Grigore Patrichi attracted attention through his professional seriousness, through the originality of his plastic discourse, through the perseverance with which he sought means to individualize his creation and to express as honestly as possible his artistic belief. By departing from his master from the "Nicolae Grigorescu" Fine Arts Institute, learning from the brilliant lessons of Paciurea and Brancusi’s sculpture, being attentive to the innovations brought by George Apostu and other artists and an advocate of the direct cut (la taille directe), he evolved to shapes that got him closer to primitive and archaic art, to Byzantine art and to Romanian folklore. This is how that simplification tendency, of eliminating the details, of searching for the essential can be explained in his works, as well as mainly approaching stone and wood.That explains the solemnity of many characters, the feeling of heaviness suggested by some sculptures or, on the contrary, that sensation of exaltation, of rising into space. Grigore Patrichi
carves just like the anonymous masters that gave shape to the Neolithic Thinker from Hamangia or that chiseled in the mortuary poles’ stone all the love and yearning for the ones in the eternal shadows world. The thematic register of Grigore Patrichi’s works is extremely wide.
The artist got inspired from mythology (Icarus, Narcissus, Bacchante, Sybille), from the Romanian legends and ballads’ universe (Manole’s Ana, Master Manole, Mioritic, Legend), he gave life to some biblical motives (Eve, Madonna with Child, The Ordeal series, Crucifixion, Martyr), he praised love, motherhood, family life (Maternal I, II, Offspring, With the Mother I and II, He and She - Teens, He and She - Elderly, Anniversary, The Treasure), he was preoccupied by the spatial representation of flight (Bird, Praying Bird, Winged Song, Night Bird), by capturing the candor, naivety and spiritual cleanliness of children (Faces, School Girl, Child with Flute, Child Portrait), by expressing antagonistic states (Day and Night) or metaphorically transposing in stone, marble and wood some ideas and feelings (Reverie, Gesture, After Bathing, Melancholia, In the Mirror, Bliss, The Nostalgia of the Sea, Recreation, Dance). The beauty and roundness of the female body shapes was materialized in the nudes carved in white and red marble (Body I, Body II, Draped Torso), in wood (Torso, Moving Torso, Teenage Body), in stone (Body, Leaned Torso, Amazonian Torso), while probing the psychology of some characters and highlighting their inner experiences are traits encountered in Scholar, a composition in which the details stop mostly on the expression of the human figure, in Prayer, Meditation, Wise Man, Confessor, Thinker all carved in stone, or in many other works which the artist simply names: Face or Portrait. With a feeling of profound admiration, he reminded us of men, facts and outstanding events in the history of our nation (Ancestor, Voivode, Tudor Vladimirescu, Heroic, Tribute to Unknown Soldier, Independence, In Memoriam, Union), he honored Romanian and universal cultural and artistic personalities (Dante, Ioan Slavici, Tribute to Brancusi, Tribute to Picasso, Tribute to Aurel Vlaicu). He did not even refrain from using some dramatic instances of human existence (The Specter of Hunger, Dry Tears, The Blind Man, Pain).
Manifesting understanding and respect for the materials in which he realized his works, Grigore Patrichi carefully searched them, he studied their intimate structure, he knew how to exploit their strengths and weaknesses, but, most of all, he knew how to subordinate, to conquer, to dominate them. Making use of their expressive potential, the sculptor shaped them as he pleased. The inert matter was given a new life. He resorted to stylization, he eliminated some parts of the human body (complete or partial amputation of the superior and inferior members or of the head). He did not generally depart from the figurative, but sometimes his creations have taken a more abstract form, without lacking in conceptual content. His sculptures always succeed in communicating a message, in thrilling and persuading the viewer. The game of surfaces and volumes is well balanced. In his works one can encounter surfaces of high finesse, polished to perfection, alternating with some other vibrate ones or with ones that evidently carry
the traces of chisel. He often interferes with geometric incisions. On many occasions the artist breaks the block of stone or the tree trunk, as the composition dictates him, obtaining a rhythm of fullness and emptiness from which he exudes a grave poetry of a retained lyricism. In the sculptures carved in wood, the lining is elegant, the shapes and the volumes are tamed and calm, while in many stone works we encounter conflicting states, tensions, intersections of curves meant to underline with a lot more expressiveness the artist’s intensions. Although small or medium sized, several works do not lack monumentality or the decorative valences.
