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22 September 2016
Ion Zupcu is a fine art photographer who was born in Romania in 1960. He has recently shown photographs of his own minimalist still lifes in various museums and galleries throughout the United States. He initially studied photography in Romania in 1982, but this study was interrupted when he emigrated to the United States. In order to support his family who remained in Romania, he drove a taxi cab in New York City. After a chance meeting while driving this taxi, he was able to resume his practice when offered access to a darkroom.
In 1993, he began studying at the International Center for Photography in New York, where he was greatly influenced by the work of Ansel Adams. Zupcu's first project to gain attention was a series of still life photographs featuring flowers. His next significant project involved photographing small scenes, often as small as 1 inch in size, using a square format Hasselblad camera. Through his construction of these small scenes utilizing flowers, cut paper and painted cubes, and his use of light manipulation and silver gelatin printing techniques, he succeeded in incorporating abstraction, sculpture, and painting into photography
His recent series of cubes demonstrate the influence of 20th century modernist photographers, such as Josef Albers, whose work centered on monochromatic still lifes. Painted Cubes, which opened at the ClampArt Gallery in New York City on April 15, 2010, has been deemed reminiscent of the minimalist cubes of sculptor Donald Judd and the paintings of Robert Ryman In the New Yorker review, it was remarked that,
Alongside photographs of his own paintings of cubes, Zupcu shows delicate double exposures of patterns, in which the play of solid and ephemeral geometries parallels his deft manipulation of the infinite shadings between black and white.
In a 2008 interview with Chronogram magazine, Zupcu remarked,
Photography is not about the camera . It’s about the eye, and what my thoughts are. The camera doesn’t say anything
As of 2010, Zupcu has held solo exhibitions at galleries such as ClampArt Gallery (New York City), Studio391 (Gualala, California) and national museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Detroit Institute of Art, among others.