Simona Runcan

Simona Runcan

b. 1942, Bucharest - d. 2007, Bucharest, Romania

Simona Runcan graduated in 1966 from the Graphic Arts Department of the Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest. Her works of graphic art, objects, paintings and installations explore in a processual, serial and cyclic manner various themes and working means, from the ‘60s-‘80s experimental, conceptualist graphics to the more tradition-oriented painterly approach embraced by her after 1990. Although she has exhibited in national and international solo and group shows, her practice remained overall little known or acknowledged, especially abroad. After she passed away somewhat prematurely in 2007, her works haven’t been exhibited until 2016, when her family together with a group of young art historians organised an extensive retrospective at the Mogoșoaia Cultural Centre near Bucharest, followed by a first solo show at Ivan Gallery in 2016, featuring her debut series of works, "The Presence of Objects", drawings and etchings on paper from 1969-72, and a second Ivan Gallery solo show in 2018 with paintings from the last part of career, "Silent Cohabitations". Between 2019-20 her works were included in the exhibitions curated by Salonul de proiecte in Bucharest, at Spike Berlin and at Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Belgium (part of the Europalia Arts Festival Romania). Since 2021 Simona Runcan has been in the program of the Standard gallery from Oslo, with the solo show "Silent Cohabitations" (2021) and in the group exhibitions "Therein / Thereof / Thereto" (2021) and "Ir, Ir, Ir" (2023).

Simona Runcan, "Coroană (Funeral Wreath)", 1992 - 1994, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 29 cm, photo: Ștefan Sava
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1960-1966 – “Nicolae Grigorescu” Fine Arts Institute in Bucharest, Monumental Painting Department, Graphics Department 

Solo shows:

2023 – Umbre interioare, umbre înveliteInner Shadows, Wrapped Shadows (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest)
2021 – Silent Cohabitations (Standard, Oslo)
2018 – Conviețuiri silențioase / Silent Cohabitations (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest)
2016 – Prezenţa obiectelor / The Presence of Objects (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest)
2016 – Simona Runcan. Retrospective (“Palatele Brâncovenești” Cultural Centre in Mogoșoaia, Romania)
2003 – Interior, icoane, înclinări / Interior, Icons, Inclinations (The Art Museum in Cluj, Romania; UAP Gallery, Bistrița); Lazăr în așteptare / Awaiting Lazarus (The Evangelical Church in Herina, Romania)
1999 – Interior, icoane, înclinări / Interior, Icons, Inclinations (Etaj 3/4 Gallery, Bucharest)
1994 – Lazăr în așteptare / Awaiting Lazarus (Catacomba Gallery, Bucharest)
1986 – Naturi moarte / Still-lives (Simeza Gallery, Bucharest)
1979 – Legile echilibrului / The Principles of Equilibrium (Simeza Gallery, Bucharest)
1978 – Exhibition at Crème fraîche Gallery (Birkerød, Danemark); Exhibition at Charlottenborg udstillingen Gallery (Copenhagen, Danemark)
1972 – Exhibition at Apollo Gallery (Bucharest, with Eva Suto & Nicolae Roșu)

Group exhibitions:

2023 – Ir, Ir, Ir (Standard, Oslo)
2022 – Favourite Games (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest)
2021  – Seasons End (Art Encounters Biennial, Ishoo House, Timișoara, Romania); Therein / Thereof / Thereto (Standard, Oslo)
2020 – On AdornmentsSpike Berlin, organised by Ivan Gallery; De la aproape către departe (From near to far), The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest; Partea asta care parcă are nevoie să iasă printr-un loc al corpului meu / This Part That Seemingly Needs to Be Extruded Through a Place in My Body (Spike Berlin, curated by Salonul de proiecte)
2019 – The Web of Fabric (Ivan Gallery, Bucharest); Partea asta care parcă are nevoie să iasă printr-un loc al corpului meu / This Part That Seemingly Needs to Be Extruded Through a Place in My Body (Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest); Displacement and Togetherness (Cultuurcentrum Strombeek Grimbergen, part of the Europalia Arts Festival Romania, curated by Salonul de proiecte)
2018 – Natural-Cultural (Art Safari Pavilion, Bucharest)   
2016 – Sens interzis. Grafică românească, desen și colaj din perioada 1960-1994 (Cluj Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, Romania); Spirit și solidaritate. În memoria lui Dan Hăulică / Spirit and Solidarty. In Memory of Dan Hăulică (Dialog Gallery, Bucharest)
2012 – Artistul și puterea / The Artist and the Political Power (The National Library of Romania, Bucharest)
2005 – Portretul. Sine și oglindire / The Portrait. Self and Mirroring (“Palatele Brâncovenești” Cultural Center, Mogoșoaia, Romania); Itinerant Romanian Graphic Art Exhibition in Galleri Studsgaden (Aarhus, Denmark), Frederiksberg City Hall (Copenhaga), Huset Gallery (Aalborg, Denmark); Nordenhake Gallery (Malmö, Sweden)
2004 – Vizitându-l pe Velasquez / Visiting Velasquez (Etaj 3/4 Gallery, Bucharest – exhibition curated by Simona Runcan); În oglinda Meninelor / In the Mirror of Las Meninas (The Art Museum in Cluj, Romania); “Constantin Găvenea” Engraving and Watercolour Contest
2002 – Engravings and drawings exhibition (Romanian Cultural Centre, Paris); The Annual Art Salon (Dalles Hall, Bucharest)
2001 – The Annual Art Salon (The Municipality of Bucharest’s exhibition hall, Bucharest); Imagine, tradiţie şi actualitate / Image, Tradition, Actuality (Cupola Gallery, Iași, Romania); Donații pentru Colecția Regală / Donations for the Royal Collection (Museum of Romanian Literature, Bucharest)
2000 – Romanian Contemporary Prints (Seoul National University, South Korea); Simion Iuca și elevii săi / Simion Iuca and His Students (Etaj 3/4 Gallery, Bucharest)
1999 – Jertfă şi răscumpărare / Sacrifice and Redemption (Alfa Gallery, Bacău, Romania); Sacrul în artă / The Sacred in Art (Brâncuși Hall, The Pallace of the Parliament, Bucharest)
1996 – Icoană şi dolorism / Icon and Dolorism (Catacomba Gallery, Bucharest); Viziuni ale transcendenţei / Visions of Transcendence (Mücsarnok Gallery, Budapest)
1995 – “Filocalia” National Festival (Cluj, Romania); Diversitatea formei II / The Diversity of Form (Apollo Gallery, Bucharest)
1994 – Catacomba Gallery (Bucharest); The Annual Painting, Sculpture and Graphics Salon (Etaj 3/4 Gallery, Bucharest)
1993 – Nostalgii pentru Bucovina / Bucovina Nostalgia (Timişoara, Romania)
1988 – Exhibition of Romanian Art (Sofia, Bulgaria)
1985 – Exhibition of Romanian Graphic Art (Madrid, Spain); Exhibition of Romanian Engraving (Rostock, Berlin, Prague, Bratislava); The 3rd Engraving Biennial (Varna, Bulgaria)
1983 – The Engraving Salon (Tulcea, Romania)
1982 – The 36 edition of “Réalités Nouvelles” Salon (Paris); Exhibition of Romanian Graphic Art (Ferrara, Italy)
1981 – Studiul II / Study II (Timişoara, Romania); Créations ’81 (Institut de l’Audiovisuel, Paris); Stenhusgården Galerie (Linkøping, Sweden);The 1st edition of the Engraving Biennial (Varna, Bulgaria); The 2nd edition of the Engraving Biennial (Heidelberg, West Germany)
1980 – The Engraving Salon (The Museum for Contemporary Engraving, Tulcea, Romania); The Engraving Biennial (Cracow, Poland); Decorative Arts Quadriennial (Bucharest);The Engraving Biennial (Frederikstadt, Norway)
1979 – The “Juan Mirò” Drawing Contest (Barcelona, Spain)
1978 – The “Juan Mirò” Drawing Contest (Barcelona, Spain); Exhibition of Romanian Art (itinerant exhibition in Venezuela, Argentina, Peru); Charlottenborg efterardsudstilling (Denmark)
1977 – Balcanii, zonă a păcii / The Balkans, Peace Area (The National Museum of Art, Romania); The Engraving Salon (Victoria Galleries, Braşov, Romania); Exhibition of Romanian Contemporary Art (Sofia, Bulgaria,  Düsseldorf, West Germany); Romanian Engraving (itinerant exhibition in Sweden, Norway, Portugal); Exhibition of Romanian Art (Manheim)
1976 – Engraving Exhibition (Atelier 35, Timişoara, Romania); The Annual Graphics Exhibition (Dalles Hall, Bucharest)
1975 – Exhibition of Romanian Graphic Art (Oslo, Norway); Artiştii plastici şi anul internaţional al femeii / The Visual Artists and the International Year of the Woman (Galeria Nouă / The New Gallery, Bucharest)
1974 – Exhibition of Contemporary Romanian Graphic Art (The Visual Artists’ House, Warsaw, Poland)
1973 – Romanian Contemporary Engraving (itinerant exhibition in Bogota, Quito, Santiago de Chile)
1972 – Exhibition of Romanian Art (itinerant exhibition in Havana, Biella and Torino); Drawing and Engraving Salon (The Museum of Contemporary Art, Galaţi, Romania)
1971 – Exhibition at Grőningen Museum (Grőningen, The Netherlands)
1970 – Seven Romanian Engravers (Panorama Mesdag Galerie, Haga, The Netherlands)
1969 – Romanian Art Exhibition in Prague and Budapest 


1973, 1974 – The UAP (Romanian Artists’ Union) Award for Young Artists
1986, 1994 – The UAP (Romanian Artists’ Union) Award for Graphics

Professional activity and affiliations:

1966–1967 – works as a graphic designer at the Editura pentru Literatură The Literature Publishing House), Bucharest 
1970 – becomes a member of the UAP (Romanian Artists’ Union), Graphics section
1982–1983 – member of “Maison des Artistes”, Paris
1990–2007 – professor at the National University of Arts Bucharest


Ioana Măgureanu (coord.), Simona Runcan (catalogue of the retrospective exhibition at “Palatele Brâncovenești” Cultural Center, April-May 2016), National University of Arts Bucharest, 2016
Cătălin Bălescu (coord.), Catalogul UNArte 150, Ed. UNArte, Bucharest, 2014, p. 151
Magda Cârneci, Artele plastice în România în perioada 1945-1989. Cu addenda 1990-2010, Ed. Polirom, Bucharest, 2013, p. 78
Adrian Buga, Colecția Regală de Artă Contemporană, Ed. UNArte, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 154-157
Sorin Dumitrescu (coord.), Catalogul Fundației Anastasia, Ed. Fundației Anastasia, Bucharest, 2011, pp. 386-393
Constantin Prut, Dicționar de artă modernă și contemporană, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, Bucharest, 2002, p. 439
***, Interior, icoane, înclinări (small exhibition publication), Bucharest, 1999
François Pamfil, “Simona Runcan (Simeza)”, Arta Magazine, 1/1987
***, Naturi moarte (small publication for the exhibition at Simeza Gallery), Bucharest, 1986
Mihai Drișcu, “Simona Runcan”, Arta Magazine, 1/1984
***, Legile echilibrului (small publication of the exhibition at Simeza Gallery, 1979), Bucharest, 1979
Octavian Barbosa, Dicționarul artiștilor români contemporani, Ed. Meridiane, Bucharest, 1976, p. 421