Corneliu Stoica (2013)
(Dicționarul artiștilor plastici gălățeni, Editura Axis Libri, Galaţi, 2013)
(1937, Smulţi, Galati - 2012, Bucharest)
1959 - 1966 - "Nicolae Grigorescu" Institute of Fine Arts, under the guidance of the following professors: Constantin Baraschi and Andrew Szobotka, Bucharest, Romania.
? - Professor of high school.
Since 1968 - Member of the Roamnian Fine Arts Union (Bucharest Branch)
2008 - Honorary Citizen of the city of Calarasi
2010 - Honorary Citizen of the City of Tecuci
Solo exhibitions *:
1970 - "Amphora"Gallery, Bucharest, Romania;
1973 - "Simeza" Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (exhibition and catalog prefaced by Octavian Barbosa);
1976 - Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (exhibition and catalog);
1979, 1982 - "Art House" Gallery, Bucharest, Romania;
1988 - "Orizont" Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (exhibition and catalog);
1993 - "Orizont" Gallery, Bucharest, Romania;
1999 - "Simeza" Gallery, Bucharest, Romania;
2001, 2002 - Museum of Art, Braila, Romania;
2002 - "Atrium" Gallery, County Art Museum Prahova Ploiesti, Romania;
- "Ionel Perlea" UNECO Cultural Center Slobozia, Romania;
- Dunarea de Jos Museum, Calarasi, Romania;
2005 - "Artis" Gallery, of the Bucharest National Theatre (downstairs), Romania (together with painter Teodor Răducan);
2007 - "Gregory Patrichi-Smulţi - 70 years of life" Sculpture and Graphics Exhibition, Art Museum, Craiova, Romania;
2011 - Art Gallery, Focsani, Vrancea, Romania (exhibition and catalog prefaced by Liviu Nedelcu);
- "George Petraşcu" Gallery, "Theodore Cincu" History Museum - Mixed Museum, Tecuci, Galati, Romania;
2012 - "Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpăna" Gallery, Pitesti, Romania;
- Gregory Patrichi-Smulţi-Sculpture, in the exhibition From the Danube to the Sea, Calarasi County Cultural Center, held by Dunarea de Jos Museum, City Hall Calarasi, Romania (exhibition held during the event Days of Calarasi, along with painter Gheorghe Andreescu);
2013 - Gregory Patrichi-Smulţi - Miniatures, Dunarii de Jos Museum, Calarasi, Romania;
2014 - Gregory Patrichi-Smulţi - Retrospective, "Barbu Ştirbei" Cultural Centre Foyer, Calarasi, held by: Dunarii de Jos Museum Calarasi, Visual Art Museum, Galati, Romania.
Group exhibitions **:
1966 *** 1968 - Painting and Sculpture Biennial, Bucharest, Romania;
1967, 1969, 1970 – The Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of Bucharest, Romania;
1968 - The revolutionary year 1848, Bucharest, Romania;
1970 - 70 sculptors from Magura, Buzau, Romania;
- Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, Bucharest, Romania;
1972 - Painting and Sculpture Biennial, Bucharest, Romania;
- Extraordinary Drawings of Sculptors and Graphicians, Bucharest, Romania;
- Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of Bucharest (exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Republic), Bucharest, Romania.
2014 - Memorial exhibition of paintings, sculpture and graphic works patrimony Visual Art Museum, Galati (other artists: Georgeta Aramescu, Constantin Aramescu, George Apostu, Lucia Cosmescu, Bradut Covaliu, Mihai Dascalescu, Constantin Dimofte, Emilia Dumitrescu, Ion Dumitriu, Mihai Gavrilov, Marcel Grosu, Emilia Iacob, Idel Ianchelevici, Nicolae Mantu, Ioan Simion Marculescu,
Mihail Meiu, Gheorghe Naum, Vasile Onut, Gheorghe Petrascu, Camil Ressu, Dorothea (Lola) Schmierer Roth, Paraschiva (Pasa) Smirnov, Nicolae Spirescu, Vasile Vedes and Antonio Zumino).
