Published by MNAC (2011)
471 Pages, 15.5 x 25 cm, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-606-8296-28-9

The ambition of this book is to bring subtler nuances to the dominant perception of the life and activity of Andrei Cadere (1934-1978), the Romanian-born artist who immigrated to Paris in 1967. In reflecting upon Andrei Cadere’s connection to his Romanian past, this book proposes a perspective which is in some ways at odds with the ‘orthodox’ view that has so far stamped Cadere’s international reception, a view shaped to a large extent by the programmatic dimension the artist assigned to the wooden bar, and by his performative-polemical interventions with this object.

The texts in this book discuss the manner in which the story of Cadere’s artistic trajectory has been constructed in time, establishing the place of the wooden bar (and its subversive function) within the artistic context of the 1960s and the 1970s and bringing to bear its relationship with minimalism, conceptualism and institutional critique. The investigation of Cadere’s life in Romania, within the political and cultural context of the 1950s and 1960s, offers some evidence in support of the existence of a hidden continuity that might suggest a connection between Cadere’s acerbic criticism of the artistic system the artist was prone to in the West, and the ‘experience of marginality’ he had in his native country. An important element to support the hypothesis of continuity is the concept of ‘work/travail’ – to be understood as an ethical-behavioral knot that explains the function of art as a constant existential engagement on the one hand, and as a generator of friction, resistance and dissent on the other.