INEFFABLE AND AUSTERE, FOREWORD TO THE DISOLUTION IN ABSOLUTE INEFFABLE AND AUSTERE, FOREWORD TO THE DISOLUTION IN ABSOLUTE DIRECTOR EMILIAN ȘTEFÂRȚĂ Cătălin Bălescu presents a distinctive plastic speech on the painting moldings of the Craiova Art Museum, in an exceptional architectural ambience. He tests another type of plastic expressiveness, giving up the obsessive sequential replays of his earlier period, the temptation of the cumulative suite, the repetitive repositioning, his perpetual recontextualizations, and reiterations of the significance of a subject. He gives up the spelled discourse, the determination to order and reorder a finite number of terms, in the hope of finding a novel phrase that will bring him semantically closer to the subject. Cătălin Bălescu creates, this time, aggregations of parallel universes, thanks to him we receive faded fragments from a seraphic world, unfolded imponderably in a state of assumed reverie, anchored in the certainty of a supreme fulfillment. We are as witnesses of a cosmic veiling in the devouring mucus that precedes a long-awaited and wanted absorption, populated by creatures quartered in an attitude of accomplished abandonment, which appears to be in the antechamber that precedes the dissolution without appeal in Absolute. The raccourcis, the plunging perspective, the overlapping light layers, made in an excellent sfumato technique, make us acquainted with angelic characters, hesitantly veiled in a general, unifying halo. They are ineffably floating, incompletely defined, in a densely populated space, a space governed by its own fantastic paradigm, part of a discreet, briefly shaped, and hardly perceptible universe. All this refers to the Baroque painting or the late Renaissance. The recourse to synonymous elements, Baroque language, is, I believe, not so much sought for a mannerist make-over, especially as a language solution for describing a gratifying state of lack of purpose, when you do not need certainties, perspectives, being abandoned and fulfilled in a special type of cosmic survival. His characters, many of them with ingenious allure, occupy an unreal space, continuing indefinitely, hoping hopefully the merging into the universe of knowledge and absolute truth. We observe how seraphic creatures, in a distinct realm, hold us, like condescending, under a vague observation. From somewhere far, we feel we are being examined, neutral, sovereign, distant and cold. His works, however elaborate, profound in their discourse, well constructed, keep the hesitant, sketch air, leave room for doubt. Cătălin Bălescu is an artist who encourages the subtext, with each canvas he amplifies the ineffable, certifies the metaphor, deepens the parable. At Cătălin Bălescu, the drawing is the nodal element. He constantly and decisively subordinates the color, we always find it seated, decanted and austere, even the luminous tones benefit from a type of weight that gives them a solemn, sacerdotal air. His canvas are a permanent invitation to the imagination exercise. The viewer, lacking in the attribute of reverie, will have great difficulty in receiving the flood of whispers, the multitude of shadows, the barely visible breathing of some presences preparing to enter the frame, or just leaving it. The description of the characters is done with the preservation of a self-imposed margin of discretion, the author does not crush his characters by detailed description, does not exhaust his subjects, dissects them to the last tissue, he respects them, as if from an overflow of decency, his own space to autonomous breath because the artist does not so much describe characters, as he describes phantasms, shadows, silhouettes, fancies. The imagination resource of the viewer is a necessary given in order to enter the world that opens up from Cătălin Bălescu’s canvases, because we do not meet too often an artist who says so much, tempering his temptation to say everything, an artist where the poetry of the canvas is accomplished of what he did not utter, but merely suggested, hummed, wanted and eventually just dreamt.