From Cluj to the world: Plan B gallery’s Mihai Pop on Adrian Ghenie, Berlin, and the rise of Romanian art

The gallery’s co-founder explains how the small project space became an international player


Plan B is at a turning point. Romania’s most prominent contemporary art gallery left its first space in Cluj’s old Paintbrush Factory and is now restoring a former mansion in the center of town. In many ways, the move is indicative of Plan B’s extraordinary journey. The gallery started in 2005 as a project space founded by a group of artists, including Mihai Pop and Adrian Ghenie. Ghenie soon became one of the most sought-after painters of his generation, and Plan B’s unique roster of conceptualists and neo-figurative painters quickly secured its place on the international circuit. The opening of a second space in Berlin was also decisive. ‘It was very important to be permanently located in a functional art scene,’ recalls Pop in this new installment of Meet the Gallerists.

The new Cluj space won’t open to the public for another couple of years, but its scale alone shows that Plan B has lost nothing of its ambition. The cavernous brick building will allow not only for the presentation of major exhibitions by gallery artists but also function as a research platform and archive for Romania’s recent cultural past. ‘It’s the opposite of a white cube,’ explains Pop. ‘You have to go deep into the belly of history and into the belly of the house. So it’s the perfect space for the turn we want to give to Plan B in Cluj.’

Plan B will exhibit in the Galleries sector at Art Basel Hong Kong 2019.

Camera and edit: Simon Ramseier
Sound: Thomas Rechberger
Production: Art Basel