VINCENTIU GRIGORESCU

Vincentiu Grigorescu

Geometrie Casuali I, 1973-1975, oil on canvas, 70×70 cm

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BIOGRAPHY

Vincentiu Grigorescu (Bucharest, November 16th, 1923 – Castelnuovo Magra, January 1st, 2012) was an Italian painter of Romanian-Greek origin.

He began his artistic activity early in 1938 with the creation of several still life pastel paintings. In 1944, he enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Bucharest. In that same year, he voluntarily enlisted as a paratrooper in the Romanian armed forces fighting Nazism. He was later wounded in action and decorated.

In his early studies his interest focused mainly on the works of Van Gogh, Cezanne and the modern art of Duchamp. In his own paintings he approached a large array of topics from still life to abstract works which in the beginning did not attain the same degree of recognition that art critics reserved for his caricatures and graphic design.

In 1954, he won the prize for the Manifest at the World Youth Festival in Moscow; in 1957, he was honored at the Milan Triennial. Starting from large still lives and graphic design, Vincentiu Grigorescu’s work progressed towards concrete abstraction involving surface, support and color.

From 1964 to 1965, he began making the first series of Blacks. In 1967, he exhibited in Romania the “Black Squares”-vibrations. In the course of 1967 and 1968, he devoted himself to the series of Manuscripts. In 1969, he conceived his first monochromatic cuts.

Vincentiu Grigorescu came to express himself more and more through blacks and whites, thus approaching the topics of the Russian, Dutch and French avant-garde. At the same time, in the logic of reduction, he limited his creations to the maximum detail in line with his philosophy according to which “The scarcity of means leads to style”.

Because of his abstract works, Grigorescu came under heavy criticism as the ruling Romanian communist authorities openly accused him of “formalism”. In opposition to that regime’s ideological fixation on the doctrine of “socialist realism” (meaning: realistic form and socialist content), Grigorescu’s production reached a turning point: his abstraction became more and more part of a daring trend, rapidly enjoying international recognition.

In the period of the 60’s and early 70’s while he was still living in Romania, Vincentiu Grigorescu participated in some solo exhibitions, for example in Bucharest, Dusseldorf, Uppsala, Copenhagen, Bologna and also in several group exhibition in Sofia, Havana, Warschau, Geneva, Rome, etc.

Elected Secretary of the Romanian Artists’ Union for Graphics, he resigned in protest in 1971 after years of political disputes with the Ceausescu regime. In 1972 he went into exile in Italy, was given political asylum and afterwards the citizenship.

He settled in Milan; there he created the Butterflies-series, which enjoyed considerable success.

In 1975 Vincentiu had an important solo show at Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin, curated by Angelo Dragone. He also exhibited in Brussels (1976), at the Milanese galleries “Studio A” (with the series of Whites) and “Vismara” (1976 and 1980).

In the course of the ’80s and the 90’s, he completed a series of Colored Cuts and Blacks (1982); he exhibited a collection of still lives at the San Marco Gallery in Seregno.

In 1999, he left Milan and settled in Castelnuovo Magra (Liguria) where he devoted himself to still lives of highlighted chromaticism, without neglecting his research in abstract art.

Vincentiu Grigorescu become a relevant name in geometrical abstractionism with a strong interest in spatialism, constructivism and also arte povera; he was integrated in exhibitions of the Italian artists’ group that was active in the second half of the 20th century, including Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana.

He never returned to his country of birth. In 2012 Vincentiu Grigorescu passed away.

Works in noteworthy museums and collections

Grigorescu’s works are part of the following collections: The National Museum of Art of Romania, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Turin, E. G. Robinson, W. Rogers, Frank Shakespeare, F. von Thyssen, M. Pierborg, S. Brody, F.Wojda and L. Pomini.

EXHIBITIONS

EXHIBITIONS AFTER 1972:

25.11.2015 – 20.02.2016

Vincentiu Grigorescu – Le Tele
solo show curated by Joana Grevers and Marzia Ratti, 418 Gallery, Bucharest

22.10.2014-31.03.2015

Vincentiu Grigorescu
UniCredit Bank, Project Space 1F, Bucharest
Curated by Adriana Tranca

2-5.10.2014

Vienna Fair
with 418 Gallery

26-28.09.2014

Art International Istanbul,
with 418 Gallery

8.05.-31.07.2014

Structure & Energy II – The Power of Abstraction,
with Diet Sayler and Romul Nutiu, curated by Marzia Ratti and Joana Grevers, 418 Gallery Bucharest, Romania

3-19.04.2014

Vincentiu Grigorescu, solo show
Galleria Xenia of Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Budapest, Hungary

13.06.-31.10.2013

Structure & Energy. The Need for Abstraction, together with Diet Sayler and Romul Nutiu
418 Contemporary Art Gallery Bucharest, curated by Liviana Dan and Joana Grevers, critical texts by Ruxandra Demetrescu and Liviana Dan

25.01.-9.03.2013

Vincentiu Grigorescu. La Scoperta del Colore. Ultime Opere
Spazio Espositivo Liceo Artistico Statale della Spezia, Palazzo Comunale di Castelnuovo Magra, Italy, curated by Francesca Mariani, critical texts by Marzia Ratti and Francesca Mariani

5.04. – 30.09.2012

Superfici Sensibili. Dialogo con il supporto
CAMEC della Spezia, Italy, curated by Marzia Ratti, group exhibition with Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni etc.

2009

Generazione anni Venti, solo show
Vincentiu Grigorescu, Castello di San Giorgio della Spezia, Italy, curated by Marzia Ratti

2002

Works 1967-2001, solo show
Centro S. Allende della Spezia and Castello Doria di Porto Venere, Italy, curated by Marzia Ratti

1996

Solo show at Galleria Arte Contemporanea in Lugano

1985

Solo show
Galleria San Marco in Seregno (Milan)

19.11-6.12.1980

Solo show
Vismara Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy, curated by Alberto Veca

1976

Solo show
Vismara Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy, curated by Gillo Dorfles

1975

Solo show
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy, curated by Angelo Dragone

Solo show
Studio A, Milan, Italy

1974

Solo show
Brussels, Belgium

EXHIBITIONS UNTIL 1972:

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Bucharest, Dusseldorf, Ala, Uppsala, New York, Lingkoping, Milan, Copenhagen, Biella, Bologna, Bruxelles

GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

Rome, Milan, Turin, London, Geneva, Mexico, Moscow, Pekin, Warsaw, Prague, Paris, New Delhi, Montreal, Quebec, Bagdad, Sofia, Havana.

AWARDS:

1954 – Moscow, World Youth Festival
1957 – Triennale di Milano
1958 – Prize of the Union of Fine Artists, Romania
1961 – Montreal, Gold Medal for Film Posters