Going out: Exhibitions to see in Bucharest and in the country this spring
The European Capital of Culture program in Timişoara is bringing top events to the city, while Bucharest is adding to its offer a new art fair. We outline below some of the exhibitions currently open.
In Bucharest, M.H. Maxy – From Avant-garde to Socialism is open at the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) until April 30th. The exhibition gathers 95 paintings as well as other works of the artist in two separate sections, following his biography. A leading figure of the local avant-garde movement during the inter-war period, Maxy was also the director that oversaw the establishment and running of the most important art museum in the country during the Communist period (the current MNAR). His work spanned two distinct periods: the one of royal Romania, between 1923, when he returned from his studies in Berlin and until 1947, and the one following the arrival of the Communist regime that year and until his death in 1971.
The Museum of Recent Art (MARe), which will host later this year an exhibition dedicated to Picasso, runs until May 8th See What. Photography in Romania after 2000, a retrospective of Romanian photography of the past 20 years, covering the new phenomena and the paradigm shifts. The artists included in the exhibition are Lucian Bran, Michele Bressan, Valeriu Cătălineanu, Ioana Cîrlig, Bogdan Gîrbovan, Emőke Kerekes, Anton Roland Laub, Virginia Lupu, Andrei Mateescu, Patricia Morosan, Andrei Nacu, and Mihai Șovăială.
The 11th edition of Art Safari, running until May 14th, includes four main exhibitions focusing on both local and international artists. One covers the work of Romanian painter Ion Theodorescu-Sion, who, thematically, turned his attention to Romanian village life and to traditional motives. Masters of Spanish Painting focuses on the career of the Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (1863 - 1923). His work is exhibited alongside that of artists such as Mariano Fortuny, Ignacio Zuloaga, Raimundo de Madrazo, Francisco Miralles, and many more. At the same time, The Memory Palace focuses on the French art scene and highlights a selection of eight artists and two duos of the French art scene (from different generations and cultural backgrounds), who participated in the Marcel Duchamp Prize in the past fifteen years. They are Farah Atassi, Michel Blazy, Katinka Bock, Mircea Cantor, Clément Cogitore, Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Enrique Ramírez, Thu-Van Tran, and Tatiana Trouvé. Young Blood 2.0. What's New in Art? covers the up-and-coming generation of artists.
Until April 30th, visitors of the event can see five works from the collection of the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu as part of the temporary exhibition Brukenthal Exclusive. These are Jan van Eyck's Man in a Blue Cap, Titian's Ecce Homo, Paolo Veronese's Head of Child, and Hans Memling's Portrait of a Man Reading and Portrait of a Woman Praying. This is the first time the works housed in the Sibiu museum travel to a temporary exhibition in the country. So far, they have only been included in international exhibitions.
Contemporary art is the focus of RAD Art Fair, scheduled to take place between May 4th and May 7th at Caro Hotel in Bucharest. The fair will bring together 20 contemporary art galleries from Bucharest, Cluj, Timișoara and Chișinău. It will cover a Talks program with professionals from the art world; a sculpture park in the lakeside garden surrounding the venue; and various events. The participating galleries are Atelier 35 (Bucharest), Biju (Cluj), Cazul 101 (Bucharest), Diptych (Bucharest), Gaep (Bucharest), H'art (Bucharest), Jecza (Timișoara), Lutnița (Chișinău), Matca (Cluj), Mobius (Bucharest), Plan B (Cluj, Berlin), Pogo (Bucharest), Galeria Posibilā (Bucharest), Sabot (Cluj), /SAC (Bucharest), Sandwich (Bucharest), Sector 1 (Bucharest), Suprainfinit (Bucharest), Catinca Tabacaru (Bucharest, Harare), and Viewing Room 17 (Cluj). More on the program here.
Covering the work of contemporary Romanian artists, the event Bucharest Sculpture Days takes place between April 18th and April 29th at Combinatul Fondului Plastic. This is the third edition of the event, and it gathers 31 Romanian artists in the exhibition re#situăriafective. The event also includes screenings of films about sculpture and Romanian sculptors, debates and roundtables, and a competition for high school students.
