The 2018 Brancusi National Award marked the end of events dedicated to the 81st anniversary of the inauguration of the Brancusi sculpture complex in Targu Jiu
The gala for granting the awards of the Fine Artist Union of Romania and the 2018 Brancusi National Award marked the end of events dedicated to the 81st anniversary of the inauguration of the Brancusi sculpture complex in Targu Jiu. The Fine Artists Union of Romania granted nine specialty awards, one for young artists, one for excellence, three special jury awards, and two awards for friends of the arts. Gheorghe Dican, vice-president of the union, told us about the importance of these awards:
“It is extremely important for us as an organization to grant these awards, but it is equally important for people with achievements within our union to gain recognition, which is of importance for fine and visual arts in Romania in general. For the last few years, the Fine Arts Union has resumed this tradition, which was interrupted for a few years, to grant awards at the end of each year. We are doing this with help from the Ministry of Culture, but unfortunately last year the ministry did not make good on this promise, and I hope that was accidental. We are in the third edition within this format. We believe that the activity of Romanian artists must be recognized with the help of a variety of media, and that a gala in this format is welcome for the purpose of rebranding the Union, which has been obscured lately. That is not because the artists lacked activity, but because we could not afford to grant them recognition in the last few years.”
The main award was granted to painter, sculptor, and graphic artist Mircia Dumitrescu corresponding member of the Romanian Academy. In 2006, Dumitrescu became a member of the Union of Engravers and Lithographers of Hungary. Between 1975 and 1990 he was a secretary of the graphics section of the Union of Fine Artists. From 1979 to1989 he was a graphic artist for the Sports and Tourism Publishing House of Bucharest. In 1990 he became a lecturer with the Arts Academy of Bucharest, gaining tenure in 2011. In 2005 he defended his PhD in visual arts with his work 'Oculocentric Invention or the Temptations of St. Anthony'. He headed the graphic arts department between 1990 and 2008. In 2005 he worked with the Romanian Academy in the project initiated by academician Eugen Simion to save national poet Eminescu's manuscripts, which continues a long tradition. He proposed an innovative method to print them in a new format, using digital technology, which makes them much more easily accessible to scholars and collectors. Mircia Dumitrescu has provided along the years graphic illustrations for the works of poet Nichita Stanescu, who became a close friend of his. Nichita Stanescu dedicated him 33 of his poems, and the artist gave him many of his works as a gift. Here is what Dumitrescu told us about the Grand Prize of the Union:
“I believe that this prize was a long time coming, so I cannot say that I feel one way or another about it. It came at a time when I no longer need prizes. I am glad, though, that the award ceremony was in Targu-Jiu, a space we all love thanks to Constantin Brancusi. I was also glad that I could have a launch here in Targu-Jiu, after a round of launches in Bucharest, at the Romanian Academy, and the Carol I Central University Library. I had another launch in Bacau, with the centennial volume 'The Ordeal of Romanian Prisoners in Alsace and Lorraine'. No one paid any attention to these prisoners, but luckily a French colonel told me about these forgotten captives. Among them was my grandfather, who died in a hospital in Cherbourg after the war. This volume helped me reunite with my grandfather. As for my work, I always have something in preparation. I have recently finished the bronze statues of the Minovici brothers, which will go on to be placed in the garden of the Minovici Villa, and I am also planning a painting exhibition.”
The collector's edition volume 'The Grand War 1914-1918. The Ordeal of Romania Prisoners in Alsace and Lorraine' was published in 2019 in a limited 33 copy issue.
Laurentiu Mogosanu got two awards at the Romanian Fine Artists’ Gala. He is the winner of the Brancusi National Award and also of the Jury Award. Sculptor Laurentiu Mogosanu graduated from the Art Academy in Bucharest. In 1993 he won a Frederick Stork scholarship, in 1994 a scholarship from the Romanian Fine Arts Union, and in 1996 the ‘Ludvig Forum’ Aachen scholarship. In 1994 he was awarded the union’s Youth Prize, and in 1988 an award for the symposium held by the artist union in Calarasi. He has participated in lots of group exhibitions and art salons in Romania and abroad. Here is Laurentiu Mogosanu:
Track VM: “I didn't start off with the goal to get a prize. This is the result of the work I’ve done in the past several years. In 2018 I had two exhibitions, one at the Simeza Gallery on Magheru Boulevard, the theme being the joy of Resurrection, and the second was hosted at Mogosoaia Palace, in the Cuhnia Gallery, where I tried to render the drama of the Brancoveanu family. I can say that these awards are very stimulating, because they are a recognition coming from my peers, and that is a motivation for me to carry on my projects and to start new ones.”
The Excellence Award granted by the Fine Artists’ Union went to Mihail Trifa, the Graphics Award to Florin Stoiciu, the prize for sculpture to Victoria Zidaru, and the ‘Friend of the Arts’ award went to Doru Strimbulescu and Mircea Neacsa.