International Salon ARTIS 2010, 2nd Edition, Bucharest, Romania

A welcome dialog between architects and artists and among different generations of artists

Article written by Ileana Costea, Ph.D., Professor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN)

Posted on Omnigraphies by Ileana Costea on October 4, 2010

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Poster by Bogdan-Alexandru Ungureanu
wiht the art of Jerry W. McDaniel integrated.


Walking on the street Biserica Enei, Bucharest, Romania, the pedestrial notices a poster which attracts his steps to the Center for Visual Arts “Caminul Artei” Gallery Salon ARTIS2010 (2-16 October, 2010). This is an International Salon of Art similar to that organized annually by the French Association “Line and Color” (“Ligne et Couleur”): a rich exhibition of painting and sculptures with art pieces by architects-artists, consacrated artists from Romania and other countries around the workld, as well as by gifted young people.


The entry of the Gallery "Caminul Artei," down-town Bucharest, Romania

Marina Nicolaev, architect-artist, the curator of SalonARTIS2010.

The Salon unites 44 artists, some from Romania, the others from other European countries: 23 from France, 1 from Italy, 1 from The Netherlands, and 2 from the United States. The long list of exhibitors appears also in the text of the poster, although some were added to it. Here is the complete list: Djamila Belloul, Charles Bignon, Dan Bota, Ariane Boviatsis, Dmitry Brodetsky, Martine Delaleuf, Amalia Dulhan, Mona Edulescu, Pierre Foliet, Pierre Frisch, Jacques Gandelin, Luc-Regis Gilbert, Sorin Groseanu-Piscuri, Gilbert Guillemaut, Christophe Guillouët, François Joxe, Aurel Ierulescu, Taylor Ishmael, Lucia Lazzarotto, Gheorghe Leahu, Paul Le Cacheux, Daniel Lessieux, Marie-Thèrese Manchote, Tomasz Marczewski, Daniela Ileana Mihailescu, Marina Nicolaev, Emmanuel Papazian, Florin Petrachi, Florin Pantilimon, Militza Sion, Francisca Stoenescu, Maria Stefanita, Marion Tournon-Branly, Ursula Leszkiewicz- Uleski, Bogdan-Alexandru Ungureanu , Ioana Urma, Maria Uzoni, Vlad Podarelu, Amy Vidal, Jean Vidal – Dalvi, Catherine Winogradoff , Sonia Winogradoff.

The guests of honor of the event are the artists Nicolae Aurel Alexi, painter and university professor at the Academy of Arts, Bucharest, Romania, and Jerry W. McDaniel painter and professor of arts and design (USA).


Lidia Lazu, actress and poet admiring the nightscapes of American painter Jerry W. McDaniel:
“The Eiffel Tower Everwhere” and “Amsterdam at 4AM.”

The visual quality of the project started with the design of the art for the invitation also to be used for the catalog coverof the exhibition, by painter Jerry W. McDaniel. Cleverly using typographical elements and graphic design skills, the young designer Bogdan-Alexandru Ungureanu created a beautiful poster, on the artistic lines of Jerry W. McDaniel’s art. Through the artistic nature of their profession, architects have always been very close to the arts. Moreover, many of them have painted, and/or did engravings with passion. In France there is an Association which was founded on this basis for architects-artists. The Association is called “Line and Color” (Ligne et Couleur) and was founded in 1935. It represents a cultural association which unites architects and architecture students, whose common denominator is the desire to express themselves beyond their professional field in the arts: painting, graphics, sculpture, etc., from France and throughout the world. The Association “Ligne et Couleur” continues the tradition of the association LADLN – “Les Amants De la Nature” “Lovers of Nature” founded in 1881, which had a continous activity with just a brief interuption during WWI.

“Ligne et Couleur” is a French non-profit association with close collaboration with other cultural associations from Germany, Great Britan, Italy, Austria, Poland, Hungary and Romania: Bilder und ZeighNumgen Franzosischer und Deutcher Architekten; The Society of Architect Artists of London;, The Scottish Society of Architects Artists; «Ligne et Couleur» Associazione Architetti Artisti (A.A.A.), din Venetia, PLENER–SARP (Asociatia Arhitectilor Polonezi), Hrvatska (Asociatia Arhitectilor din Ungaria), Bundesarchitektenartistenkammer (Asociatia Arhitectilor Austria), precum si grupul Architectes Artistes Roumains (Omnigraphies).

