art


The year is 2017, Camille Claudel is back in town and she seems to go through a revival and reevaluation of her work and short artistic career. A museum dedicated to her life and art opened in March in the small French town of Nogent-sur-Seine, and the museum includes many of the works that survived the agitated 20th century and the destruction by the artist’s own hands. Books are being written about her, and art history starts to take her seriously into account. Before this however, there were the films, and especially this one  Camille Claudel  from 1988. It is not exaggerated to say, I believe, that the film prepared her comeback to the world of arts.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094828/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094828/

 

Camille Claudel deals more with the character of Camille Claudel, her love story with Auguste Rodin, her relationship with her brother Paul, one of the important French poets of the first half of the 20th century than with her art. Actually one of the few critical observations one may have about the visual part of the film is that there is so little art in it, and from the film we cannot make to ourselves an idea about how good she was. We see an artist fighting with her material, we see a woman fighting prejudice in a world and at a time when women were far from being recognized as equal professionally to men, even less in arts. We see the young woman and artist falling under the fascination of her master and being torn between love and admiration for him, and the need to express herself, to be herself. We see her falling down the spiral of vanity and then madness, and it’s up to us to judge whether the roots of her fall are in the social environment, in the attitude of her lover who may be a great artist but is also a womanizer and small human being in terms of relations, or in her own vanity and narcissism. Add to this the ambiguity of the relationship to her brother, and we can now understand the willingly or not, the focus of the script and director was on her personal path rather than on her art.

 

(video source Diego Correa)

 

For this was the first film as director, but he already had in 1988 a long career as cinematographer, including a few superb films by . Not everything works or better said, not everything stood the almost 30 years since the film was made. is superb, beautiful and ambitious, a fighter but fragile at the same time, turn between love and vanity. This is one of her best roles. is very fit to Rodin’s role, at that time his physical qualities were also perfect and added to his huge talent. The cinematography of the film (signed by Pierre Lhomme ) is excellent, and there are many scenes to remember – in the studio where Rodin and Claudel are shown fighting with the material from which they extracted their works, and out in the nature with clear allusions to the period of the Impressionists when this film is set. On the other hand the soundtrack is horrible. The use of violin music which would have been exaggerated even for a melodrama made in 1938, it’s simply a disaster for this film about art and artists made in 1988. Add to this the poor quality of the sound (at least in the copy screened by ARTE TV) which makes half of the dialog incomprehensible even when it is not covered by violins. Maybe digital sound re-working will sometimes in the future save this film. It is highly deserved.

 

While the Bansky exhibition curated by Steve Lazarides is still open in the city, the local cinematheque screened  the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop which has the name of the artist as director in its credits. is a mystery as artist and person, and Exit Through the Gift Shop does not aim and will not disperse the secret of his identity. It adds however more light on the origins of the street art genre and develops the documentary genre towards a direction that is both unexpected and rewarding for the viewers, whatever their opinions on this phenomenon may be.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587707/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1587707/

 

The basic rule of street art is that there are no rules. This film tries to follow this. The principal character starts as a video camera addict (and there is a good reason for his addiction) named Thierry Guetta who at some point discovers street art and starts filming the fringe individuals who make street art during their night escapades. He gets to know some of the most famous ones, including the secretive Bristol-based . At some point he becomes more and more involved with his subjects, he abandons his bourgeois commercial profession, and street art becomes a way of life. Crossing the border between documenting street art and becoming a street artist comes next, and by the end of the film we see Thierry Guetta having become Mr. Brainwash, a successful artist cashing well on his products, while Bansky has become the maker of the film about him.

 

(video source ENTRTNMNT)

 

The very surprising turnaround makes out of the film a strange hybrid, a documentary where the lines between authors and subjects are blown up, with characters that claim to be real but defy common logic and would risk to be considered ‘non-credible’ in a fiction film. There is also a rather deep subtext and question marks about art and its value, about where street art belongs, about fighting commercial art and becoming successful and rich by selling counter-art. It’s difficult to put it in a box, but this is the case with street art in general. More than anything however, I found this film fun to watch.

 

A visit today at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem was the occasion to see the very interesting exhibition ‘Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art’. I do not plan to write about the whole exhibition which could have been titled differently, as there are enough works of non-Israeli Jewish artists  (presented as background) – maybe on another occasion. One of the revelations was meeting one period of the work of Reuven Rubin which had close relation with the Biblical text including the New Testament and the story of Jesus.

