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)

Education 

Master of Fine Arts - Painting & Drawing, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 2001  

Bachelor of Arts, College of Economics, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 1996

Work towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Art and Design - Cluj, Romania, 1995-1998

Recent Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

2021         To draw lines between one thing and another, Dan Beachy-Quick and Marius Lehene, PPL_PRJCT,                      Fort Collins, Colorado, catalogue

2021         Aerial Roots, Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University, Ohio, catalogue

2018         Provisional, Casa Matei Gallery, University of Art and Design, Cluj, Romania

2016         Variance, Whitney Center for the Arts, Sheridan College, Sheridan, Wyoming

2015         Under Construction, Chapman Gallery, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

2013         John Dickinson, Marius Lehene: Recent Work, Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, Colorado

2012/13    Random Walk with Drift, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado

2012         Sum Over Histories, Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, Colorado

2012         Drive Through, Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder, Colorado

Selected Recent Group Exhibitions

2022         Chosen Place, works from the 9th edition of International Art Symposium: “Arta in Gradina”,                                 Muzeul National de Arta – Zalau, Romania (forthcoming)

2022         Still Utopia, curated exhibition of “exquisite corpse” works, BoCs Art Museum, Cosenza, Italy                                 (forthcoming)

2022         Still Utopia, curated exhibition of “exquisite corpse” works, Hannes Schwarz Zentrum, Weiz, Austria                     (forthcoming).

2021         See Through: A Celebration of Literature and Art: Andrew Altschul, Ramona Ausubel, Haley Bates,                       Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, Camille Dunge, Marius Lehene, curated by Andew Altschul and

                   Sanam Emami, Wolverine Farm Letterpress, Fort Collins, Colorado

2021         American Canvas Repaint, curator Aitor Lajarin-Encina (DXIX - artist-run project, Colorado                                   and California), Wolverine Farm Letterpress, in Fort Collins, Colorado

2020        Still Utopia: Islands, exquisite corpse exhibition, Gallery MC, New York, curator Gorazd Poposki,                             concept by Simonetta Moro and Aga Ousseinov

2019         Form, CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea, curator Leejin Kim

2019         Art in Times of Anxiety, A.D. Gallery, University of North Carolina – Pembroke, North Carolina,                           juror Ralph Steeds, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina

2019         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

2018/19    CauseArt: Marius Lehene, Collin Parson, and Joel Swanson, Google Boulder, Colorado, curated by                       Chelsea Pohl, Sean Peuquet, and Ingrid Walsh

2018         New American Paintings – West, exhibition in print, juror Valerie Oliver, Senior Curator,                                           Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas

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