FEATURED ARTIST: IOAN IACOB

IOAN IACOB was born in 1954 in Romania. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Düsseldorf with Professor Gothard Graubner. In 1981, he was awarded the Fine Arts Prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation and in 1982 the Max Ernst Scholarship of the town Brühl (Germany). In 2005, he partipated at Artist’s Village Ein Hod on invitation by the Town of Düsseldorf. He lives and works in Germany.

He has had solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries in Germany, Belgium, France, United States, Israel and Romania. Among his most recent exhibitions are: at The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu;The Mogosoaia Palace,Foisor, Bucharest; The National Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca (in 2007) and in 2005 at Artist’s Village Ein Hod, Israel; The Contemporary Art Gallery, Haifa, Israel, etc.

PAINTING MENU

“We live in the times of the image / state of mind which causes not only the type of emotion that is to be evoked but also the type of attitude that is to be taken. Without being phsycally involved, Ioan Iacob forces this apparently causal connexion between image and object. The painting gains new visual and social codes. Everything is literal, concrete, true. There is a feeling of protective tenderness. A world enjoying its peace. Ioan Iacob will not recognise the fatal risks of the utopia. However, he adjusts the reality according to his own theories.

Ioan Iacob’s painting is a perfect example of adjusting the data to an idea. The premature innocence is a memory or, better said, a digression.

By Ioan Iacob

By Ioan Iacob

Ioan Iacob has his own, quite far-seeing.conceptual system. He enjoys every day life. And thanks to it, he regains all that is hidden. The legitimacy of the elements of the interior space. The painting menu is almost classical: portrait, static nature, landscape.

Almost in a classical way, the painting is reduced to the constituent elements: ground, texture, colour, brush stroke… Ioan Iacob is always enaged in a fresh relation with the canvas. When he starts a painting, he automatically organizes the visual data of our reality. Strangely, he organizes them in individual graphical worlds.

Ioan Iacob helps us clarify the relation we have with the visual objects. He imposes a place, a situation, a wanted life- style…our very own existence.

By Ioan Iacob

By Ioan Iacob

By unlocking or turning abstract the reality, the painting gains a hidden language that is unknown to us: luminosity and the beginning of the story. One is not always sure whether the luminosity is the fiction or if the beginning of the story is the truth. Actually, the luminosity and the beginning of the story contain a bit of them both.”

Liviana Dan

THE SOLITUDE OF THE OBJECTS

“In the fall of 2007, at Sibiu, the town elected European Capital of Culture, Ioan Iacob has been invited to hold a solo exhibition, the third of the artist’s solo shows in Romania. The Brukenthal Museum will be the host of his paintings.

As each one man’s show, bearing the signature of Ioan Iacob, this will also be structured upon two strong coordinates: an exhibition of recent works, a particular chapter of the painter’s existence, and at the same time, the attempt of communicating openly with a public prepared to receive contemporary art in all its dimensions and with all its variety.
The Sibiu exhibition has been conceived as a unique visual show, in the sense of its situation in space and time, being centered on the impressive trypthic with the painter’s self- portraits, as the center of irradiating a singular graphic confession. Along with all the other self-portraits exposed, this trypthic also avows without hesitation the terrible need of the painter to live in communion with the art he creates.

By Ioan Iacob

By Ioan Iacob

The self-portrait of the painter seems to be dissolving itself in the midst of the ample composition, determining its existence and letting itself be devoured by the reality created upon the canvas. This is actually an incandescent love relationship, confessed also by color. The powerful, long-studied shades of red sustain at a chromatic level the passion experienced by the painter, in love with his canvas, palette and colors.

The escape towards the color red, expression of the world of physics, may be used as a metaphor for Ioan Iacob’s paintings, as long as the artist effectively investigates the ex- pressive possibilities of the color red and its complex tones. Generally speaking, the self-portrait, as a definition of the self and the self-portrait with expressionist suggestions, the hu- man face, looked upon with a lucid, yet understanding eye, will represent the theme of the Sibiu exhibition. The antagonism angel / demon, that has troubled the artist during his entire life, finds its graphic expression in this new series of paintings, but mostly in those self- portraits, in which one can almost see the discreet yet convincing presence of angel wings.”

