April through October 2011
Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi’s cartoon-like drawing, “Relax, I Protect You!,” was selected from five drawings proposed by the artist for this project. While the image brings to mind recent events in Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, it has been used by the artist before, including, for example, as part of his one-person installation, “What Happened to Us?,” at the Museum of Modern Art in 2007, to refer to conditions and events that have occurred throughout history and around the globe.
Until the fall of the Ceausescu regime in Romania in 1989, Perjovschi lived and created work under communist rule. In the past two decades, Perjovschi has become a part of the international contemporary art world, traveling extensively to create large-scale drawing installations for biennial exhibitions in Venice, Istanbul and Moscow, and for museums around the world, including a recent project with the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.
“His simple, economical drawings offer thought-provoking social, artistic, cultural and political critiques reminiscent of art historical figures like William Hogarth, Honore Daumier and the best of contemporary social and political cartoonists,” said Raechell Smith, director of the H&R Block Artspace. “I respect and admire Perjovschi’s sage powers of perception, his artistic and contextual precision and his capacity to distill and synthesize complex conditions into humorous but insightful drawings that have multiple potential and meaningful narratives. Protection can come in many shapes and sizes — it can be benign and caring or it can be forceful and malignant.”