 

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The period we are dealing with is the one between the years 1921 and 1923. Romania-born Rubin had studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem between 1912 and 1913, and then in France, but returned to Romania during the WWI years. In 1921 he traveled to New York together with his friend Artur Kolnik, where they met Alfred Stieglitz who organized an exhibition of their works. That was a period of self discovery which ended with the decision to emigrate to Palestine and start a new life in the Jewish Home in building.  The Biblical connection of the Jewish people with the history and Land of Israel was part of this spiritual process, which was combined with the Christian connotations, as Rubin was very familiar with the New Testament stories and symbols from the country of his birth. The self-portrait above which has as a second title ‘My first Day in New York’ represents the tormented Rubin in an almost Christ posture, taking upon him not only his personal doubts but the sufferings of all mankind.

 

 

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‘Temptation in the Desert’ takes the Jesus identification one step further, representing the fight of the artist with his own personal daemons and the desire to focus on his art as a way of transcending. It’s a daring metaphor for a Jewish artist, and Rubin is among the first to walk the path of acknowledging the Jewish fate and identity of Jesus (more followed later in the 20th century), which was kind of a taboo in the Jewish tradition.

 

 

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The dialog between the fate of the Jewish people and the Christian Messiah is almost explicit in the 1922 work ‘The Encounter (Jesus and the Jew)’ probably painted in Romania, while Rubin was preparing his departure to Palestine. A suffering Jesus sits on a bank near a religious Jew who covers his face. Maybe he is deploring his fate, maybe he does not want to acknowledge the presence of the ‘false Messiah’ (in the Jewish tradition). The landscape behind them is from Eretz Israel, one of the first works were the new Zionist landscape show up in Rubin’s works – they will become a major theme later.

 

 

IMG_9684

 

From the same period dates ‘Jesus and the Last Apostle’. It is Jesus’ face which is covered here, and he seems to ask pardon from the Last Apostle, whose figure is the one of priest and writer Gala Galaction, a pro-Jewish personality in the period in Romania, who tried to face nationalist and antisemitism and promoted reconciliation.

 

 

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The Zionist dream of returning to the sources in Eretz Israel is also present in ‘The Madonna of the Vagabonds’ using again a New Testament metaphor. The Vagabonds are wandering Jews coming back to the land of their ancestors, now resting in deep sleep around a woman (mother Mary?). The lake behind with its fishermen boats is the Lake of Galilee where Jesus walked, preached and performed some of his miracles.

 

 

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The last two works belong to the first year after Rubin arrived for good in Palestine. The self-portrait dated 1923 is already using colors from the new palette that Rubin starts using in the new country to represent the landscape and atmosphere of the Land of Israel. His attitude is much more serene and determined compared to the one of the 1921 self-portrait. Elements from the Christian iconography are however present here as well, for example the glass containing the white lily often present in Annunciation representations. Paired with the brushes he holds in his other hand they talk about the mission of the artist to build a new world (and new art) in the Land of the Bible.

 

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The last work here also dated 1923 is part of a cycle of prints ‘The God-seekers’ and represents ‘The Prophet in the Desert’. It’s one of the last works (that I am aware about) with strong and explicit Biblical connotations. Rubin will become in the coming decades one of the leading artists of Jewish Palestine and then of Israel, and a legendary presence in the Tel Aviv bohemian life. He will return to Romania in 1948 as the first diplomatic envoy of the new-born State of Israel.

 

 

Meet the German painter Katharina Grosse and her colorful paintings in space.

(Have you ever painted T-shirts in psychedelic colors? I did at my teen years.)

source http://www.art21.org/artists/katharina-grosse

source http://www.art21.org/artists/katharina-grosse

 

 

source http://bombmagazine.org/article/4910/katharina-grosse

source http://bombmagazine.org/article/4910/katharina-grosse

 

source http://punkwasp.com/katharina-grosse/

source http://punkwasp.com/katharina-grosse/

 

source http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2009/04/katharina-grosse-at-temporare-kunsthalle-berlin/

source http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2009/04/katharina-grosse-at-temporare-kunsthalle-berlin/

 

 

source http://www.designboom.com/art/katharina-grosse-sculpts-immersive-colorful-terrain-in-brooklyn-11-16-2013/

source http://www.designboom.com/art/katharina-grosse-sculpts-immersive-colorful-terrain-in-brooklyn-11-16-2013/

