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Ion Grigorescu

Romanian artist Ion Grigorescu was born in 1945 in Bucharest, where he lives and works. Together with Geta Brătescu (born in 1926) and Ana Lupas (born in 1940) he is among the important Romanian artists in the time after WW2, whose work created a bridge to the international avantgarde also during the time of the Ceausescu dictatorship and has up to now a persistent influence on the development of the contemporary Romanian art.

Legendary is some meaningful anecdote. For his final exam at the Academy of Art he had to paint the obligatory portrait of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu as all students had to do. He demanded that the dictator should perform for him a model sitting. It would make no sense to paint only after a photography. Of some importance is also the fact that Ion Grigorescu during the 1970ies and 1980ies had access to film and photo materials and equipment. In a time when all such materials were rationed and only accessible with stately permission for special propaganda projects. The artist used the materials in some subversive way for his artistic studies and experiments. Clandestinely he filmed the everyday situations on the streets of the socialist reality. He made private photographs practicing Yoga exercises, performative actions or simply sleeping. He photographed his friends and family members during private gatherings and moments of happiness and coloured the images later on with oil colours. He created his own small visual cosmos and documented situations, which were usually subject to censorship and were in no understanding matching the communist doctrines for the role of the artists.

Black and White

Also the series of drawings 'Black and White, which he created in between 1971 and 1974, which are part of the Art Collection Telekom, is an excellent example for the individuality of his artistic questioning. Part of the series are a few studies about extreme contraction of the image of person in a mirror. Over and above that, he employed the drawings for the creation of a short animated film. The film of roughly 90 seconds is literally the work of a true amateur. It is the document of an artistic experiment and must be considered as one of the very few independent animation movies of the time of the Ceausescu dictatorship.

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