what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Romanian secrets

For several years I have been very puzzled by the apparent banality of Romanian paintings - at least those available in private galleries and most museums in Bucharest. This year I have discovered the secret – the real glories have all been hiding somewhere else. 
I got a hint of this a few weeks back when I first ventured into the newly-opened Museum of Art Collections (housing what were - until the Communists got to them - more than 20 private collections); then when I came across a massive volume which brazenly showed off one modern collector’s prizes.
On Friday after the visit to the Aman Museum, we also happened to wander by accident into a small gallery across from the Athenium (Rotenburg and Uzunov) open only 6 months apparently – which displays Romanian aesthetic gems of the early part of the last century. This painting by Marius Bunescu (1881-1971) is one of their current exhibits

And today I really struck gold when I came across a mysterious site which gives about 70 key Romanian painters and many of their paintings. Its My heart to your heart and is the best site on Romanian painting I have so far come across - although the artindex site has been very useful to me as I have slowly accumulated what is now a very fat file of 350 pages on the Romanian painters who appeal to me.

And, to complete a full August, have a look at these etchings/paintings by Vladimir Kus which are on every page of a literary journal funded by the municipality of Iasi. Iasi is well known as Romania's intellectual capital - but it is quite something for a municipality to be editing such a 100 page cultural journal in these days!! It's been produced every 2 months since 2010 and the website gives us access to every copy - past copies have included great reproductions of Georg Grosz (black and white) and Rene Magritte (colour)
I take my hat off to the editors - pity I don't understand the contents but the quality of this production really deserves greater recognition.
By the way, the old shop which sells these (and about a hundred other literary journals) is an amazing sight - with tall bundles of the papers and journals piled high all around the hapless seller. Living proof of how intellectual Romania has been. You can find it on Bvd Dacia beside the House of Romanian Writers (with an exhibition of Nichita Stanescu's poetry) which itself has a nice garden pub at its back. This takes you into a charming area of old Bucharest houses

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