Also until the end of April, the exhibition-performance Under the House can be seen at Arcub. It gathers artists working in a variety of fields, ranging from street art and theater to video, dance, music, new media, sculpture, drawing, and photography, and coming from Germany, Japan, France, Italy, and Romania. Pisica Pătrată, Grigore Leşe, Kyoko Murase, and Ion Grigorescu are among the artists with works in the exhibition. The complete list is available here.
An alternative visual arts event is on during the weekend of April 21st to April 23rd. The seventh edition of the open-air visual arts festival Spotlight - Bucharest International Light Festival has this year the theme of Geometry of the City, as it aims to reshape the capital's geometry through three days of video mapping, multimedia installations, and light art projections. This year's Spotlight route starts from the intersection of Calea Victoriei with Piaţa Amzei Street and continues along it to Cercul Militar, with a final stop in the Old Town at Arcub - Hanul Gabroveni.
Timișoara has several exhibitions this spring, including Adrian Ghenie's first solo show in the country in 14 years and a comprehensive retrospective dedicated to the surrealist artist of Romanian origin Victor Brauner.
Carlos Amorales's installation The Black Cloud will be on display in Timișoara as part of this year's Art Encounters Biennial. The work of the Mexican artist will be on display in a customized tramway, doubled by specially designed tram tours in the presence of the artist and the myriads of "roving butterflies". The installation is inspired by the approximately 4,000 km-long annual migration of the Monarch Butterfly from North America to Mexico. The installation will later be presented in the satellite exhibition organized in partnership with the National Contemporary Art Museum (MNAC), to be open from May 25th until September.
The Art Encounters Biennial 2023, part of the Timişoara 2023 European Capital of Culture program, is set to open on May 19th. Curated by Adrian Notz, an active member of the AI center of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, this year's edition is titled My Rhino Is Not a Myth. Art-Science-Fictions. It explores the relation between technology, innovation, and art. The event takes place between May 19th and July 16th in nine venues in Timişoara. It will bring together more than 60 artists from 21 countries, 13 of them with new works, conceived for the event. More here.
The Impossible Body, bringing together a large collection of drawings and paintings by Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie, opened on April 20th at the ISHO Pavilion in Timișoara. Until June 18, visitors will have the chance to see works on subjects inspired by the pandemic and isolation in the domestic space, and covering themes relating "to the complicated relationship man has formulated with today's technology, social media, his body, and time."
Meanwhile, the exhibition Victor Brauner: inventions and magic, covers more than 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, illustrations, and documents covering Brauner's entire artistic career, from Bucharest to Paris, from the 1920s to the early 1960s. The retrospective exhibition aims to pay tribute to a central figure of Surrealism, an artist little known until now in his country of origin. More on the exhibition, which can be visited until May 28th at the city's Art Museum, here.
In Brașov, the city's Art Museum hosts until June 4th an exhibition bringing together several contemporary Romanian artists who have looked at the environmental challenges of the past decades in their art. Titled The Earth's Predictions. On Ecological Thinking and Practice, it showcases works by Elena Adorian, Olimpiu Bandalac, Cătălin Burcea, Sergiu Chihaia, Ciprian Ciuclea, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Ștefan Radu Crețu, Liviu Epuraș (EPV), László Forrai, Cosmin Paulescu, Dan Perjovschi, Dan-Raul Pintea, Bogdan Rața, Saint Machine, Florin Ștefan, Iulia Toma, Mihai Zgondoiu, UVT Arte and UNArte students. More here.
Meanwhile, The Night of Museums, is scheduled for May 13th, with an offer of exhibitions, cultural interventions, screenings, performances, workshops, street animations, concerts and interactive tours. For the first time this year, museums from the Republic of Moldova have joined the project for a joint edition. The War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo is a special guest of this edition, and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Bucharest will host an exhibition gathering the stories and items of children in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Yemen, and Iraq.