Luisa Barcan

(Excerpt of “The Solitude of the Objects”, from the Catalogue of the Exhibition: Red Darkness, Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu,
2007)

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DADA HERITAGE : THE JANCO DADA MUSEUM AND EIN HOD ARTISTS’S VILLAGE – ISRAEL

Marcel Janco, a renown painter and founder of the Dadaist movement (anti-artists), is seen as one of the most important artists of Jewish-Romanian origin, and he currently belongs to the cultural and artistic heritage of both Romania and Israel.

Marcel Janco´s studio, Israel

Marcel Janco´s studio, Israel

Marcel Janco, born in Bucharest in 1895, had joined a group of artists at the Café Vol- taire in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, and was among the principal founders of the Dada Movement. Dada was a unique artistic movement which had a major impact on 20th century art. It was established in Cabaret Voltaire, in Zurich, Switzerland, by a group of exiled poets, painters and philosophers who were opposed to war, aggression and the changing world culture. Among the founders were Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck, and, another compatriot of Jewish origin, Tristan Tzara.

Dada soirées featured spontaneous poetry, avant-garde music, and mask wearing dancers in elaborate shows. The Dadaists teased and enraged the audience through their bold defiance of Western culture and art, which they considered obsolete in view of the destruction and carnage of World War I. The Dadaists objected to the aesthetics of Western contemporary painting, sculpture, language, literature and music. The group published articles and periodicals, and mounted exhibi- tions. The seeds sown in Zurich spread throughout the world, resulting in new Dada organizations in Paris, New York, Berlin, Hannover, and more. Janco designed masks and costumes for the famous Dada balls, and created abstract relieves in cardboard and plaster. He had an eclectic style in which he brilliantly combined abstract and figurative elements, expressionistic in nature.

In 1922, Marcel Janco returned to his native Romania, where he made his mark as a painter, theore- tician and architect. In 1941, he moved to the land, which was to become the nation of Israel in 1948. It was here that Janco was founded the New Horizons Group. In Israel, Janco painted idyllic watercolor and oil depictions of Safed and Tiberias and was captivated by the exotic sights of the Orient.

In 1953, on the ruins of an abandoned Arab village, Marcel Janco established the artists’ village known as Ein Hod, which now boasts the The Janco Dada Museum. Ein Hod is a picturesque artists’ village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world. Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mt. Carmel, in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit. Nowadays, Ein Hod is a unique and romantic retreat where painters, sculptors, ceramists, actors and many other artists form every artistic fields, live and create. Throughout the years, ten of Ein Hod’s artists have won the Israel Prize.

In 1967, Marcel Janco was awarded the Israel Prize for Painting. In the last years of his life he worked together with his friends to erect the Janco Dada Museum. Janco died ten months after the inauguration of the museum in 1984.

The Janco Dada Museum is situated in the center of the Ein Hod Artists’s Village, twenty km South of Haifa. The mu- seum contains several display galleries. The permanent display is dedicated to Marcel Janco’s seventy years of artistic creation, the entrance gallery is available for young artists and special projects, and the lower gallery exhibits contemporary art.

The museum also features a youth wing and a DADALAB, a unique art laboratory.

Presentation compiled by LORA HARANACIU

THE BRUKENTHAL MUSEUM, SIBIU – E U R O P E A N C A P I T A L O F C U L T U R E 2 0 0 7

The Brukenthal Museum is one of the oldest in Romania. It was founded by the Baron Samuel von Brukenthal in the town of Sibiu, in the heart of the Romanian region Transylvania. Samuel von Brukenthal (1721 -1803) originated in the German lesser nobility from Transylvania. He studied law, political administration and philosophy at the universities of Halle and Jena being trained up in the spirit of the European Enlightenment.

An appreciated scholar and a qualified diplomat, Brukenthal worked his way up at the Viennese Imperial Court and finally he became “aulic” chancellor of Transyl- vania. That was the time he made up his painting collection. In 1773 it was mentioned in Almanach von Wien and considered as one of the most valuable private collections to be found in Vienna at that time. Sharing the inter- est in sciences of his time, Brukenthal collected rare books, numismatics, archaeological and mineral items as well.

