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The National Museum of Art of Romania
The Modern Idol. Henry Moore in the Eastern Bloc

The Modern Idol. Henry Moore in the Eastern Bloc

From 14 October 2021 20:00 until 06 February 2022 20:00
Categories: Events
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The National Museum of Art of Romania and The Institute of the Present open the exhibition The Modern Idol. Henry Moore in the Eastern Bloc. Conceived in a documentary format, the exhibition proposes a contextualisation of the Henry Moore exhibition taken on tour to Bucharest, Bratislava, Prague and Budapest in 1966–67. The exhibition is a collective research project, being initiated by art historians Alina Șerban (Bucharest), Daniel Véri (Budapest) and Lujza Kotočová (Prague) and contains a series of interviews with witnesses of the exhibition in Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary: Ioana Vlasiu, art historian, Constantin Flondor, painter, Grigorie Minea, sculptor, Peter Jacobi, sculptor; Adéla Matasová, intermediate artist; György Jovánovics, sculptor, László Gyémánt, painter, Krisztina Passuth, art historian, Márta Kovalovszky & Péter Kovács, art historians.

General opening hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00–18:00, last entry at 17:30
Curators Lujza Kotočová, Alina Șerban, Daniel Véri

Considered, at the time, the largest international retrospective of the artist, the exhibition, organised by the British Council in cooperation with local authorities IN Romania, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the exhibition featured works—sculptures and drawings—spanning over five decades, from 1924 until 1964. The current research explores the stories of these shows in Bucharest, Bratislava, Prague and Budapest, investigating their role in taming the political tensions and the conflicting ideologies after 1960. The exhibitions were the result of a cultural exchange programme with the Eastern Bloc managed by the British Council: in exchange for hosting Moore’s show, these countries had the possibility to organise similar events in the UK. The timeline presented in the current exhibition explores such bilateral connections between the UK and the three socialist countries. Furthermore, it highlights events related to Moore that took place in the Eastern Bloc (Poland, Bulgaria) and Yugoslavia.

The reception of Moore’s work was different in each of these contexts due to the specific artistic and political conditions and the varying degree of awareness towards Moore’s oeuvre, acquired earlier through official or unofficial channels. The discussions surrounding the exhibition did nonetheless offer evidence that the local artistic and cultural life was stimulated by Moore’s presence, in some cases shaping individual artistic careers or reinforcing ideas and tendencies already present within the cultural landscape of these countries in the 1960s. Accordingly, Moore’s exhibitions constituted a shared tool for both British and local authorities in their own cultural diplomacy.
Henry Moore’s touring exhibition represents an exceptional moment in the post-war history of exhibitions in the Eastern Bloc. Revisiting such an event from a transnational point of view can significantly contribute to the understanding of the intricacies of 1960s cultural politics.

The Institute of the Present is a research and an artist resource platform in the field of visual and performing culture conceived by Ștefania Ferchedău and Alina Șerban. Centred on artists and their personal accounts, on time-specific encounters and forms of (self) archiving, the Institute looks at various practices and situations from the recent past until today from a transnational and transcultural perspective.

The National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) was founded in 1948, being the keeper of an important collection of medieval, modern and contemporary Romanian and international art. In addition to its research and conservation activity, MNAR carries out extensive exhibition and educational programmes and initiates partnerships with important cultural institutions, in the country and abroad.

The partnership with the Institute of the Present is prompted by the existence of a sculpture by Henry Moore in the collection of MNAR, which was purchased by the State Committee for Culture and Art following the artist’s exhibition in Bucharest in 1966.

Funders: Cultural programme co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund; Project supported by the Romanian Order of Architects from the architectural stamp
Partners: Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Museum of Fine Arts – Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI), Budapest
Supported by: Czech Centre, Polish Institute Bucharest, Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Centre Bucharest
Logistic partners: Policolor, Ytong
Research: Lujza Kotočová, Alina Șerban, Daniel Véri, Diana Bularca
Management and communication: Ștefania Ferchedău
Logistic support: Rudy Teianu
Visual identity: Andrei Turenici (Daniel & Andrew Design Studio)
Exhibition architecture: Alex Axinte, Cristi Borcan (studioBASAR)
Photography and image processing: Serioja Bocsok
Production and film editing: Andreea Lăcătuș
Translation: Diana Bularca, Claudia Lie, Laura Ionică
Production for space design and display: Top Event, Azero
Cutter-plotter and self-adhesive materials montage: Nelu Dinu
Image credit: Radu Petrescu, 1966 © Radu Petrescu Family Archive

Maria Albani, Emőke Bodonyi, Gyöngyi Bubik & Csaba Keresztes (National Archives of Hungary), Suzana Dan, Réka Deim, Dessislava Dimova, Adelina Fileva & Nikoleta Gologanova (Sofia City Gallery), Zoltán Földvári (Földvári Books), Constantin Flondor, Vivien Gál (Műcsarnok Library and Archive), Jakub Gajda, Ion Grigorescu & Radu Petrescu Family Archive, László Gyémánt, Jakub Ivánek (Ostravské sochy), Peter Jacobi, Jan Jílek, György Jovánovics, Ruxandra Juvara, Robin Ujfaluši (Czech Centre Bucharest), András László Kósa & Tibor Kovács & Magdolna Csegedi (Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Centre Bucharest), Katarina Kostandinović (Belgrade Cultural Centre), Alexandra Kusá & Zuzana Koblišková & Katarína Kučerová Bodnárová (Slovak National Gallery), Márta Kovalovszky & Péter Kovács, Doru Gheorghe Liciu (MAE Diplomatic Archive), Grigore Minea, Pavlína Morganová (Academy of Arts Prague), Krisztina Passuth, Bojana Piškur (Moderna Galerija Ljubljana), Attila Pőcze (Vintage Galéria), Enikő Róka (BTM Fővárosi Képtár), Natalia Mosor & Paweł Rutkowski (Polish Institute Bucharest), Tomáš Hylmar & Dita Schulmeisterová (Archive of the National Gallery Prague), Simona Stoyanova-Markova & Milena Milcheva (Archives State Agency of Republic of Bulgaria), Sebestyén György Székely (Quadro Gallery), Agnieszka Szewczyk, Annamária Szőke, Eszter Tóth (Janus Pannonius Museum), Dezső Váli, Dejan Vučetić (Heritage House Belgrad), Suzana Vuksanović (Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina), Zdeněk Zůcha (Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS), Karolina Zychowicz (Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw), Ioana Vlasiu, Mihai Pop (Plan B Gallery), Marian Țone, Ciprian Furtună, Nelu Dinu

Disclaimer: The project does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the project or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.
NOTE: The event in held in compliance with current sanitary rules in Bucharest.

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