Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stefan Hajdu

Ştefan Hajdu (1907-1996), also known as István Hajdú or Étienne Hajdú, was a famous French sculptor of Jewish Hungarian origin, born in the Transylvanian town of Turda, Romania. He studied in Budapest and Vienna and, in 1927, established himself in Paris. His works show a certain influence of Brancusi's aspiration towards pure forms, specially after 1950, when Hajdu starts to develop a very personal style, based on the abstractionism that was already present in his sculptures since 1932. Some of his works can be seen at museums in Paris, Essen, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Bucharest, Budapest and Skopje.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Romanian "Brother Grimm"

Josef Haltrich (1822-1886), a famous Transylvanian ethnograph, collected and published folk tales from the medieval German area called "Sachsenland", in today's Romania. He was born in Reghin, studied History, Theology and Philology in Leipzig and then lived in Sighisoara, Cluj and Bistrita. Compared to the Brothers Grimm, he is one of the most important folklorists of German culture.

Read here (in German) the folk tales collected by Haltrich.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shining through a long, dark night

Every now and then in film a tangible if invisible phenomenon, a “talent cloud,” descends upon a nation, and its filmmakers turn out impressive numbers of wonderful films that reinvigorate the medium. Such has been the case with the remarkable Romanian “new wave” of the past five or six years. After the crowning achievement of last year’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days — winner of both the Grand Prize at Cannes and Felix for Best Film — Romanian cinema has been, deservedly, the talk of critics and bloggers, as well as avid moviegoers.

Yet, few if any movements in film don’t have solid roots in the past. The great achievements of Romania’s emerging filmmakers such as Cristi Puiu, Cristian Mungiu, Ruxandra Zenide were foreshadowed by earlier generations — Liviu Ciulei, Lucian Pintilie, Dan Pita, Mircea Daneliuc, Alexandru Tatos, among others. With Shining Through a Long, Dark Night, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, brings together many of the finest recent Romanian films with a selection of key films from the pre-1989 Romania cinema.

For a listing of the films that will be screened between April 16th and 27th, go to Program Overview.

Source: Film Society of Lincoln Center

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Romanian artist promotes MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art from New York hired Dan Perjovschi to create a page promoting the museum for the daily paper The New York Times

The March 12, 2008 edition of the American daily paper includes in the special "Museums" section a page of drawings by Dan Perjovschi. Selected by the Museum of Modern Art to present the image of the institution in this edition of The New York Times, Perjovschi started his work with a modern comment referring to contemporary art and to the manner it is presented today by the great museums (including the Museum of Modern art), a list including "Cubism, Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Modernism, Cafeteria, Shop." Last year, the Museum of Modern Art hosted the first individual exhibition by Dan Perjovschi in the United States, entitled "What Happened to US?" In front of the audience, for several days, Perjovschi sketched graphic comments on the relations between present social and political circumstances and art on one of the walls of the Donald B. & Catherine C. Marron Atrium.

Global warming, violence in schools, freedom of expression and even the role of the United States in the world – were themes of the exhibition presented by Perjovschi at the Museum of Modern Art from Manhattan. In a declaration for HotNews.ro, in April 2007, Dan Perjovschi mentioned:

"All my works are inspired by reality because I follow a line of graphic comment – a highly personal graphic comment. It is not a detached graphic comment, and it is definitely not a comment dedicated to the beautiful side of life or to the things most people consider as beautiful. It is a statement of commitment. I feel like a citizen, not like a bystander. I am a man of the city, and I care about the issues it is dealing with, regardless if this city is New York, Sibiu or Bucharest. Drawing is my personal manner to respond to the city."

Source: Article by George Grigoriu on Nine O'Clock