 

 

 

Vincent van Gogh, Portrait du docteur Rey, Arles début janvier 1889, huile sur toile, Coll. S. Chtchoukine, 1908, musée Pouchkine source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

Vincent van Gogh, Portrait du docteur Rey, Arles début janvier 1889, huile sur toile, Coll. S. Chtchoukine, 1908, musée Pouchkine
source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

 

Van Gogh : Chaumières à Auvers/Oise (1890), musée de l’Ermitage source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

Van Gogh : Chaumières à Auvers/Oise (1890), musée de l’Ermitage
source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

 

I do not need to look for excuses to return to Paris, but this seems to be a good one to be back in the French capital in the coming three months. ‘La collection Chtchoukine et ses icônes de l’art moderne’ seems to be the exhibition of the year in Paris, maybe in competition with the Magritte exhibition at Centre Pompidou. The Louis Vutton Foundation succeeded to bring to Paris from museums in Russia (Hemitage, Pushkin, Tetriakov) and out of Russia (MoMA, Stedelijk) some of the finest pieces in the collection gathered by the Russian industrialist and art collector Sergei Shchukin (Sergueï Chtchoukine in French transcription) who acquired between 1897 and 1914 some of the best art of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Derain, Lautrec, Malevich and other. The collection was confiscated by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 revolution and kept in the warehouses for many decades (a small part of it sold abroad), to be distributed to Soviet museums and open to the public after the Stalin era.

 

Van Gogh : La Vigne rouge (1888), musée Pouchkine source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

Van Gogh : La Vigne rouge (1888), musée Pouchkine
source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

 

Gauguin : Eh quoi, tu es jaloux ? (No te aha ’oe fe’i’i ?, 1892), musée Pouchkine, Moscou source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

Gauguin : Eh quoi, tu es jaloux ? (No te aha ’oe fe’i’i ?, 1892), musée Pouchkine, Moscou
source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

 

Cézanne : Mardi gras (Pierrot et Arlequin) (1888), musée Pouchkine source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

Cézanne : Mardi gras (Pierrot et Arlequin) (1888), musée Pouchkine
source http://www.evous.fr/Exposition-de-la-collection-Chtchoukine-1190794.html

source http://www.clujulcultural.ro/pictorul-radu-maier-expozitie-retrospectiva-importanta-la-muzeul-de-arta/

source http://www.clujulcultural.ro/pictorul-radu-maier-expozitie-retrospectiva-importanta-la-muzeul-de-arta/

 

source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Radu-Anton-Maier-Der-Gummi-Horizont.jpg

source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Radu-Anton-Maier-Der-Gummi-Horizont.jpg

 

Radu-Anton Maier is a German painter born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. As a student and young artist he worked with Corneliu Baba and painted the portrait of Lucian Blaga. He moved to Germany in the 1970s, after the short liberalization period in Communist Romania was cut short by the 1971 July Theses and one of his works in public space was covered by white paint at the order of the authorities. He soon reached international success far from his country of birth. His complex works combine hipper-realistic techniques with surrealist and oniric themes, inviting viewers in the artist inner world and visions. Maier returned to exposing in Romania after 1990, his most recent exhibition in Romania was held earlier this year at the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu.

 

source http://revistacultura.ro/nou/2014/05/lumi-vizionare-si-metamorfoze-cromatice-radu-anton-maier-80/

source http://revistacultura.ro/nou/2014/05/lumi-vizionare-si-metamorfoze-cromatice-radu-anton-maier-80/

 

source http://graficante.ro/13/radu-anton-maier-si-experimentul-postmodernist/

source http://graficante.ro/13/radu-anton-maier-si-experimentul-postmodernist/

source http://www.raduart.de/

source http://www.raduart.de/

rin

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Cristian Raduta is a Romanian sculptor, born in 1982. His works feature rhinos as a recurrent theme. Rhinos were also used by Eugene Ionesco in a famous play which was once presented in Bucharest at a time of early and short liberalization of the Romanian culture under the Communist rule. The symbolism of Ionesco’s play and of Raduta’s sculptures is nowadays more actual than ever.
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4.jpeg.jpg-resized-Cristian-Raduta-Rhinos-2007-Fibreglass-epoxy-paint-sand-33-x2-x10-.-Installation-View.--300x199
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sources of photos:
http://www.theclayandglass.ca/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/perspectives-of-innocence/
https://contemporaryartineasteurope.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/cristian-raduta/
—–
art
raduta

Works by Romul Nutiu (1932 – 2012), a formidable Romanian artist influenced by Abstract Expressionism, carrying it further and developing it into a flamboyant and solid corp of works.

