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HORIA BERNEA

One of the greatest contemporary Romanian painters, whose exhibitions inside and outside the country remained permanent landmarks in the field. From 1990 to his death in 2000 he was director of the Romanian Peasant Museum. He established an original style in European ethnomuseography which he liked to call nascent or flickering museology.
I learned from him that you must not hurry or get stubborn when you want to accomplish a project. You first have to think about it really well, to see if your initial idea is correct. Nobody saw better than he did. Then you should consult with others, preferably with those whom you know to have different opinions. Then you try to take into account all these remarks, arguing against those you reject and including those that can enrich the project. Then you wait, germinate, preparing the illumination. For Horia Bernea, illumination meant the conviction that the idea was convergent with the faith – freely chosen to be the Christian faith. Only then, the project could start the adventure of the mise-en-oeuvre. Only then, could the miracle of the formation of the team happen. I haven’t yet met anyone so capable of constructing little punctual families with people, all too human, to transform their weaknesses in creativity, their complexes in personal style, their frustrations in a new enthusiasm, their preferences in wish for collective accomplishment.
He was not afraid to shock, to irritate, to incite. He contaminated us with courage by asking difficult questions – what do you see here? What do you think about this? What do you understand? Why don’t you like it? – or by simply inviting us to contradict him. It wasn’t and it is still not easy. But nothing that we do at the museum under his wing is easy.

Ioana Popescu

Horia Bernea: de la grădină la iconostas
12 august – 15 septembrie 2020




The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant hosts the exhibition Horia Bernea: from the garden to the iconostasis, commemorating 20 years since the artist passed away, untill September 15, 2020.

From the garden to the iconostasis, as Horia Bernea stated himself, he had looked for the path to set up the dialogue and the alliance with God. After going through a conceptual and abstract phase, Horia Bernea gradually returned to figurative art. He approached established genres and themes, using the tools of a painter who have not denied neither contemporary art nor tradition. He did not consider art a goal in itself, he really believed the art helped him in his spiritual survival, and sharing all the joys he experienced on his way to the truth was like a real confession.

His artistic endeavour has stood under the sign of the cross, which he has recognized, with unceasing astonishment, in all things around. Through the exhibition "The Cross", he had marked the setting up of the Romanian Peasant Museum, highlighting the Christian faith as the foundation of the Romanian village civilization and the cross as an important landmark through the contemporary times. Horia Bernea brought a new vividness in contemporary curatorship by thinking the museum as a story, placing in its centre the icon of the "peasant" and thus keeping alive the memory of the spirituality of the Romanian peasant.

The exhibition is organised by Eleon Association from Alba Iulia, with the support of the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant and in partnership with the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Most of the works were made available by kind permission of the collectors Dr. Sorin Costina, Daniel and Roxana Ghiuruțan and Doina and Constantin Xifta.

The exhibition is part of the Peasant Museum Days event, which, this year, will take place between 10 and 20 September 2020.

Opening times
Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
Closed on Monday

 


 




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