Something  fresh and cheerful from Bucharest



The exhibition Us 2 | about STORIES and THE MECHANICS OF WOOD presents, in tandem, two authors whose passion for stories and fantastic characters is translated into illustrative graphic techniques by Anca Smărăndache and into three-dimensional kinetic objects by Petre Staicu.

Located mostly in the dreamlike area, Anca Smărăndache‘s illustrations have as a starting point works from the sphere of literature, passed through the filters of their own preoccupations, constantly appealing to the props of personal memories from which they insert assumed fragments.  Selected from extensive illustration projects and presented to the public, mostly for the first time, Anca Smărăndache’s work invites the public to read and admire. The representations, meticulously made, are introduced in a fantastic complex imaginary, transposed into mixed techniques, pictorial and graphic. Concerned with the rendering of sensations and feelings, with the search for the meanings that each plastic gesture evokes, the works reveal the author’s desire to investigate, discover and render in a plastic, expressive way, her own answers. Anca Smărăndache inserts with the precision of a watchmaker seemingly small components, which have a functional and descriptive role, invested with symbolic connotations, meant to corroborate for the harmonious functioning of the whole. Becoming a central theme in Anca Smărăndache’s creation, the representation of books returns in compositions as a symbol of reading, alongside human characters, fantastic, personified birds, designed against the background of plant settings or domestic environments.

Petre Staicu‘s exhibits can be classified as kinetic sculptures, rounds-bumps, objects, or assemblies, depending on the number of inserted components: metal rods, levers, screws, and nails. The eighteen works are an integral part of the Automatonia project, the name based on the Greek word automaton – one of the earliest forms of mechanical engineering, a term used to describe non-electrical mechanisms or, in this case, carved figurines moving, generally by simply rotating a crank. Each automaton illustrates this time three-dimensionally more than a handmade, unique character. Obtained over two decades in the position of set designer for theatre and cinema, graphic designer and sculptor, the author’s accumulations are easily noticeable when you look at the works. Sculpted with particular features and distinct individualities, Petre Staicu’s characters are presented in a context, in a narrative framework suggested by the presence of architectural elements, pieces of furniture, birds, in which the action happens through your own participation – not only introspectively, but also concretely. By turning a crank or opening a drawer, you go through another stage of the story, discover the clues and you are challenged to find out the meaning directed most of the time, with humour, by Petre Staicu.

The exhibition is open to the public, starting with Wednesday, February 16, between 11.00 and 18.00, from Monday to Friday, in compliance with all the provisions that are required in the state of alert. Access is free.

More details on the Elite Art Gallery exhibition series are available on our Facebook  and on

Elite Art Gallery aims to promote contemporary artists, by organizing extensive cultural projects, which expose the public to new forms of artistic expression, innovative approaches to contemporary art, as well as values ​​already established. The association implements projects in the field of visual arts, music, but also educational projects.

Elite Art Gallery –  from  February 16th to March 16th 2022

3-5 United Nation Square, B2 Building, Ground Floor, Bucharest