 

Blue Dynamic Universe - source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/blue-dynamic-universe

Blue Dynamic Universe – source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/blue-dynamic-universe

 

Underground Vegetal Structure V - source http://artguideeast.com/viennacontemporary-2016-cee.html

Underground Vegetal Structure V – source http://artguideeast.com/viennacontemporary-2016-cee.html

 

Cross section through fertile soils - source http://www.artnet.com/artists/romul-nutiu/past-auction-results

Cross section through fertile soils – source http://www.artnet.com/artists/romul-nutiu/past-auction-results

From the Wikipedia article dedicated to the artist:

‘Periods and Styles of Nutiu’s oeuvre Following Nutiu’s oeuvre through the decades helped to define the different stages of his artistic unfolding. The first steps towards abstraction were the modular compositions from the early 60s, all of which were paintings on canvas. At the same time he also created objects called assemblage, by using different canvases stuck on each other which created a three dimensional effect. Nutiu was always tempted to expand his works beyond the canvas, by leaving the bi-dimensionality. He referred to the works of this period as Utopias. After composing these objects he returned to painting and began a theme called Dynamic Universe; these paintings were made in the 1970s. In this period Nutiu got the idea to build several vessels with dimensions of about 160×160 cm having a depth of 10 cm, which he filled with water and industrial paints that were usually used to paint cars. These colours could not be absorbed by the water, and floated by their own inertia creating unforeseen shapes. The artist influenced those shapes by intervening with a bar until he liked the outcome. Subsequently he arranged a canvas on the water’s surface. The canvas absorbed the paint composition which was a moment earlier in the water. Generally the canvas was covered entirely of these “risky effects” produced in print. In some cases Nutiu intervened with a few brushstrokes or he erased some areas. The very innovative object in space “Sapte forme pictate” (means seven painted shapes) from 1969 was also achieved with this technology transfer in water, while some areas have been painted over. In the 1980s Nutiu was inspired by vegetal structures, especially roots and he subsequently labelled this phase of his artistic production as Sections through Fertile Soil. This title clearly reveals that his abstract works were inspired by nature. Further to this title he was also a passionate fly fisherman and he confessed that the roots of the plants and trees he observed on the other side of the shore inspired him. In the 1990s Nutiu entitled his body of work Beyond Appearances. The paintings became more graphic and symbolical which is evidenced seen in the artwork Blue Universe from 1999. The paintings were of course abstract and in the 1990s extremely colourful, sometimes colour spots surrounded by a line like a cloisonné. At the end of the 1990s he was attracted by water – running in rivers or falling in cascades and until the early 2000s he was extremely engaged with this subject. In the last years of his life Nutiu returned to his earlier themes, one of which was Sections through Fertile Soil. For Romul Nutiu the source of inspiration is especially the plant, its stem and root, as it feeds from the soil and returns fertility to it and in this permanent struggle for survival it is akin to man. He re-explored painting the element of water as he had done at the beginning of the 2000s. In 2011 Nutiu achieved his largest painting called Dionysiacal Space which was almost 3 metres long and 2 metres wide. This monumental work is although structured also directed by spontaneous intuition and reveals the semantic complexity of the artist. Throughout his life Nutiu’s art always evolved and challenged himself to try new paths and develop new techniques. Although Nutiu used different dimensions of canvases, in his eyes, any surface could become a territory and was able to involve any kind of shades, plans, volumes of colour and different tonalities. This means that he did not need a certain type of canvas or a size as he used his colours and geometrical forms in a way that fit onto every surface. Nutiu had always expressed interest in objects and the objectual space as it could offer him a new field to reveal his spirit. While making objects in space he used the same attitude towards colour, but complicated the conformation so the objects would gain individuality. Sometimes the object could be perceived from all sides and therefore had a higher autonomy. Nutiu above all remained a painter in everything he did whether he used wood panels or sheets of paper; colour was always one essential dynamic that kept all his works together. He liked to play with colour and transferred all his emotions and tensions into it; this can be seen when one observes the canvas directly. He always painted abstract, gestural resulting in experimental art. Nutiu also thought about the objectual reality of the image he painted, that there should be a sensitivity to grasp it. His art could be described as a synthesis between lyricism and rationalism. Most of his works have allegorical meanings.’

