It is one of the most multicultural and multi-ethnic cities in Europe. And so Timișoara is the perfect place to be a European Capital of Culture, a title it will hold throughout 2023. Highlights include two major art exhibitions and the 5th Biennial Art Encounters organized by the Art Encounters foundation. The exhibitions are devoted to two artists of Romanian origin: Constantin Brâncuși, and Victor Brauner who was born in the historical region of Western Moldavia in Romania. The Victor Brauner retrospective is particularly poignant as it is the first time the artist will be exhibited in a museum in his native country and where his career began and evolved. Brauner is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the Surrealist movement. The Brauner show is being co-organized with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Timișoara National Art Museum, the Art Encounters foundation and the French Institute of Romania.
Born in 1903, Victor Brauner actively participated from the 1920s in the Bucharest avant-garde and would become one of its major players. His conversion to Surrealism was gradual and emerged over his two stays in Paris. He would settle permanently in France in 1938. The show, entitled Victor Brauner – Inventions and Magic, brings together some 60 works with 40 of them on loan from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and some 20 works preserved in Romania in museums and private collections. It has been curated by Camille Morando, the head of documentation at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art/Centre Pompidou and a professor at the prestigious Ecole du Louvre art history school.
« Even if some of Brauner’s artworks (especially of the beginning of his production) are present in museums and private collections in Romania, Brauner, recognized internationally (in France, Germany, Italy, the United States and beyond), is still too little known in his native country. That is why this retrospective – the first exhibition dedicated to this great artist in a museum in Romania – will be a very important event, » explained Camille Morando who is today one of the world’s renowned experts on Victor Brauner.
The exhibition is being played out in 11 halls located on the second floor of the Baroque Palace of the National Museum of Art of Timișoara. Chimeras, mysticism, animals, female nudes all people his works, many of which are simply spectacular. He executed his works in myriad mediums ranging from paintings, drawings, sculptures, book illustrations and documents and the show spans Brauner’s entire artistic career from the 1920s until the 1960s.
A part of his life involved upheaval notably his departure from his native Romania in 1938 in the wake of growing anti-Semitism, then during World War II when he fled to Marseilles with the Surrealists and waited for a visa which never came and so he took refuge in the French Alps. He returned to Paris in 1945 but fled to Switzerland in 1948 to escape the threats of expulsion in France concerning Romanians in an irregular situation. He would in that same year be excluded from the Surrealist movement despite remaining for the rest of his career and to this day one of the movement’s greatest representatives. He died in Paris in 1966 and his work would represent France at the Venice Biennale. He had obtained French nationality three years before his death. Something Picasso never did. The Victor Brauner exhibition is running until May 28th. Museum address: Piața Unirii 1, Timișoara 300085, Romania.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Categories: Gourmet Fair
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