CRITICAL REVIEW

        He is one of the artists involved in the most systematic innovation of the artistic languages in Romania after the war. Formed as a painter, he expands the field of aesthetic explorations towards the three-dimensional object, following more than one ways to develop the regime of this ambiguous artistic reality. These directions are determined either by the relation with the pop art poetics – series of tactile objects, between 1972 - 1974 (Little bags, 1970 - 1973), or by the models of the classic avant-garde, with a Dadaist-surrealist source. His road leads naturally to installation, ensemble, ambient. In his case, remarkable are, on the one hand, the vast cultural span for the development, the ingeniousness of the cultural quote, the clarity and the promptitude of the data circulated with an explicit combinatory pleasure, and, on the other hand, a meaning for plasticity, an understanding of the specific behaviours of the material, a sensuality explored with refinement and humour. He follows a set of themes mixing different levels of configuration and behaviour – the most relevant example is the relation (very typical for the 80s poetics) connecting the text with its visual image (since Chromatic armonium to the object-books and the series „Tables for work”, „libraries”, „cabinets”, exhibited for the first time in 1992, within the grand installation-ensemble „cabinet - library”, at the National Museum in Bucharest in 1995). His position in the Romanian culture is that of an opinion leader, who formulates the principles of the creative freedom as determining and who upgrades irony, innovation and referential density to the value of essential artistic criteria. As a professor at the decorative arts-design department from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, he shaped many generations and sustained strategies of universal integration, of cultural synchronicity all along the periods confronted with aesthetic ideologies which opposed this paradigm.

Alexandra Titu
 


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    BIOGRAPHY

    (Limanu, Constanța, 1924 - Bucharest, 1997)

    Academic studies:
    1945 - 1951 - „Nicolae Grigorescu” Institute of Plastic Arts, Bucharest;
    1964 – Summer classes at Accademia di Belle Arti „Pietro Vannuci”, Peruggia, Italy.

    Professional activity:
    1963 - 1977 – Lecturer at the „Nicolae Grigorescu” Institute of Plastic Arts, Bucharest;
    1977 - 1990 – Professor at the „Nicolae Grigorescu” Institute of Plastic Arts, Bucharest;
    1990 - 1997 - Professor, dean of the Faculty of Decorative Arts, Academia of Fine Arts / University of Arts, Bucharest;
    1970 - 1971 - Visiting-professor at the Academy of Art in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia.

    Member of the Plastic Artists Union in Romania
     


    PROJECTS

    Solo exhibitions*:
    1966 – Arsenal Gallery, Poznan, Poland;
    1967 – Dalles Hall, Bucharest;
    1969 – Bauzentrum Gallery, Hamburg, Germany;
    1969, 1970 – Panorama Gallery Mesdag, Hague, The Netherlands;
    1969, 1972 - Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburg, Scotland;
    1972 -  Espace Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
             - Orizont Gallery, Bucharest;
             - Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland;
    1981 - Exhibitions and Installations, P.S. 1 Gallery, New York, USA;
    1981, 1983 – Art Centre Gallery, Bucharest;
    1985 - Arts Council, Belfast, North Ireland;
    1986 - Kilkenny Castle, North Ireland;
    1990 - Narrow Water Gallery, Warrenpoint, North Ireland;
    1992 - 1993 - Floor ¾ Gallery, Bucharest;
                        - Objects, writings, Artexpo Gallery of the Bucharest National Theatre, Bucharest;
    1994 – Romanian Cultural Centre, Paris, France;
             - Museum of Criș Country, Oradea, Bihor;
    1996 - Objects, writings, author books, National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
    1998 - Homage to Ion Bitzan, National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest.

    Group exhibitions (selection):
    1964, 1994 – Venice Biennale;
    1967, 1969, 1981 – Biennale in São Paolo, Brazil;
    1969 - Richard Demarco Gallery Edinburg, Scotland;
             - Biennale in Ljubljana, Slovenia;
             - Bauzentrum Gallery, Hamburg, Germany;
             - Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdenn, Scotland;
    1974 – Biennale from Fredrikstad, Norway;
             - Quadrennial of decorative arts, Erfurt, Germany;
    1976 – Art and nature, New Gallery, Bucharest;
    1977 – Reality and its forms of expression, Museum of visual art, Galați;
    1977 - 1978 - ART, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany;
    1978 - Study I, Bastion Gallery, Timișoara;
    1978 - 1979 - Roumanie, Centre SocioCulturel du Marais, Paris, France;
    1980 – May Salon, Paris, France;
             - Writing, „Ion Mincu” Institute of architecture, Bucharest;
    1981 – Contemporary art in Eastern Europe and in Japan, Bucharest;
             - Paper Caper, Frank Marino Gallery, New York, USA;
             - Triennial of drawing, Wrocław, Poland;
             - Biennale in São Paolo, Brazil;
    1982 - Space-Object, University of Architecture and Urbanism Ion Mincu, Bucharest;
             - County Museum Bistrița-Năsăud;
             - Gallery of Art, Cluj-Napoca;
             - Book, Museum of Art Collections, Bucharest;
    1988 - Internationale Buchmesse, Leipzig, Germany;
    1991 - Book, Bucharest;
    1992 – Mozart’s sex, Floor ¾ Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest;
    1993 - Objects-books, Amersfoort, The Netherlands;
    1994 - 1995 - Theme, National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
    1996 – Homage to Tristan Tzara, Bacău;
             - International exhibition Artist book, Vigadó Gallry, Budapest, Hungary;
    1997 - Experiment in the Romanian art, Artexpo Galleries, Bucharest National Theatre;
    1997 – Venice Biennale;
    2005 - Deposit, National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
    2007 - National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
    2010 - lemn.ro, National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest.

    Museums:
     - Stedeljik, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
     - National Art Museum of Romania, Bucharest;
     - Museum of Art, Constanța;
     - Museum of Art, Craiova;
     - Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland;
     - Museum of Visual Art, Galați;
      - Museum Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland;
     - Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany;
     - Museum of Art, Iași;
    - MOMA, New York, USA;
     - National Museum in Poznan, Poland.

    Distinctions:
    1965 – Prize for painting by the Plastic Artists Union;
    1969 – Jury prize, Ljubljana Biennale, Slovenia;
    1970 - 1971 – Grant-workshop at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
    1972 – Critics’ prize by the Plastic Artists Union.

    * also exhibited in: 1966, 1967, 1972, 1992, 1996 - Bucharest; 1994 - Bath, Great Britain.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Fundația Culturală META, Un secol de sculptură românească. Dicționar A-D, Colecția SINTEZE, Fundația META, 2001, pp. 62 - 64.
    Vlasiu, Ioana (coord.), Dicționarul sculptorilor din România. Secolele XIX-XX, vol. I, lit. A-G, Editura Academiei Române, București, 2011, pp. 66 - 67.

    Arte d'oggi alla XXXII Bienale (catalog colectiv), Bienale Internationale di Venezia, ediția a XXXII-a, 1964.
    Balcanii, zonă a păcii și prieteniei între popoare (catalog colectiv).
    Bienala de pictură și sculptură (catalog), 1966.
    Ion Bitzan, Ion Gheorghiu, Ion Pacea, Boris Caragea (catalog colectiv al expoziției românești), 1964.
    Le Salon de Mai (catalog colectiv), 1989.
    Salonul de primăvară al pictorilor din București (catalog colectiv), 1966.
    Scrierea (catalog), 1989.