Whitehot Magazine, Online, New York / Kunstkritik
At first sight her pictures seem like something one should look up. Mona Ardeleanu paints folded bundles of fabric, tied-up textiles, hair and origami-like costume arrangements. She does so with virtuosity and in the style of the Old Masters. An erudite art historian would steeple their fingers without hesitation, recognise the patterns and folds of the fabrics, and assign them to their countries, regions and epochs of origin to offer a very clear interpretation: “This blue fabric is the type countrywomen would have worn during the peasants’ revolt in Russia in 1723. So this painting is clearly a major achievement, not only in terms of research but also in translating political and pre-feminist statements to the present day.” And were the folds of the fabric laid out differently – as though by a secret sixteenth-century spiritual organisation in Burgundy, perhaps – the art historian would be hopping impatiently from foot to foot as they explained. But here, none of that applies. In fact, Mona Ardeleanu says she never goes to museums to look at the Old Masters for inspiration. “Not at all,” she adds, laughing. She does have a few books on fold patterns, she tells us, but prefers to remain in her own world when she’s painting. And her approach is absolutely right, even if it does send the disappointed art historian retreating to their seat, hands in lap.