Art Guide East, 27 May 2015
Timișoara based Jecza Gallery was established in 2011. The gallery participated for the first time at Art Safari in Bucharest. For this occasion we asked the founder and curator Andrei Jecza about his impression of the art fair, about how the booth of the gallery was received and about their further plans for this year.
Kinga Lendeczki: Is it your first participation at Art Safari?
Andrei Jecza: For my gallery and for myself yes. We (with my mother) have been divided into two and we also have a foundation (Triade Interart). It is a for-profit foundation in order to generate income for financing its programs, but it is not a profit sharing organization. My mother made a show last year with the foundation. I was a little bit prudent at that time, because there were no bigger galleries involved in the fair. This year it was a sort of impulse for me that a few other bigger galleries are participating at Art Safari as well.
K. L.: Why was it important for you to take part in the art fair?
A. J.: If all of your colleagues, the major players from Romania, are involved in an art fair, it is rather obvious that you would like to be there. I have to say that I like Bucharest and it is interesting for us to be here. Either way my mother would have been here for the second time, because she liked the art fair last year.
K. L.: What were your expectations?
A. J.: To be honest I didn’t come with any expectation. I knew before that the organizers of the art fair will invest in advertisement and marketing and they have some good media partners, therefore we were confident in that it will work well in this way. The other reason why I didn’t have expectations is that I know how Bucharest works in the sense that those people, who are coming for the preview, come only for the feeling of a lifestyle and collectors usually come just later. It is an interesting market, which I think is growing and would deserve more attention.
K. L.: How was your booth received? What kind of feedback did you get?
A.J: We had a lot of feedback, also because we had two galleries on two different floors. It was a good decision, because there was an issue with the 4th floor. Many people didn’t come up, because it is another step upwards. But sill, we had a gallery on the 3rd floor and a gallery on the 4th floor and both were doing very well. I can say that both were received well in terms of awareness. People have known, of course, my mother’s program. She didn’t make any big innovation, she exhibited what she brought last year with a few changes regarding to the artworks she chose. In terms of feedback and even of collectors it was a good fair for us.
K. L.: How do you choose the art fairs to participate at?
A. J.: You always try to target the best; it is obvious. For instance we have done the Art Market Budapest last year, partly because one of our colleagues advised that it is pretty good and we should try and do it. On the other hand my father was part of the Hungarian Arts Academy and he had a Hungarian background. Therefore we thought that it might be interesting for us to be there and it was. We did pretty well there, it was interesting and we also had a few sales. In general choosing the fairs is strongly related to the program of the gallery. Of course we applied for big fairs this year as well. I am not sure, if we get in or not, but we hope so.
K. L.: What do you consider when you choose the artists to present at an art fair?
A. J.: There is no recipe for this. I made a free choice for Bucharest and I chose something that I thought it wouldn’t work here. And actually it was working. I am contradicting my own opinion, because I thought that abstract art doesn’t really work in Bucharest, where the interest is focused more on figurative art. Honestly I think that there is no recipe for this, you have to feel the market. You have to see what works there and what won’t work. If you do a very expensive fair where you select the wrong artists, it might break your neck. It is very important to take into consideration the previous editions, how and what sort of art the other galleries exhibited before.
K. L.: Can you present shortly the artists and their works you chose for Art Safari?
A. J.: For the booth of Jecza Gallery I chose Liviu Stoicoviciu and Andrea Tivadar. Liviu Stoicoviciu is a historic artist, who was very private and aloof and he became interesting lately. He is in his seventies now and all of his works, which are on display, were made in the 70’s. We presented him in Vienna as well and we could sell some of his works to bigger collectors and galleries. He is going to have a museum show recently. We thought that we should try Bucharest with him, mainly since he comes from this city and he lives here. Our second choice was a very young artist, Andrea Tivadar. While Stoicoviciu was born in 1942, Andrea was born in 1991. They are almost 50 years apart from each other, which also makes it interesting in a way. Andrea is a young, abstract painter from Cluj, which is usually associated with figurative paintings. There is now a generation of young artists who are working with abstraction there. She was part of a show at Lateral Artspace, which is also participating at the Cluj section. Lateral Artspace presents those artists who were part of that show and who are also very young artists from the same generation. Andrea Tivadar is also going to have summer solo show in Jecza Gallery.
For the other booth we chose artists based on our previous experiences here. We chose those who are established in Romania and who have collectors in Bucharest. These are Peter Jecza, Onism Colta, a very good watercolorist from Oradea who is in the taste of Bucharest collectors. We also presented Constantin Flondor, who we sold before several times and who has an ongoing show in another gallery in Bucharest. There is Ioan Sbârciu as well, who is PHD professor at the University of Art and Design in Cluj and who has a solo show now in Jecza Gallery.
K. L.: What are your plans for this year?
A. J.: We hope to get positive confirmations from some fairs and we are looking forward for our shows. Few of them will be historic and a few will be presentations of young artists. October might be the most interesting month for Timișoara. An international festival will be organized for contemporary art, which might transform Timișoara to a hot spot for contemporary art in Romania and in the region for that month.
*Featured Image: Andrei Jecza, founder and curator of Jecza Gallery, Timișoara