Exhibition Vernissage, January 20, 7pm, Casa Filipescu-cesianu, Calea Victoriei 151
The exhibition features images of works displayed for the first time in Romania, produced by internationally renowned artists who lived and witnessed the legionar rebellion and the Bucharest pogrom of January 1941, remaining marked for life by these experiences.
Hedda Sterne – 20 images of drawings by Hedda Sterne, made between 1937 and 1941, before her departure from Romania to New York. The drawings represent urban landscapes of Bucharest from that period. Hedda Sterne (August 4, 1910–April 8, 2011) was a prolific artist born in Bucharest, Romania. Sterne began her formal artistic education in Vienna in the 1920s, and in Paris in the 1930s, where she exhibited with the Surrealists. Following her emigration to the United States in 1941, after the Bucharest pogrom and the increasing threat of war in Romania, she became an active member of the New York School. Sterne’s work has been shown in more than 40 solo exhibitions, many at the Betty Parsons Gallery, and more than 70 group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. Throughout her eight-decade-long career, Sterne’s artistic practice was a path of discovery in which her prolific oeuvre would defy any single categorization. She once said, “I use my work to delve into the deep questions of existence. My life is a work of art.” Hedda Sterne’s varied and fluid styles reflect this artistic philosophy of “flux,” and distinguish Sterne as a unique figure in the history of 20th century art.
Marcel Janco – images of the 40 watercolors made by the artist in 1942 in Palestine, after emigrating there from Romania in 1941. The works represent scenes from the legionar rebellion and the pogrom.
Marcel Janco (May 24, 1895 – April 21, 1984) was a Romanian and Israeli visual artist, architect and art theorist. He was the co-inventor of Dadaism and a leading exponent of Constructivism in Eastern Europe. In the 1910s, he co-edited, with Ion Vinea and Tristan Tzara, the Romanian art magazine Simbolul. Janco was a practitioner of Art Nouveau, Futurism and Expressionism before contributing his painting and stage design to Tzara’s literary Dadaism. He parted with Dada in 1919, when he and painter Hans Arp founded a Constructivist circle, Das Neue Leben.
Reunited with Vinea, he founded Contimporanul, the influential tribune of the Romanian avant-garde, advocating a mix of Constructivism, Futurism and Cubism. At Contimporanul, Janco expounded a “revolutionary” vision of urban planning. He designed some of the most innovative landmarks of downtown Bucharest. He worked in many art forms, including illustration, sculpture and oil painting.
Janco was one of the leading Romanian Jewish intellectuals of his generation. Targeted by antisemitic persecution before and during World War II, he emigrated to British Palestine in 1941. He won the Dizengoff Prize and Israel Prize, and was a founder of Ein Hod, a utopian art colony, controversially built over a depopulated Palestinian Arab village (itself relocated to Ein Hawd).
Willy Pragher – projection of the 52 photographs taken by the photographer on the streets of Bucharest between January 21-24, documenting the legionar rebellion, street violence, and the devastation of the Jewish neighborhoods where numerous shops and houses were vandalized and destroyed.
Willy Pragher ( May 4, 1908 –June 25, 1992) was a German photo reporter who made numerous photographs in Romania. He grew up in Bucharest, in his granfather’s home, who was a famous fur merchant, Moritz Sigmund Pragher., one of the pillars of the Romanian-Catholic Church. Willy’s oeuvre, of approximately one million photographs, are located in the State Archives of Freiburg, and it contains 6000 glass plates, 27000 slides, 110,000 paper photographs, and several hundred thousands negatives. He devoted himself to photography since his youth, and by the age of 16 he had already published his first broscure of photographs produced in Romania. He spent his childhood and youth in Germany and Romania, and in 1939, before the outbreak of war, he became the photographer of the Romanian Society for the Distribution of Natural Gas in Romania. From 1932-1939 he was a freelance photo-reporter in Berlin, the smae period during which he changed his name from Prager to Pragher because a well-known Jewish singer was named the same, a reason for which he was searched by the Nazi authorities several times.