Nowadays considered a classic of Romanian sculpture, Gheza Vida signed his name in the history of art through an activity certainly influenced by the socio-historical circumstances of his times and even through a well determined geographical area: his hometown, Maramures. Gheza Vida is one of the Romanian artists influenced by the Left wing ideology. Born in a poor family in Maramures, living on the edge, having passion and artistic endowment manifested since childhood, he evolved along the lines of a symbolic realism that tried to translate into wood, the sculptor’s favourite material, his aspirations and his vision on society.
Gheza Vida really made career after World War II, especially through the historical themed public forum sculpture, through monuments dedicated to those events that changed at that time Romania’s destiny and that are nowadays socio-cultural landmarks of towns such as: Carei or Moisei. However, he does not remain a national artist, his fame becoming international, mostly because of the participation in the Art Biennale from Venice, in 1958 and 1976.
The art critics split his creation into two directions: telluric and mythological. The first category includes those works dedicated to some characters drawn from reality, people of modernist condition: miners, forestry workers, as well as the historically themed works that meet the guidelines of socialist realism. The mythological division, instead, appeals to traditional culture, from which the artist borrows archaic elements, imaginary characters that are, however, extremely present in the collective memory: the shaman, the water man, the werewolf of the mine etc. This secondary direction is the one in which the sculptor takes on a greater freedom of expression, stylizing the shapes, treating more roughly the working material and giving life to interesting totemic compositions, disposed in groups and destined, in their turn, for public space exposure.
Luiza Barcan (2014)
(Baia Mare, Maramureș, 1913 - Baia Mare, Maramureș, 1980)
(learns sculpture and painting with painter Alexandru Ziffer)
1942 - 1944 - Academia of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary (here she befriends sculptor Ferencsy Bèny).
after 1947 – professor at Baia Mare, Maramureș;
1957 – deputee in the Central Committee of the Communist party;
1968 – Vice-president of the Plastic Artists Union in Romania;
1974 – Corresponding member of the Romanian Academy.
1936 - Baia Mrae, Maramureș.
1937 – Exhibition of the Society of Painters in Baia-Mare, Baia Mare, Maramureș;
1944, 1947 - Cluj-Napoca;
1947 - Baia Mare, Maramureș;
1948 - Bucharest;
1958, 1976 – Biennale of art Dante Alghieri, Ravenna, Italy.
1939 - Horea, Cloșca and Crișan (busts sculpted in the camp from Gurs);
1942 – Peasant woman with basket;
1947 - Buciumașul;
- Dance from Oșen;
1956 – Miners’ monument, Baia Mare, Maramureș;
1957 – Ballad of Pintea (bas-relief);
1958 - Uprising;
- Round dancer;
- At the hay;
1960 - Harvst;
1966 – Monument from Moisei (12 circular columns);
- Old men’s meeting, Administrative Palace, Baia Mare, Maramureș;
- Romanian soldier (monument), Baia Mare, Maramureș;
- Monument of carei martyrs.
- Master Emeritus of Art;
1953 – State Prize;
1955 – State Prize for alto-relief Pintea judging a boyar;
1964 - Artist of the People „special merits in the field of theatre, music, plastic arts and cinema”;
1968 - Order Cultural Merit;
1971 – Prize by the State Committee for Culture and Art.
* after 1946 she exhibits abroad: Moscow, Belgrade, Budapest, Sofia, Cairo, Damascus, Paris, Bologna, London, Torino, Rome, Brno, Brussels, Hague, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki.
Deac, Mircea, Sculptura în România. Secolele XIX-XX, Editura Medro, București, 2005, p. 84.