1970 - Magura National Sculpture Camp, participating with the work: Together (rock), Buzau, Romania (catalog);
1979, 1985 - Magura National Sculpture Camp, Buzau, Romania;
1974 - Arcus National Sculpture Camp, St. George, In Memoriam (stone), Covasna, Romania, (catalog);
1976, 1978 - Lazar International Sculpture Camp, Harghita, Romania;
1980 - Arcus National Sculpture Camp, participating with the work: Scale Fruit (oak), Covasna, Romania (catalog);
1981 - Hobita National Sculpture Camp, Gorj, Romania;
1987 - Scanteia National Sculpture Camp, Iasi, Romania;
1988 - Oarba de Mures Sculpture Camp, Transylvania, Romania;
1990 - Valea Neagra International Creative Fine Arts Camp, Valea Doftanei, Prahova, Romania;
1991 - Soveja Sculpture Camp, Vrancea, Romania;
2006 - Bogati Sculpture Camp, Arges, Romania;
2007 - Pitesti Sculpture Camp, Arges, Romania;
2008 - International Stone Carving Camp "Durostorum - Danube Terraces", First Edition, Ostrov, Romania.
Monumental art works:
Together, Family, Sign Final (stone, works produced at the Magura National Sculpture Camp in the three editionin which he participated in);
Pennants (stone); Scale Fruit (wood, paper made in Arcus National Sculpture Camp);
Fruit of the Earth (rock); Rest (travertine Borsec) (works produced at the Lazar International Sculpture Camp);
Mioritic (rock, work produced at the Hobita National Sculpture Camp);
Dialog (rock, work produced at the Scanteia Sculpture Camp);
In Memoriam (rock, work produced at the Oarba de Mures Sculpture Camp);
Meditation (wood, work produced at the Valea Neagra International Creative Fine Arts Camp);
Vibration, Resonance (wood, work produced at the Soveja Sculpture Camp).
Works in public collections:
Art Museum, Braila, Romania (works donated by the artist);
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania;
Art Museum, Craiova, Romania;
"Theodore Cincu" History Museum in Tecuci, Romania (works donated by the artist);
Dunarii de Jos Museum in Calarasi, Romania (works donated by the artist);
"Ion Ionescu-Quintus" Art Museum in Ploiesti, Romania (works donated by the artist);
Arges County Museum, Romania (works donated by the artist).
Work in public and private collections in Romania, Austria, Switzerland, France, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands.
Awards and honors:
1970 - Award for Collective Sculpture by the Romanian Fine Arts for the Magura National Sculpture Camp participants in 1970.
* He is a regular participant to the annual, biennial, municipal and homage exhibitions.
* Solo exhibitions: 2001, 2005 - Galati, Romania; 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012 - Calarasi, Romania; 2003, 2010, 2011 - Tecumseh, Galati, Romania; 2004 - Slobozia, Constanta, Romania; 2005 - Montreal, Bucharest, Romania; 2006 - Pitesti, Romania; 2012 - Ploiesti, Romania.
** International Group Exhibitions: 1986 - Germany (FRG); 1988 - Germany (R.D.G.); 1989 - U.R.S.S.
*** 1966 - debut artist.
Stoica, Corneliu, The Dictionary of Fine Arts Artists of Galati, Axis Libri Publishing, Galaţi, 2013.
Vlasiu, Ioana (eds.), Dictionary of Sculptors in Romania. XIX - XX, vol. II, letter H - Z, Romanian Academy Publishing, Bucharest, 2011, p. 204-205.
Barbosa, Octavian, Dictionary of Contemporary Romanian Artists, Meridiane Publishing, Bucharest, 1976.
Ciucă Valentin, A Century of Fine Arts in Moldova, ART XXI Publishing, Iaşi, 2005.
Ciucă Valentin, A Century of Fine Arts in Bucovina, Article XXI Publishing, Iasi, 2009.
Ciucă Valentin, Ilustrated Dictionary of Fine Arts ofMoldova 1800-2010, Art XXI Publishing, Iasi, 2011.
Deac, Mircea, Sculpture in Romania, XIX – XX, Medro Publishing, Bucharest, 2005.
Stoica, Cornelius, Artistic Identity, Alma, Galaţi, 2004.
Stoica, Cornelius, Confortable Meetings, Synthesis Publishing, Galaţi, 2007.
Străchinaru, Petre, Contemporary Monumental Art in Covasna County, Cultural Center Arcus, 1998, p. 34.
Serban, Dumitru, Serban, Dumitru, The Scupture Symposium a Phenomenon of Contemporary art, University of the West, Timisoara 2005, pp. 83, 90, 96.