Serban Ionescu: A Thing on a Table in a House
Serban Ionescu, James English Leary
Apartamento Publishing, 2021
This book is in itself a Serban Ionescu sculpture, its 68-page oversized board book format having been printed and precisely die-cut to mimic the rambling contours and dazzling colours found on the steel sculptures of this prolific New York-based, Romanian-born artist. It also doubles as a play, penned in three acts by Serban’s fellow artist and close friend James English Leary, who fully embraces Serban’s artistic approach and explores his ideas in a highly absurd series of events that feature an all-star cast of bizarre characters: Happy Lattice, Dog Bench Loaf, and Assembled Chair, to name a few.
Gathering together pieces from between 2017 and 2021, a flick through A Thing on a Table in a House transports you directly into Serban’s anthropomorphic world, one that straddles the ever-fine line separating furniture and sculpture. If one were to classify these pieces as furniture, then you’d be looking at pieces that’ve been overrun by some sort of menacing, playful poltergeist. Possessed, they are halfway gone on their transformation into something entirely unclassifiable.