source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romul_Nu%C8%9Biu

 

Transcending - https://viennacontemporarymag.com/2015/08/21/viennacontemporary-2015-reflections/romul-nutiu-2011/

Transcending – https://viennacontemporarymag.com/2015/08/21/viennacontemporary-2015-reflections/romul-nutiu-2011/

 

 

Iguazu - source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/iguazu-2011

Iguazu – source https://www.wikiart.org/en/romul-nutiu/iguazu-2011

 

 

 

 

Jewish artists played an important role in the development of the Romanian art, and artists from Romania played an important role in the history of Israeli art. For the Israeli Independence Day I chose to present a short selection of Israeli artists (painters and sculptors) who were born in my native Romania. Some have brought an important contribution to the development of the Israeli artistic movement and acquired fame both in Israel and world-wide. A few are still active today, and of course, I must have missed many.

I chose one work from each of the eight artists in this list. This is certainly only a specific section of the complex universe of the Israeli art, a proof of its diversity, and a testimony of the path artists born in Romania melded the education and traditions of their native country into the melting pot of the Israeli art.  This is an invitation for entering the worlds of each of these artists and for adding more names to the list.

Happy Independence Day! Hag Atzmaut Sameakh!

The list cannot begin with another name than …

 

source http://jancodada.co.il/pages.asp?id=175&lan=100

source http://jancodada.co.il/pages.asp?id=175&lan=100

 

Marcel Janco

(or Marcel Iancu) as the Romanians spell his name. By the time when he reached the shores of Palestine under British Mandate in 1941, Janco was a well-known artist who has contributed to the birth of the European avant-garde and specifically of the Dadaist movement, and a famous architect with tens of buildings designed in Romania (some of them can still be visited in specialized tours in Bucharest). He also was a Jew running for his life from the continent that had fallen under fascism which did not spare Romania, at that time under the rule of the Iron Guard and of nationalist and antisemitic dictator Ion Antonescu. He re-created himself in Palestine and then Israel, started to paint in a new palette and vision, and founded the artists community in the village of Ein Hod, which continues until today.

 

source http://www.israelartguide.co.il/activities/tel.shtml

source http://www.israelartguide.co.il/activities/tel.shtml

 

Reuven Rubin

Born in Galati in a religious family, Rubin came for the first time to Palestine (still under Ottoman rule) in 1912 and was a student at the Bezalel Academy founded by Boris Schatz. He was not very happy with the academic approach of his teachers, and continued his studies in Paris, returned to Romania during the First World War, then came for good to Israel in 1923. His portraits and landscapes are exquisite, as witnessed by the beautiful ‘Safed’ dated 1938. He became part of the Tel Aviv intellectual and art circles, and after the foundation of Israel in 1948 was the first official Israeli diplomatic envoy (minister) to Romania.

 

source http://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/SELF-PORTRAIT/EA86709D73DF83D7

source http://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/SELF-PORTRAIT/EA86709D73DF83D7

 

Avigdor Arikha

I first encountered a large selection of Arikha’s works at the British Museum to whom he had donated about 100 of his works for an exhibition. A few years later a big retrospective was organized at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art bringing back into the center of the attention an Israeli artist who was living abroad for about half a century. Born in Radauti, he was deported during the war to Transnistria, where his father died. His drawings as a teen who had seen death and horror attracted the attention of the Red Cross that saved his life and brought him to Palestine in 1944. As Rubin (but many years later) he first studied at Bezalel, and then in Paris. His career can be divided into two: a first abstract period and a second figurative in which he painted mostly portraits and especially self-portraits like the one here.

 

DSC05559

Tuvia Juster

In a few days there will be ten years since Tuvia Juster passed away. Born in 1931 in Braila, Juster studied in Bucharest and was influenced by the works of Constantin Brancusi, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His work is in danger to be forgotten here in Israel. Only one exhibition was organized at Ein Hod, the artists village founded by Janco, where Tuvia Juster also had his home. A larger retrospective would put his works and contributions to the Israeli art at their right place. I hope that this will happen rather sooner than later.

