a rupture from the past. Modern art develops from the past and will never be "incomprehensive", it doesn't stop, and its continuity is given by man communication intention. Dorin Baba is the answer Kandinsky asked himself "What the absent object is replaced with?" and the answer may be:" With the material theosophy provides." Artist's attempt to define his own place within the actual art concerto is easily understandable. Every artist wishes to come to reach the ineffable to which he can catch for only one second.
The fact that the attempt has not resulted in still natures with flowers and pots or charismatic portraits, but emancipated, non-object shapes and paints may be attributed as such to spiritual nature. For many artists's painting can be uncomfortable, their language being odd and suspect to them. We have to admit that today's occult and picturesque target is in a marginal position and the artist as well. It as if one said us, re-comfortingly: don't be afraid, they are human being like we are; neither can they live without contents and simple messages which, with some effort, may be discovered behind the apparent hermetism of shapes.