The fascination of Roman Cotoșman (1935, Jimbolia/RO–2006, Philadelphia/US) with the essentialisation of the visual sign advances a research into a language of form that becomes eventually notation. Repeated, placed in rhythmical succession or in tension, these notations determine spatial-temporal relations, and further create a reality in itself. Starting with 1963, Cotoșman’s engagement with lyrical and geometrical abstraction, concrete and kinetic art generates a focus upon the relationship between order and chaos and the transition from the sensorial to the spiritual in art. The constructive syntax of his art blends with an analysis of the dynamic experiences occurring between “the artistic structures and the onlookers through their active involvement in the reception of the visual message.” His work predicates a pioneering practice in Romanian art at the beginning of the 1960s, influencing the Timișoara circle of artists and friends, such as Paul Neagu, Diet Sayler, Ștefan Bertalan and Constantin Flondor. With the latter, he co-founds the kinetic and Op art group, 111 (1966–1969). After the participation at the Nuremberg Biennale in 1969, Cotoșman decides to emigrate to US and in 1972 settles in Philadelphia. His art continues the constructive and geometrical direction, embodying this time an impulse to work on permutations and combinations of elements, such as Tensional Games, 1970–1975/76, Decentred Games, 1979–1980.
Livius Ciocârlie, born in 1935 in Timișoara, is a writer and literary critic, a close friend of the artist Roman Cotoșman.