 

source https://iamachild.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/portrait-of-a-smiling-boy.jpg

source https://iamachild.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/portrait-of-a-smiling-boy.jpg

 

Sandu Liberman

A few decades ago the name of Sandu Liberman was quite well known. Born in Iasi in 1923, he studied in Romania and was well known especially as portraitist, until 1962 when he came to Israel. He continued his activity here, painting portraits and scenes from the traditional Jewish life. His best works as this ‘Portrait of a Smiling Boy’ show empathy and skill in rendering the feelings of his subjects, and continuity with the portraits tradition in the Romanian art he grew in as an artist.

 

source http://www.judaica-mall.com/shlomo-alter.htm

source http://www.judaica-mall.com/shlomo-alter.htm

 

Shlomo Alter 

Shlomo Alter’s parents owned a restaurant in Romania and his first drawings described the atmosphere of that place. He came in Israel in 1948 at the age of 12, and oscillated between art (student of Aaron Avni and of Janco) and engineering, to dedicate himself completely to painting after 1975. His works are beautifully colored in the tradition of the fauvism, while representing the local landscape in a pseudo-naive manner.

 

 source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=6347

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=6347

Philip Rantzer

Born in 1956 (in some sources I found 1958 as his year of birth) Philip Rantzer came to Israel as a small child, so all his education and formation as an artist happened here. He had tens of exhibitions in Israel and all over the world, represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 1999, and exposed amng many other places in Bucharest, at the Musuem of Contemporary Art in 2003. I picked to show here his ‘Big Cart’ work because he is combining in it the theme of the Wandering Jew with a landscape which is maybe Jaffo, or maybe a more generic shtetl.

 

 

source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belu-Simion_Fainaru

source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belu-Simion_Fainaru

 

 

Belu-Simion Fainaru

Born in Bucharest in 1959, Belu-Simion Fainaru came to Israel in 1973. He studied at Haifa and continued with studies in art in Italy and Belgium. He lives and works in Belgium and Israel. His earlier work ‘Sham’ (‘There’) from 1966 represents one stage in the evolution from monumental sculpture to the mixed media objects. He exposed in Israel, Romania, other countries in Europe. In 2015 he founded AMOCA – the Arab Museum Of Contemporary Art in Sakhnin (an Arab town in Israel) the first of its kind here, promoting co-existence between Arab and Jewish communities, opening gates for art that is inclusive and collaborative.

‘Brancusi – amicii si inamicii’ (editie ingrijita de Nadia Marcu-Pandrea si prefatata de Stefan Dimitiriu, aparuta in 2010) este prezentata de Editura Vremea ca al treilea volum al monografiei Brancusi a lui Petre Pandrea. Descrierea este destul de inexacta, caci volumul este mai degraba o culegere de texte intre care cel principal ar fi trebuit sa fie intr-adevar ultima parte a monografiei repinse de cenzura in anii 60, dar chiar si acest text impartit in capitole pare neterminat si nefinisat. Restul este compus din note de lectura, articole biografice si polemice, note de calatorie in forme mai mult sau mai putin finite, recuperate cu grija si evlavie de cei care au alcatuit volumul dar atasarea lor capitolelor de monografie produce un ansamblu lipsit de consistenta, plin de repetitii si fara o linie calauzitoare unica asa cum ar avea o monografie terminata. Culegerea este desigur interesanta si in ceea ce-l priveste pe Brancusi si in ceea ce priveste atitudinea lui Pandrea fata de Brancusi si de cei care-l inconjurau pe acesta, dar ea spune in cele din urma mai multe despre autorul cartii decat despre subiectul ei.

 

sursa http://www.edituravremea.ro/brancusi.-amicii-si-inamicii.-sociologia-lui-brancusi

sursa http://www.edituravremea.ro/brancusi.-amicii-si-inamicii.-sociologia-lui-brancusi

 

Ideea calauzitoare a cartii lui Petre Pandrea este cea prin care exegezul, admiratorul si prietenul lui Constantin Brancusi intra in polemica directa cu o parte dintre ‘brancusologii’ din tara si din strainatate in ceea ce priveste formatia culturala de baza, educatia artistica, si incadrarea lui Brancusi in lumea artistica pariziana.

