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The last entrance to the MNAR and the Museum of Art Collections is at 17.00, and to the Theodor Pallady Museum, the K.H. Zambaccian Museum and the temporary exhibitions at 17.30.

The National Museum of Art of Romania
Romulus Ladea – Sculpture Exhibition

Romulus Ladea – Sculpture Exhibition

From 01 October 2023 14:44 until 31 December 2023 16:44
Posted by MNAR Admin
Categories: Events
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The National Museum of Art of Romania invites you to the opening of the autumn exhibition season with the exhibition of the creator of the Cluj school of sculpture, Romulus Ladea. Part of the MNAR program which aims to give the public access through exhibitions to the national heritage it either owns or is in the collections of other Romanian museums, this exhibition takes place more than 50 years after the last retrospective of the artist in Bucharest.

The exhibition presents a selection of the most important works of Romulus Ladea, as envisioned by curator Judit Balint, from MNAR’s own collection and works on loan from the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, the Timișoara National Art Museum, the Arad Museum Complex, the Brașov Art Museum, the National Brukenthal, National Museum of Banat, Oradea Museum of the Crișurilor Country, from the collection of the Ladea family and that of Mr. Radu Zaciu. To these, photos and documents are added from the National Museum of Contemporary Art and an audio recording from the "Constantin Brăiloiu" Institute of Ethnography and Folklore.

The sculptor Romulus Ladea established himself in the history of local art through a modernist vision and the adoption of an original sculptural language extracted from the local popular tradition, from the lessons of the classical masters and from the trends of interwar European sculpture. Although he had studied in Paris with Antoine Bourdelle and worked in Constantin Brâncuși’s studio in Montparnasse he did not become burdened by any of these influences.

As a teacher and a mentor, Romulus Ladea made an important contribution to the development of specialized art education in Transylvania. He worked at the Cluj Academy of Art from its establishment until 1966. Born in Jitin, Caraș-Severin, in 1901 he lived and worked in Arad, Timișoara, Cluj and in his last years in Arcuda, near Bucharest.

When the communist authorities removed him from education, he lived for a period of isolation in Suceag, near Cluj. With a strong personality and an interest in broadening his cultural horizon and dialogue, Ladea attracted writers and artists around him and formed an informal cenacle in Timișoara that met at the "Spieluhr" cafe. During his retreat to Suceag, his workshop became a place of pilgrimage visited by students, writers, artists and journalists. He passed away in 1970, and as a sign of appreciation, the high school of fine arts in Cluj-Napoca bears his name.

The 33 sculptures, presented in an impeccable scenography, constitute a chronological course, highlighting the stylistic evolution of the sculptor and his main themes: portrait and self-portrait, love, motherhood, family, sacred spirit, heroism. His artistic virtuosity enlivened materials such as wood, clay, or bronze, to which he gave an impressive monumentality, a striking, sometimes frustrated expressiveness. His sculptures thus bear the imprint of a strong spirit that managed to add a distinct artistic profile to the configuration of Romanian sculpture, distinct from everything that was done before him.

Public monuments are an important part of his creation, as Ladea is the author of works that represent great cultural personalities, with an emphasis on the symbolic figures that contributed to the emancipation of the Romanian people. Statues with symbolic value in Cluj's public space, deeply attached to a local identity consciousness, such as the statuary group "Ardelean School" (Petru Maior, Gheorghe Șincai, Samuil Micu), placed in front of the

rectorate of Babeș-Bolyai University, Lucian Blaga, placed in front of the National Theater, Ion Agârbiceanu, appear in the exhibition through a video production.

"We want to respond to the public's appetite for diversity and high artistic quality with an exceptional exhibition of sculpture that will, we hope, revive interest in this artistic genre and in the work of an artist of Transylvanian origin, Romulus Ladea. At the same time, we also aim with this exhibition to make known the extraordinary artistic heritage that MNAR owns and to offer other museums in the country the opportunity to present works of immense importance to the public in the capital" says the general director of MNAR Călin-Alexiu Stegerean.

The curator of the exhibition, Judit Balint, coordinates the Oriental and Decorative Art Section of MNAR and the design project of the European Decorative Art Gallery. Trained as a sculptor, she obtained her doctorate with a thesis on art in public space in Romania after 1989 and has over 15 years of experience within the MNAR, where she collaborated in the organization of numerous temporary exhibitions.

During the exhibition, the curator will support various educational-formative activities.

The opening will take place on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at 6 p.m., on the ground floor of the National Gallery, Calea Victoriei no. 49-53. The exhibition will be open from October 4 to December 31, 2023.

Institutional partners: Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, Timisoara National Art Museum, Arad Museum Complex, Brașov Art Museum, Brukenthal National Museum, Banat National Museum, Oradea Crișurilor Country Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Institute of Ethnography and Folklore "Constantin Brăiloiu"

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