“The way towards wisdom or towards freedom is the way towards your inner being. This is the simplest definition of metaphysics.”
“Nothing grows under the shadow of big trees.”
“When we are no longer children we are already dead”
“Simplicity is not an objective in art, but one achieves simplicity despite one’s self by entering into the real sense of things.”
The K H Zambaccian Museum, part of The National Museum of Art of Romania, is one of the “must see” places in Bucharest. The Zambaccian Museum is located in the Bucharest central area, in a middle of a beautiful district of houses.
Krikor H Zambaccian (1889-1962) was collector and art critic with higher education studies in Anvers and Paris. He build the hosting house for the Museum as an exhibition area and donated it together with an impressive art collection to the Romanian state.
The Zambaccian Museum was opened in 1947, then closed during the communist period. After 1992 the collection is brought back to its historic location and the Zambaccian Museum re-opened.
The art collection of The K H Zambaccian Museum is composed of art pieces of important Romanian artists like Nicole Tonitza, Theodor Pallady, Stefan Luchian, Oscar Han, Corneliu Baba, or Gheorghe Petrascu.
Besides the Romanian collection, The K H Zambaccian Museum holds also paintings signed by Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Eugene Delacroix, Pierre-August Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Alfred Sisley, or Baptiste-Camille Corot.
Andrei Cadere is one of the conceptual art’s founders and also one of the most important protagonists of the radical conceptual art. He is also one of the artists whose reputation, quotation and influence have dramatically increased in the last two decades.
Andrei Cadere was born in 1934 Warsaw, Poland and died in 1978 in Paris. And France is actually the place where he become famous. That is why not many people know that Andrei Cadere has actually Romanian origins, his father being a Romanian diplomat in Poland.
He started his artistic activity in Romania, as self-taught painter and he was also sometimes picture as model for Corneliu Baba. He was also experimenting in underground shows all sorts of techniques, from surrealism to optical art. We can easily imagine that Romania in that period, a communist era, was not a favorable place to art in general, the less to conceptual art. In 1967, at 33 years, Andrei Cadere left Romania, continuing his work in France.
Then, in 1970 he gave up painting on canvas, instead he began the painting on bois. He concentrates his work only on one aspect, Barres de bois rond (Round Wooden Bars) that became a brand just like any other commercial brand. These wooden bars were “sold” along with a tag line that mimics the cash receipts from the store. In the conservatory artistic environment of years 70’ his artistic step was really courageous.
His Round Wooden Bar is a long pole made of colored wooden cylindrical units and each stick contained one anomaly into the system of arranging the units. His idea “peinture sans fin” (“infinite painting”) reminds us of course of the “infinite column” of Constantin Brancusi. His bar with repeated elements was so a metonymy for the idea of expanding infinitely the limits of art. The wood was manually carved and dented, so no one of the units is perfectly cylindrical. Andrei Cadere’s message was to value the things hand-made in his trying to oppose to the uniformity dictated by the industrial data.
Being a marginalized artist in his native country, Andrei Cadere was an outsider in France also. He created a performance that claimed radical changes in the order of the Parisian artistic movements.
He brought the idea of art everywhere, not only in galleries, he took his wooden stick with him all over: the street, the bar, any room or space became a place of exhibition; actually, he exhibited his art everywhere.
Andrei Cadere brought his rounded wooden bar at his artists friends exhibitions, becoming so one of the exhibitors. He introduced his wooden bar also into the openings where he wasn’t invited, somehow he managed always to infiltrates his bar becoming a “danger” for art museums and galleries. Sometimes he added a cheeky announcement to galleries that he and his bar will be attending the opening. His benign crime was the “scream” against uniformity, lows, rules … his form of fight for freedom.
“My art is the situation of my work in the world. It is critical of power. That is what I call the political in my work.” Andrei Cadere
photo : frieze.com, 9am.ro, produsin.ro, criticatac.ro
“Sculptor, painter, poet, and larger-than-life character”, this was the introduction for the photo exhibition of Laurentiu Garofeanu “Paul Neagu, A portrait” at Romanian Cultural Centre London in 2009.
Paul Neagu, an innovator in art, is maybe the most important Romanian artist since Constantin Brancusi. He was born in Bucharest in 1938, he spent his childhood in Timisoara and studied painting at the Institute of Art ‘N Grigorescu’, Bucharest. In 1969, during the communism, he emigrated in France and then, at the invitation of Richarf Demarco, came to London.
In England he started his career by lecturing at Chelsea School of Art and Hornsey College of Art, becoming known for his artistic work. After gaining British citizenship in 1977, he has been widely recognized for his input in British sculpture.
Actually, I saw for the first time artworks by Paul Neagu in the exposition “From Henry Moore to Hirst: 60 years of British sculpture”, exposition hosted also by The National Art Museum, Bucharest in 2005. Paul Neagu was presented there as one of the representatives of British sculpture.
The work of Paul Neagu impresses by the variety of materials used in sculpture and the capacity of surprising the movement in static composition, practically the decomposition of the move in static compositions.
The artistic work of Paul Neagu was recognized also in awards: „Tony Cobbeld” (1976), the award of the Arts Board Great Britain(1973, 1978), Blue Ribbon Medal (Kongo Hosyo) from the Japanese Government in 1996 and a Leverhulme Trust research award in 1997. He received scholarships at Arts Council Great Britain (1975) and at The Pollock-Krasner Foundation USA (1990, 1991 and 2004). He taught also at Royal College of Art London (1976 – 1986) and at „Concordia” University Montreal (1982 – 1983).
Many of his artworks were bought by the Tate Gallery, London where can be seen as public collection. Among others his works can be found also at The British Museum, Albert Museum London; Tochigi Museum, Japain; Le Fond départemental d’art contemporain, Seine Saint-Denis, Bobigny, The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, Le Musee Cantonal de Beaux Arts, Lausanne, The Philadelphia Art Museum, Philadelphia, USA.
After the Romanian Revolution in 1989, he periodically returned in Romania and in 1992 he re-obtained the Romanian citizenship. In 1996 he donated 140 pieces to the Romanian Patrimony, that can be seen in The Romanian National Art Museum Bucharest, Romanian Museum of Contemporany Art Bucharest and The Museum of Banat Timisoara.
Two monuments, art-works by Paul Neagu are placed inRomania, “Crucea secolului”(“The Croix of the century”) in Bucuresti and “Crucificare”(“Crucifixion”) in Timisoara.
Serriously ill, he died at 66 years, in 2004 in London. As Constantin Brancusi in his will, he wanted to be burried in Romania, his grave being now at Timisoara.
photo: romanianculturalcentre.org.uk, sculpture.org.uk, ampt.ro, flickr.com, fotografiievenimente.ro