Marius Lehene is a Romanian-born visual artist active in the United States and internationally. He currently teaches in the Department of Art and Art History at Colorado State University.
"The state of double-consciousness manifests itself through apparent inconsistencies. [...] Lehene’s art draws significance from the temporary suspension between two states, two places, two time zones and two cultural positionings, which speak of his experiences as a contemporary voyager, perpetually en route, having his senses poked by both the unfamiliar and the recognizable. [...] This approach seems incongruous with his aspiration to construct, to build more substantial structures [...]. His preoccupation with the temporary also seems ill fitting when it comes to his attempt to dig out biographical and cultural archaeologies and lay them at the foundation of identity constructions.
And yet, this apparent mismatch coalesces into a coherent edifice. What starts as ephemeral buries down into the primordial stratum and retransforms it. Layer upon layer and structure upon structure slowly assemble a personal history as part of a larger social narrative. The individual and the world interconnect through presences and absences. Assemblages such as these require an archaeological investigation, though which the artist attempts to stem the inevitable liquidity (to use Zygmund Bauman’s term) of postmodern identity constructions.
There is no fixed home, no clear destination [...]" (R. Trandafoiu)
"Art is always political and the most powerful kind of politics is identity. It seems we cannot be in the world without perpetually interrogating our presence and condition. Lehene is no exception. He adopts a certain critical distance from reality as the object of his attentions, while also immersing himself in the here and now. In other words, he is able to act concomitantly as a subject and as the object of his own reflection, as both a performer and a narrator of that performance. This capability comes with the artistic territory. Lehene explains that at some level “all committed artists are somewhat distanced even from the society they were born in”. As a result, artists become inherent political subjects, ideally positioned to speak out with Cioranian acuity." (R. Trandafoiu)
MFA - Painting & Drawing, Southern Methodist University
BA - Economics, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
Work towards a BFA - University of Art and Design - Cluj, Romania
Recent Personal Exhibitions
Transitions, Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University, Ohio (forthcoming)
Provisional, Casa Matei Gallery, University of Art and Design, Cluj, Romania
Variance, Whitney Center for the Arts, Sheridan College, Sheridan, Wyoming
Under Construction, Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Random Walk with Drift, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado
Sum Over Histories, Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, Colorado
Recent Group Exhibitions
Still Utopia: Islands, Gallery MC, New York, curator Gorazd Poposki, concept by Simonetta Moro and Aga Ousseinov
Form, CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea, curator Leejin Kim
Art in Times of Anxiety, A.D. Gallery, University of North Carolina – Pembroke, North Carolina, juror Ralph Steeds, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina
PaperWest, Gittins Gallery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, curator Judith Brodsky, founder of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, co-founder Rutgers Center for Women in Arts and Humanities
New American Paintings – West, exhibition in print, juror Valerie Oliver, Senior Curator, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas