Ion Grigorescu


b. 1945, Bucharest, Romania

Considered one of the most significant representatives of the experimental and conceptualist art in Eastern and Central Europe, Ion Grigorescu developed throughout his career a complex artistic practice, difficult to frame from a one-sided perspective. His practice encompasses various media – painting, photography, film, private performance, installation – in documenting aspects of reality which include his own body, family and daily life, as well as the social and political context. His works from the ‘60s and ‘70s, provocative and subversive, search for the contradictions inherent to the ‘objective’ facts, criticising the Communist regime and the dictatorship before 1989. His more recent work acquires spiritual and religious connotations, producing at the same time a critique on the institution of art itself.
His works have been shown in exhibitions at the National Museum of Art, Romania, Stedelijk Museum, MoMA New York, New Museum New York, Vienna Biennale 2015, Berlin Biennale 2010, Venice Biennale 1997 and 2011, Documenta 12, to name just a few, and they are in public collections such as Kontakt Art Collection, Vienna, Austria, MUMOK – Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna, Tate Modern, Galeria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea - GAM Torino, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul, MoMA, New York, Deutsche Bank AG, London, etc..

Ion Grigorescu, exhibition view, "Corp real (Real Body)", 2021, Ivan Gallery, photo Cătălin Georgescu
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1963-1969 – studied painting at the Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest

1971 – became a member of the UAP (Romanian Artists’ Union)

Selected solo exhibitions

2020
Chantal Akerman, Ion Grigorescu / unwahrnehmbar-werden (becoming imperceptible), Kunstbunker – Forum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Nürnberg, Germany

2019
Cinema, KIOSK, Gent, Belgium
Commentary upon Nature, Gregor Podnar Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Ion Grigorescu: The Open Artist, Kohta, Helsinki, Finland

2018
Gates and Ploys. Casting A Shadow (with Ștefan Sava), Ivan Gallery, Bucharest
Ion Grigorescu. The Painted Work: 1963 – 2017, Muzeul Țării Crişurilor, Oradea, Romania
2017
Ion Grigorescu. The Painted Work: 1963 – 2017, The National Museum of Art of Romania, Bucharest

2016
Modernismul Continua (with Octav Grigorescu), Tajan Artstudio, Paris, France

2015
Ion Grigorescu, École nationale supérieure d’art de Bourges, La Box, Bourges, France

2013
Ion Grigorescu: Photography in the Circulatory System, City Business Centre, Timisoara, Romania
Ion Grigorescu – Trauma of the Exposed Body, Prometeogallery, Milan, Italy

2012
Afternoon in Piatra Neamţ, Gregor Podnar Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2011
Performing History (with Anetta Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová), 54th Venice Biennial, Romanian Pavilion, Venice, Italy
The Diplomatic Tent (with Anetta Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová), Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest
Horse / Men Market, Sammlung Friedrichshof, Zurndorf, Austria
Ion Grigorescu – Mircea Pinte collection, National Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Back to Back (with Ciprian Muresan), Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest

2010
Oedipus the Wanderer, Gregor Podnar Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2009
Ion Grigorescu: In the Body of the Victim 1969–2008, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland
Ludlow 38 (with Lili Dujourie), European Kunsthalle Köln, Goethe Institute New York
The Self Punishing One (with Ștefan Bertalan and Florin Mitroi), Mogosoaia Palace, Romania, travelling to the Timisoara Art Museum, Romania
The Poor People are Fending for Themselves, Angels Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

2008
Superpositions, JGM Galerie, Paris, France
Le temps a modifié les lieux, Galerie Aux Enseignes des Oudin, Paris, France
Ion Grigorescu, Retrospective, Galleria Artra, Milan, Italy

2007
Resources (with Geta Brătescu), MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art), Bucharest

2006
Am Boden (On the Ground), Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
Toys (with Mircea Cantor), Protokol Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

2004
Fotografii recente (Recent Photos), Galeria Nouă, Bucharest

1998
Documente 1967-1997 (Documents 1967-1997), National Museum of Art, Bucharest

1997
Romanian Pavilion (with Ion Bitzan), Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

1994
First Gallery, Timisoara, Romania

1993
Mahlzeit für eine tote Kunst, Schauplatz für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Vienna, Austria
Animalita, Societa, Divinita, Istituto Romeno di Venezia, Venice, Italy

1992
Politica, religia și arta în față cu crima (Art, Politics and Religion Facing Crime), Catacomba Gallery, Bucharest

1991
Anatomia opunerii, supunerii, expunerii (Anatomy of Exhibition, Submission, Opposition), Căminul Artei, Bucharest

1982
Căminul Artei, Bucharest

1980
Căminul Artei, Bucharest

1976
Relograme (Realogrammes), Tribuna Gallery, Cluj, Romania

1975
Banat Museum, Reșița, Romania

1974
Apollo Gallery (with Ion Condiescu), Bucharest

1969
Casa de Cultură a Tineretului (Youth’s House), (with Manuel Zeltzer), Bucharest

Selected group exhibitions

2020
Body. Gaze. Power. A Cultural History of the Bath, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany

2019
Artists & Agents – Performancekunst und Geheimdienste, Hartware Medien Kunstverein (HMKV), Dortmund, Germany
Fete de vis (Fair Maidens: The Feminine Ideal from Nicolae Grigorescu to Ion Grigorescu), MARe (The Museum of Recent Art), Bucharest
ExEast. Past and recent stories of the Romanian avant-gardes, Espace Niemeyer, Paris, France

2018
Recollection – A Journey After 28 Years, Proyectosmonclova, Mexico City, Mexico
I AM THE MOUTH, Works by Central and Eastern European Artists from the Art Collection Telekom, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Croatia
Left Performance Histories, Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany
Double Heads Matches. A selection of contemporary artworks from Romanian Private Collections, New Budapest Gallery, Hungary
Freedom Is Recognized Necessity, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2017
Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb), The Showroom, London, UK
Die Revolution ist tot. Lang lebe die Revolution!, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland
Symptoms of Society, Guandong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

2016
Cold Front from the Balkans, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
My Sweet Little Lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise), Galerija Nova and other venues, Zagreb, Croatia

2015
1st Timisoara Art Encounters, Timisoara, Romania
Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America 1960–1980, MoMA, New York, USA
Mapping Bucharest. Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916–2016, Vienna Biennale 2015, MAK, Vienna, Austria
Chercher le garçon. Exposition collective d’artistes hommes, Musée d´art contemporain du Val-de-Marne MAC/Val, Vitry-sur-Seine, France
My Body is the Event. Vienna Actionism and International Performance, Mumok – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria
Grammar of Freedom / Five Lessons: Works from the Arteast 2000+ Collection, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia

2014
Mirroring, PM8, Vigo, Spain
Inside, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Artevida: política, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Decades of Revolt, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Gallery 5, Stockholm, Sweden
The Empty Pedestal. Ghosts from Eastern Europe, Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna, Italy

2013
Le Pont, MAC – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France
The Naked Man, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary

2012
Performing Histories, MoMA, New York, USA
Schwindel der Freiheit, CHB – Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Germany
The Naked Man, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria
Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, France
Printed, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
PhotoEspaña, XV edition of International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, Madrid, Spain

2011
A Complicated Relation, part I, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Kalmar, Sweden
East of Eden – Photorealism: Versions of Reality, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary
Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, USA
Stücke des Widerstands, Motorenhalle, Leipzig, Germany
The International, MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain
Out of Place, Tate Modern, London, UK, traveling to Darat al Funun – The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman, Jordan

2010
After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, USA
6th Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany
Bucharest Biennial 4
The Realism Question – Epilogue to Bucharest Biennale 4, Romanian Cultural Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
The Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Changing Channels, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria

2009
Gender Check – Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
Subversive Praktiken, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
Performing the East, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
Dada East? Romanian Contexts of Dadaism, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing, France

2008
Between the Images, IASPIS, Stockholm, Sweden
Dada East? Romanian Contexts of Dadaism, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2007
Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany
Social Cooking Romania, NGBK Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Prague Biennale 3, Prague, Czech Republic.
Art of the Possible, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden

2006
Fremd bin ich eingezogen, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
47th October Salon, Belgrade, Serbia
Dada East?, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, Switzerland
East Art Map: IRWIN / NSK, Basekamp, Philadelphia, USA
Grey Zones, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany
Kontakt, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
NowHere Europe – Trans:it. Moving Culture Through Europe, MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art), Bucharest
Legenda familiei (The Family Legend), organised by the artist at Galeria Anticariat Curtea Veche, Bucharest

2005
9th Baltic Triennial, BMW Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania
Paradoxes: The Embodied City, Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre, Lisbon, Portugal
On Difference #1, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany

2004
The First Balkan Biennial, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece
Romanian artists (and not only) love the Palace?, MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art), Bucharest
5th Cetinje Biennale – Love it or Leave it, National Museum of Montenegro, Cetinje, Montenegro
Arteast 2000+, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Artistul și prietenii săi: Florina, Georg, Matei, Bogdan și Ion (The artist and his friends: Florina, Georg, Matei, Bogdan and Ion), organised by the artist at the Mogoșoaia Palace, Romania

2003
In den Schluchten des Balkan, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
Periferic Biennial 6, Iasi, Romania

2002
In Search of Balkania, Neue Galerie, Graz, Austria

2001
Double Life, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria

2000
Collection 2000+, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia

1998
Out of Actions, Between Performance and the Object 1949–1979, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA, traveling to MUMOK, Vienna, Austria; MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, and MOMAT, Tokyo, Japan

1996
Zona Festival, Timișoara, Romania
Annart 7, International Living Art Festival, Lacul Sfânta Ana (Saint Anne Lake), Romania
Experiment în arta românească după 1960 (Experiment in the Romanian Art since 1960), organised by The Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Etaj 3⁄4 Gallery, Bucharest

1993
Ex Oriente Lux, Sala Dalles (Dalles Hall), organised by The Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest
Zona Festival, Timișoara, Romania

1992
Pământul (The Earth), The Museum of Art, Timișoara, Romania

1991
Wanderlieder. A Journey through the New Europe, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1990
Points East, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, UK

1989
He becomes a member of the Prolog group and takes part in various group exhibitions (Prolog II, Căminul Artei, Bucharest, 1989; Prolog III, 1990, etc.) alongside other artists of religious sensibility, including Paul Gherasim, Constantin Flondor, Horea Paștina, Horia Bernea, loana Bătrânu, Cristian Paraschiv, and Mihai Sârbulescu

1982
Artiști plastici expun fotografii (Fine Artists Exhibit Photographs), organised by the artist at Casa de Cultură Friedrich Schiller (Friedrich Schiller House of Culture), Bucharest

1981
XVI Biennial de Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Brazil
Studiu II. Omul și natura, locul și lucrurile (Study II. Man and Nature, Place and Things), organised by the artist together with the art critic Coriolan Babeți and artist Paul Gherasim at Bastion Gallery, Foto A.A.F. Gallery, and the Tirnișoara Arts Highschool, Timișoara, Romania
Medium ’81, The Art Museum, Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania

1978
Fotografii făcute de artiști (Photographs Taken by Artists), organised by the artist at Casa de Cultură Friedrich Schiller (Friedrich Schiller House of Culture), Bucharest
Studiu I (Study I), organised by the artist together with the art critic Coriolan Babeți at the Bastion Gallery, Timisoara, Romania

1976
Group show with Matei Lăzărescu, Florina Lăzărescu (Coulin) and Andrei Gheorghiu, Casa Scriitorilor (Writers’ House), Bucharest
Fotografii făcute de artiști (Photographs Taken by Artists), organised by the artist at Casa de Cultură Friedrich Schiller (Friedrich Schiller House of Culture), Bucharest

1974
Probleme noi ale imaginii (New Problems of the Image), organised by the artist at Atelier 35 and at the Orizont Gallery in Bucharest, and in Cluj at the gallery of the Artists’ Union 
Arta și istoria (Art and History), Galeria Nouă, Bucharest