The National Museum of Art of Romania

Art for the people ? Official Romanian Fine Arts between 1948 and 1965

The first exhibition to bring to the fore Romanian fine arts associated with socialist realism.

Open 8 December 2016 to 2 April 2017
National Gallery Wing, Calea Victoriei 49-53
Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 – 18.00

Art for the people ? Official Romanian Fine Arts between 1948 and 1965 is the first major retrospective exhibition organised by the National Museum of Art of Romania to address what is still a thorny issue for many: socialist realism and official art during the early years of the communist regime.

The exhibition follows closely the links between official art, party rhetoric and historical events while highlighting key stages in the style’s development. Following into the footsteps of Soviet-style propaganda, party officials used visual arts as a powerful instrument in shaping the minds and perceptions of the people. A limited number of recurring themes were approached through (ample) thematic compositions featuring primarily party leaders and working class subjects linked to the country’s industrialisation and new collective agriculture, all in support of the new ideology.

As is often the case, thorny issues revolve around aesthetics and artistry or craftsmanship, on how closely artists’ identify themselves or not with the ideology they serve. The selection is representative of the wide array of artists who practiced the style, from established classical modernists such as Jean Al. Steriadi, Camil Ressu, Corneliu Baba, Ion Vlasiu or Nutzi Acontz to emerging young artists like Ion Bitzan or Ion Gheorghiu, from avant-garde artists such as M. H. Maxy, Jules Perahim to Iosif Bene and Tiberiu Krausz, artists whose name went nearly forgotten.

Exhibition curator and catalogue author: Monica Enache.
Bilingual Romanian-English catalogue available at the Museum’s shop.

Open 8 December 2016 to 2 April 2017
National Gallery Wing, Calea Victoriei 49-53
Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 – 18.00