Lunas lives in Cluj/Kolozsvar, and the work on display was made in the 1960s. Lunas belonged to an organisation called Atelier 35, which my Romanian friend tells me was formed in the 1970s, to promote artists under 35. Lunas is now 75 and, the gallerist told me, a very strong character, whatever that may mean.
I am always interested in textiles, as I do a lot of sewing and therefore feel an affinity, if that makes any kind of sense. I especially liked the enigmatic subversiveness I thought, (hoped?), I detected in Lunas' pieces. Just as the film Stalker, (indeed all Tarkovsky's work), could not allude directly to the Soviet regime or any of its faults, so Lunas' work had to remain cryptic, I presume.
Of course, I may be over-interpreting. Possibly Lunas had no view at all about the regime in power. To me at least though, these works - all made in 1969 and all called Identity Shirt - seem to allude to prison uniforms, and thus to oppression:
- things like this one, for example, which is by Dorothy Napangandi and depicts the creation site at Mina Mina, where the ancestral women of the Karntakurlangu Women's Dreaming performed an important ceremony:
These works by Lunas again bring some similar Indigenous Australian paintings to mind, although I very much doubt she knew anything about such works:
The loveliness of the next three is very hard to capture in a photograph. The first is a coat for reaching heaven: