Horia Bernea

Horia Bernea

b. 1938 - d. 2000, Bucharest, Romania

Horia Bernea was an important Romanian artist, a representative for the conceptualist practices from the Communist era and for the spiritual directions in Romanian painting before and after 1989. Blending modernity and tradition, the abstract and the figurative, his works tend to place emphasis on the texture and the materiality of the painting, not in formalist terms, but as a way of dealing with the spiritual challenges of contemporary times. From 1990 until his death in 2000 he was director of the newly (re)opened Romanian Peasant Museum, institution that received in 1996 the "European Museum of the Year” award. There he shaped an unique style in the European ethnic museography, which he liked to call “nascent” and “flickering museology”. His works have been recently shown in the Vienna Biennale 2015, in the Art Encounters 2015 Biennale (Timisoara, Romania), while in the past they have been part of exhibitions at Centre Pompidou (Paris, 1984), Richard Demarco Gallery (Edinburgh, 1970), The Romanian Pavilion in The Venice Biennale, Romanian Pavilion (1980, 1978), etc.

Horia Bernea, "Prapor", oil on canvas, 103 x 103 cm, photo credits Ștefan Sava
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1990-2000 director of the National Peasant Museum, Bucharest


1957-1959 – Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Bucharest University, Bucharest
1959-1962 – Technical School of Architecture, Bucharest
1962-1964 – The Pedagogical Institute in Bucharest, Drawing Department

Selected solo exhibitions:

2015 – Hills and Plains. Ion Țuculescu and Horia Bernea (Craiova Art Museum, Craiova, Romania)
2014 – Watercolours 1999-2000 (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest); The Bernea Horizon (“Palatele Brâncovenești” Cultural Center, Mogoșoaia, Romania)
2013 – Works by Horia Bernea in the Mircea Pinte Collection (Cluj Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca)
2010 – Real Time (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest)
2009 – Horia Bernea or Painting as Redemption (Romanian Cultural Institute, Paris); Horia Bernea. La réconciliation avec l’image (Le Cloître Lucien Wercollier de l’Abbaye de Neumünster, Luxembourg)
2008 – Horia Bernea. Appropriate Gestures (The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest)
2004 – Horia Bernea & Paul Neagu. Confluences (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest); Works by Horia Bernea in Dr. Sorin Costina Collection (Matthias Corvinus House, Cluj, Romania)
2001 – Early Drawings (Sabina & Jan Negulescu Gallery, Bucharest)

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