Ioana Olăhuț’s exhibition “Hunting Scenes”, which includes works specially created to be presented in Iași, is inspired by one of the great love stories of the Middle Ages and the legends surrounding the noble Inês de Castro, which have generated original creations in music, literature, theatre, dance and cinema over the centuries.
“The works of Ioana Olăhuț are, more than anything, sensorial. They touch you; their story takes hold of you even before any intellectual mechanism is activated, and the world created by the artist envelops you without giving you time to feel the crossing of the ‘borders’ established by the paint strokes. And they do this while retaining the full force of contemporary, innovative language, creating atmosphere and emotion. The story of Inês de Castro, the 14th-century woman who paid for her love with her life and only after her death did she receive her rightful crown as queen, aligns with the patterns of today’s world, rendered in a unified chromatic palette, whose sobriety does not affect the spectacularism in any way, that is, in the highly personal, easily recognizable way of the artist from Cluj. The hunt becomes the subject of the exhibition, chosen very inspirationally by the artist both as a symbol of the birth of the great love between Pedro of Portugal and Inês (the prince fell in love with her on a hunting trip) and as a symbol of death (Inês was murdered while Pedro was hunting). But beyond the subject matter, love and death, or rather love under the mark of death, is the great, profound theme of Ioana Olăhuț’s works. And it doesn’t even matter if the paintings take you back in time, to the realities and myths of the forever fascinating Middle Ages, or if, on the contrary, the legends of that almost fantastical age are brought to the present, to be translated into the language of colors. What is important, after such an encounter with art, is what we do with our emotions, how we give this wonderful visual excursion a chance to acquire full meaning. A powerful exhibition, a great story in which, even so many centuries after its writing in history, surely each of us, in our own ways, has the opportunity to find ourselves.” (Lucian Dan Teodorovici)