Grandiose Glass
Victor Man’s “Zephir” Shines at the Centre Pompidou

It was like entering a chapel: the opening section of Victor Man’s exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle consisted of a stained-glass window with blue-green light shining through into the dusky exhibition space. Zephir was the title Man gave to this over four-meter-high object, his first work on glass created expressly for his show as “Artist of the Year” 2014. The work was made in Derix Glasstudios, where Gerhard Richter’s window for Cologne Cathedral was created. Now the grandiose glass work has found a place in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, as a present of the collector Rodica Seward in memory of her parents. She championed the Romanian artist at a very early stage. Zephir is on display at the entrance to the fourth floor of the Paris museum, which is devoted to contemporary positions.

Like many of his works, Victor Man’s glass window was inspired by art history. Zephyrus, the ancient wind god, appears in Botticelli’s famous painting Primavera (Spring) as an uncanny figure cloaked in deep-blue robes. But in Man’s work the mythical figure undergoes a radical transformation in which it is splintered into a dynamic composition of organic and geometric forms. Pinions and bones, stars and pentagrams can be detected. The work was inspired by the glaziers and knife-grinders that used to wander the Transylvanian countryside when Victor Man was a child. The nexus between modernism and the history of painting is characteristic for the work of Victor Man, who was recently included in Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition All The World‘s Futures at the Venice Biennale.

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou, Paris