There is a poignant quality in Manuela Holban’s paintings. From an almost blurred and unclear background, figures and motifs emerge as from a dream. The illusion of the past – or the tribute to the old masters, appears through a modern language of painting. The images seem to be just there momentarily, as they were needed to be seen by the viewer. Yet this illusion conjures up something fragile and remote. Because in this illusion that Holban transports us, everything will disappear again as the magic lantern fades, leaving for us a world of timeless shadows.
Maria Pestana, Maria Pestana Gallery, Madrid, Spain
Manuela Holban’s paintings are sensuous, mysterious, evocative works of art. Her dream work imagery speaks of hidden secrets, of private emotions, of pain perhaps. One has to ask what is behind the masks, what is truly reflected in the mirrors. These are not paintings for easy glances, but for slow discovery. The viewer is lured to spaces open to possibility, to timeless, infinite corridors. Her palette is rich with whatever colors feed her. A brilliant conversation of emerald, blues and her trademark red. Forms hide and reappear, each time from a different angle, each time untouchable, hard to grasp. Venetian figures of other centuries people the canvas. Carnival reigns. Holban’s art is informed by her Romanian origins and culture.
Roxana Martin, Curator