‘In opozitie cu teza ‘Ciobanului din Carpati’ si cu aceea a ‘Sfantului din Montparnasse’, rog sa mi se ingaduie a emite ipoteza si a prezenta portretul lui Brancusi ca pe un ‘Erasmus din Montparnasse’, un umanist polivalent, un intelectual rafinat, un filosof si un moralist, un spirit esopic grefat pe un fond de filosofare stoica rurala a stramosilor sai tarani si mosneni, o aparitie a iluminismului progresist oltean din etapa capitalismului comercial in Romania si a mercantilismului cobilitar craiovean plecat in emigratie.’ (pag. 106)

In mod argumentat si documentat Pandrea respinge atat caracterizarile paternaliste ale unor exegeti occidentali, o parte dintre ei oameni care l-au cunoscut pe Brancusi, care minimizau nu numai persoana artistului ci si cultura din care acesta provenea, ca si simplificarile ideologice si ideologizante ale propagandistilor Romaniei comuniste. Brancusi este incadrat in Europa pentru ca Romania si Oltenia din care vine sunt parti integrale ale Europei.

‘Spiritualitatea romana nu poate fi nici chinoiserie si nici exotism nipon. Prin traditii si forte creatoare, suntem incadrati de milenii in preajma Balcanilor, in Europa centrala si sud-estica.’ (pag. 42)

Respingand teza ‘ciobanului’ ajuns in peregrinare la portile Occidentului, Pandrea il prezinta pe Brancusi ca pe un tanar educat, artist deja format intr-o scoala locala, dar nu lipsita de valoare si rafinament, pornit intr-o calatorie de cunoastere si descoperire spirituala:

‘C. Brancusi a sosit la Paris ca ‘Wandervogel’ (pasare calatoare), intr-o calatorie de studii in muzeele din strainatate, care a durat doi ani alaturi de Petre Neagoe si alti mestesugari tineri plecati pentru perfectionarea mestesugurilor. “Pasarile calatoare” nu sunt turisti mediocri si acefali, vizitatori superficiali, plicitisti si plicticosi. “Pasarile calatoare” de la 1902 – 1904 erau tinerii valorosi, de diferite nationalitati, plecati in grupuri, din sete de cunoastere a lumii si pentru ameliorarea mestesugurilor deja capatate. Fusesera ucenici si calfe, si deveneau mesteri.’ (pag. 53)

 

sursa http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petre_Pandrea

sursa http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petre_Pandrea

 

Interesanta si nu lipsita de originalitate este plasarea originilor artei, personalitatii si caracterului lui Brancusi in spatiul de matca al Olteniei. In Petre Pandrea, Oltenia isi gaseste unul dintre cei mai expresivi si mai documentati sustinatori si suporteri ai unicitatii istorice si culturale deseori neglijate si minimizate a acestei provincii in spatiul romanesc.

‘Cei mai buni ostasi, cei mai multi generali, cei mai multi jandarmi, prea multi ministri si o liota de prim-ministri au fost dati de Oltenia … Olteanul Constantin Brancusi s-a autoportretizat si a schitat pe localnicii dornici si ambitiosi, lansand aforismul pedagogic: “Sa creezi ca Dumnezeu, sa comanzi ca un rege si sa muncesti ca un sclav”. Levantinii nu creeaza, ci desfigureaza, nu muncesc ci jefuiesc, si sunt ahtiati dupa tiranie sibarita. Mentalitatea Valahiei Mici se afla, de multe secole in conflict deschis sau larvat cu mentalitatea bizantina a Capitalei Valahiei Mari. Aici sunt radacinile bancurilor despre olteni: invidia si ranchiuna. Oltenii au luat locul evreilor in satira. ‘  (pag. 26)

Unul dintre textele minore face chiar o interesanta paralele intre Oltenia si Irlanda, intre Brancusi si Joyce. Merita citit.

Petre Pandrea intra in polemica directa cu cei care au creat imaginile alternative si deformate ale lui Brancusi, cei pe care fara ezitare ii incadreaza in categoria ‘inamicilor’. In sprijinul opiniilor sale unul dintre argumentele principale este cunoasterea directa a artistului in anii tineretii (lui Pandrea) petrecuti la Paris si prietenia pe care marele sculptor i-a acordat-o.