Brukenthal got back to Sibiu as he was appointed governor of Transylvania and built up a palace in a late Baroque style on the model of the Viennese ones. The luxurious rooms of the palace, the art galleries and the printroom, the library, the musical evenings and literary soirée organized by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal represented a spiritual nucleus for Transylva- nia. Returning to Sibiu as Governor of the Great Principality of Transylvania, the baron brought here his collections, too. Martin Hochmeister’s calendar of the year 1790 (Hermannstadt im Jahre 1790) mentions among the attractions of the town the painting collection, which included 800 paintings and was exhibited 13 rooms of the Brukenthal Palace.

The European painting collection of the Baron Samuel von Brukenthal includes a number of about 1,200 works belonging to the main European painting schools of the 15th up to the 18th century: Flemish-Dutch, German and Austrian, Italian, Spanish and French. The present exhibit offers visitors the possibility to compare the main artistic movements and styles from the Renaissance to the Rococo.

The Flemish and Dutch School is represented both by great and less important masters, formed in the renowned painting centres in Anvers, Brussels, Gant, Bruges, Amsterdam, Leida, Utrecht. Being characterised by a great diversity, it facilitates the encounter with the religious or mythological themes within Marinus van Reymerswaele’s and Frans Floris Van Vriendt’s creation, with Peter Paul Rubens’ or Anton van Dyck’s luxurious aristocratic painting, with Frans Snyders’, Jan Fyt’s or Hendrik ter Brugghen’s embellishment of still-lifes, or with Adriaen van der Venne’s and Jan Gerritsz van Bronkhorst’s intimacy of bourgeois scenes.

The German and Austrian School, including over 430 paintings, displays beside illustrious names of the Late German Renaissance like Lucas Cranach the Elder or Schwab von Wertinger, various works belonging to painters from the 17th and the 18th century: portraitists like Christoph Pauditz, famous student of Rembrandt and Jan Kupetzky or Martin Meytens, praised landscape painters like Anton Faistenberger, painters of religious and mythological themes like Hans von Aachen, Peter Strudel, Franz C. Sambach or Johann H. Schönfeld, but also still-life masters like Georg Hinz, Franz W. Tamm or Maximilian Pfeiler.

The Italian School, although illustrated by a relative small number of works in comparison to the other schools (about 200 canvases), has a great importance through the works of well-known artists: Alessandro Botticelli, Tullio Lombardo, Tiziano Vecellio, Paris Bordone, Sebas- tiano Ricci, Alessandro Magnasco. Representative remain the schools from Venice, Geneva and Naples.

The origins of the National Art Collection lie in the works purchased by the curators of the Brukenthal Museum in the 19th century, who showed their interest also in the local artistic accomplishments, too. It includes paintings, graphics, sculptures, furniture, silverware, porcelain, glassware etc. from the 15th century up to the modern period.

The Transylvanian Painting Collection, one of the most significant of its kind in the country, includes a great number of portraits from the 16th to the 18th century, which are important especially from a historical and documentary point of view, being a true gallery of the illustrious figures belonging to the Saxon patriciate. From among these works we mention “The Portrait of Lucas Hirscher”, which is considered to be the first lay portrait in the history of national painting being made by the painter Gregorius from Barsov, “The Portrait of the Equerry Mathias Semriger” by Jeremias Stranovius, a painter of Slovakian origin, who worked in Transylvania, “The Portrait of Anna Maria Huttern” and “The Portrait of Johann Gottlieb Fabritius” by Johann Martin Stock, the most appreciated painter of the century coming from Sibiu, “Portrait of the Historian Hans Eder”, belonging to Franz Neuhauser, an artist of Vien- nese origin who settled in Sibiu, etc. From among the portraitists and landscape artists of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century we mention Theodor Benedikt Sockl, Theodor Glatz, Heinrich Trenk, Misu Popp, Carl Dörschlag, Arthur Coulin, Robert Wellmann, Fritz Schullerus, Octavian Smigelschi, Emerich Tamás, Friedrich Miess.

The Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art focuses on the main moments in the evolution of Romanian painting with the help of great names: Nicolae Grigorescu, the initiator of modern Romanian painting, Theodor Pallady, considered to be the most important painter from between the two World Wars, Hans Mattis Teutsch, the first abstract painter, Corneliu Baba and Alexandru Ciucurencu, the initiators of the Romanian contemporary school of painting.


Presentation by Lora Haranaciu

ISRAELI ART IN ROMANIA: EUROJUDAICA FESTIVAL

EUROJUDAICA Festival

EUROJUDAICA Festival

As part of the manifestations organ- ized in order to celebrate Sibiu as the European Capital of Culture 2007, the Brukenthal Museum has organized several art events throughout the year 2007. At the Eurojudaica 2007 festival, the Brukenthal National Museum held the group exhibition of several of the finest Israeli artists.

NATOUR NATOUR
YAEL SHVARTZ
AVIVA BEIGEL
H.I. BEN SHIMON
DANIELLA WEXLER RACIN
YEHUDIT LEVIN
SILVA ZALMAMSON
YOSSI RAZ
HAIM DRUCKER
OFIR NAVE
HARY SHAYA
IGOR KAPLUNOVOCH

CANNES 2007 – PALME D’OR WINNER : Cristian Mungiu

The film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days beat 21 others to snatch the golden trophy at a glittering ceremony marking the end of the fes- tival’s 60th edition.

Cristian Mungiu

Cristian Mungiu

Cristian Mungiu, director of the winning movie, accepted the Palme d’Or on stage from 69-year-old US actor Jane Fonda, who spoke in French.

“It looks a little bit to me like (a) fairytale,” Mungiu said, adding that the triumph showed “you don’ t necessarily need big budgets and big stars to make stories”.

His film evokes the big themes of personal freedom and political repression through a wrenching story about a girl’s illegal, backstreet abortion in communist-era Romania.

Made on a budget of €590,000, the film was pro- duced by Mobra Films and Saga Film with financing from the Romanian National Centre for Cinematography, public television and the Hubert Bals Fund.

Born in Iasi, Romania, in 1968, Cristian Mungiu graduated from the University of Iasi with a degree in English and American Literature. For a period, he worked as an English language teacher, newspaper journalist, and radio/TV journalist and entertainer. In 1998, Cristian Mungiu graduated from the Academy for Theatre and Film in Bucharest. His graduation film, “The Hand of Paulista”, represented Romania at the student Oscar awards in 1999. Cristian Mungiu made three other shorts: “Nothing by Chance”, “The Firemen’s Choir” and “Zapping”, all of them well-received at international festivals; “Zapping” was also screened in 2003 by Ca- nal+. His first feature, “Occident”, had its international pre- miere at Quainzaine des Realisateurs in Cannes, 2002. The film was a big hit in Romania; it also won 10 international awards, including The Audience Award in Tessalonik, The Fipresci Critics Award in Sofia and awards for best film in Leeds, Mons, Annonay and Cluj. Cristian Mungiu also worked as assistant director for several foreign films shot in Romania: “Capitaine Conan” (by Bertrand Tavernier), “Train de Vie” (by Radu Mihaileanu), and “Beowulf” (by Graham Baker). Besides filmmaking, Cristian Mungiu is also very active in literary circles: his first book, “Cristian Mungiu: 7 screenplays” was published at Liternet Publishing House in 2002.

Cristian Mungiu said concerning his intentions: “I didn’t want to make a film about abortion or communism; I think that my film goes beyond that. There are allusions to communism such as in the scene over a meal. Abortion is a good example of the influence propaganda and education had on us, even if we didn’t realize it at the moment.”

“The screenplay starts from the kind of per- sonal experience that people usually don’t share with others. It is the story of conse- quences that are more often untold, even hid- den, but common to many. Above all it is an abortion story from a period of time when such an act was an act of protest against a regime which sought to impose discipline by banning abortion.”

(Cristian Mungiu)