‘Am descoperit, cu acest prilej, un compatriot fermecator si solidar cu Oltenia lui, desi o parasise de patru decenii si, aproape, nu-i mai stia limba. Am descoperit un ganditor si un intelept. Vazusem multi oameni mari in tara si in strainatate dar, in preajma lui, am simtit aripa geniului falfaind spre suav.’ (pag. 37)

In incercarea sa de a demonta stereotipurile de ‘vagabond’ sau ‘cioban’ aplicate lui Brancusi, Petre Pandrea demonteaza in mod argumentat opiniile si caracterizarile lui Ionel Jianu, eseist si promotor al artei brancusiene considerat pana in ziua de azi unul dintre expertii cei mai reputari in materie. Jean Cassou – poetul, criticul de arta si primul director al Muzeului de Arta Moderna din Paris – este si el contrazis cu argumente si viziunea sa brancusiana aspru criticata pentru simplism si prejudecati culturale. Nu ies bine de sub pana lui Pandrea nici Marcel Mihalovici pe ale carui relatari se bazeaza Jianu in parte din argumentarile sale si nici ‘Peghita’ Guggenheim care este criticata aspru pentru un episod care in perspectiva istorica pare destul de marginal – incercarea de a-si adjudeca la un pret sub valoare (dar ce pret poate fi la valoare?) una dintre versiunile pretioase ale Maiastrei. Ciudata pare inversunarea lui Pandrea fata de Tristan Tzara – este adevarat ca Brancusi nu va fi avut o parere prea buna despre poetul decazut social intr-o anumita perioada, dar asta parca nu justifica repetata minimizare pana la marginea calomniei si a negarii rolului acestuia in geneza dadaismului si a avangardei artistice a secolului 20.

 

sursa http://the189.com/sculpture/constantin-brancusi-artist-and-sculptor/

sursa http://the189.com/sculpture/constantin-brancusi-artist-and-sculptor/

 

Biografia personala a lui Petre Pandrea a fost franta de ascensiunea comunismului, miscare pe care omul de stanga si juristul Pandrea a sustinut-o inca din anii ilegalitatii. Legaturile de familie cu Lucretiu Patrascanu si activitatea de jurist in apararea unora dintre ‘exponentii burgheziei’ (dupa ce ii aparase pe comunisti sub regimurile precedente) l-au costat pe Pandrea ani grei de inchisoare intre 1948 si 1952 si intre 1958 si 1964. Nu este de mirare ca lipsesc din carte referiri la oferta facuta de Brancusi statului roman de a-si lasa atelierul si o parte din lucrari mostenire natiunii, oferta refuzata de autoritatile comuniste ale anilor 50, posibil ca Pandrea nu a stiut despre acest episod, sau nu a dorit sa scrie despre el. Mai surprinzatoare mi s-au parut in perspectiva istorica ramasitele limbajului de lemn si ale ideilor schematic-doctrinare (referirea la ‘primul 1 Mai liber’, apologia biografica a lui Marx care l-ar fi facut sa rada in hohote pe Paul Johnson), mai ales cand acestea vin de la un om care nu numai ca a trecut prin Gulagul romanesc, dar a si avut curajul sa-si astearna pe hartie cele traite acolo.

‘Sunt, in sfarsit, pe povarnisul varstei, spre marele hau. Consemnez in cele ce urmeaza, fragmente de conversatii din oralitatea prestigioasa a lui Brancusi, ca si povesti ale ucenicilor romani ai lui, despre neuitatul maistru, care avea o doctrina morala a stramosilor… La 60 de ani, simti pasii de lup ai mortii care dau tarcoale. Incepe inserarea melancolica inainte de marea noapte.’  (pag. 32-33)

 

Poate ca aceasta carte a lui Petre Pandrea ar trebui citita mai mult in acesta tonalitate de testament memorialistic. Pandrea insusi a avut un destin zbuciumat, si marea lumina a vietii sale a fost intalnirea cu geniul si cu omul Brancusi. Despre el a scris pagini memorabile, i-a gasit asociatii si filiatii unice in Creanga si Joyce, i-a trasat radacinile intr-o Oltenie descrisa ca un spatiu distinct, original si puternic. Pline de miez, respect si nostalgie sunt relatarile despre personalitatile Olteniei cum ar fi Felix Aderca, sau povestirea primei calatorii facute la iesirea din inchisoare in 1964, in cautarea radacinilor lui Brancusi si a propriilor sale radacini. Mai degraba si mai mult decat un volum final al unei monografii a unui mare artist aceasta carte este o incheiere a unei biografii spirituale a autorului cartii insusi.

 

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