Marina Nicolaev, who at present is working on her Doctorate in architecutre of the patrimonium at Sorbone University in Paris, is an active member of the “Line and Colour” French Association. Marina participated with engravings at the International Salon which took place this spring 2010 in a beautiful hall of the City Hall of the 15th district of Paris (15-eme arrondissement). Marina proposed to the Association “Line and Color” that the next annual Salon should take place in Romania, and she should organize it. Her idea was embraced by the Union of the Architects and the Union of Artist from Romania as well as Omnigraphies, which is known as being an on-line cultural magazine of high intellectual and artistic quality ( Of course an event such as the International SalonARTIS2010 requires very important efforts to organize it so that it can be at the level of the “Line and Couleur” tradition. Starting from zero, and no funds, Marina Nicolaev succeeded to attract the support from some private donors and from the “Blue Heron Foundation”. This Foundation helps orphanages in the area of the city of Brasov, in the region of Transylvania, in Romania. This non-profit organization is involved in improving the quality of life of abandoned children and offers them opportunities for development. Marina contacted Mrs. Stefania Magidscon, the soul of the foundation, and the foundation committee to support with funds the organization of the Salon. From the part of the Blue Heron Foundation an architect-artist of Romanian origin living in Los Angeles, Ioana Urma, exhibited. What attracted Stefania Magidson to the Salon was especially the idea of the dialog among various generations of artist, and the fact that the event encourages the participation of young gifted people. Some young people that the foundation help throughout the years also are exhibiting work in the Salon. This event would not have been possible without the perseverance and creative approach of Marina Nicolaev, so as to contact various cultural organizations, of similar interest with “Line and Color”, raise the interest of architects, artists and donor, coordinate the advertising campaign, as well as deciding upon the actual arrangement of the works in the exhibition hall. One needs to mention also the donations from private persons (Stefania Magidson, Ileana Costea, and others) with small supporting funds, the volunteer work of some students from the School of Architecture from Bucharest, under the supervision of architect Sorin Groseanu, as well as the artistic contrinution to the art creation of the invitation and catalog cover (Jerry W. McDaniel), the art direction and design for the catalog and the poster (Bogdan-Alexandru Ungureanu), and last but not least the help with bringing cookies and appetizer to offer at the opening reception (by the lady-architects from Bucharest), and offering the delicious Mulfatlar wine by a discreet art collector.

Once the preliminary arrangements were made, the day of the opening of the International Salon ARTIS 2010, 2nd Edition arrived, October 2, 2010 at the Center for Visual Arts, “Caminul Artei” Gallery. The Salon will keep its doors opened until October 16, 2010. A large crowd attended the reception, 100 people, architects, artists, persons from the literary world, and also a representative from the Romanian television.

The opening speech was given by Marina Niclaev, as the exhibition curator. She explained the goal of the event: a dialog among gnerations of artists, from consacrated masters to beginners whose art work she found exceptional. In this line of thought she invited well known artists, such as the the appreciated Romanian contemporary artists Dan Bota and Gheorghe Leahu, and the Guests of Honor, Nicolae Aurel Alexi, and Jerry W. McDaniel, as well as emerging artists whom she felt were very gifted, such as Florin Petrachi (Blue Heron Foundation), Amalia Dulhan, Dmitry Brodetsky, Bogdan-Alexandru Ungureanu, Vlad Podarelu, Maria Stefanita, and Florin Pantilimon, an ex-student of the master Nicolae Aurel Alexi.


Marina Nicolaev, presents the goal and structure of the SalonARTIS2010 at the opening reception
Octombrie 2, 2010.

The American painter Jerry W.McDaniel communicated to Marina Nicolaev that he could not be present at the opening reception, but he sent two paintings which are exhibited in the Salon, and also expressed his intention to come to Romania this summer and have a solo-art exhibition. A well-known contemporary artist, trained as an architect, Dan Bota, also has a piece in the exhibiton and was present at the opening reception.

The audience admired the exhibition hall, offered by the Union of Artists form Romania (Uniunea Artistilor Plastici din Romania) which starts with a rectangular hall, and then opens into a large, welcoming rotonda, giving the visitor the feeling of walking into a large church. In the most visible location, on the main wall of the rotunda the curator placed the paintings of the Guests of Honor, to the left the two nightscapes by Jerry W. McDaniel, to the right the painting of Alexi, having in the middle, between the works of these two artists, a two-piece, diptic-type painting made of two panel, of a sylized with very bright colors and interesting composition, of master Dan Bota. 6 exceptional sculptures cast in bronze were brought by Aurel Ierulescu, and with their presence they changed the feeling of the exhibition raising it to the elegance of a Salon.

Paintings and bronze sculptures of high artistic quality.

After her opening speech, Marina invited Mr. Martine Delaleuf, President of French “Ligne et Couleur” Association. Mr. Delaleuf said she wants first to thank all the architects and artists who are exhibiting in the Salon, for she is impressed with the quality of their art, and that she extends a special invitation to all to participate with art next year at the International Salon which will be organized in Paris. Mrs. Delaleuf came to Romania accompanied by Ms. Catherine Vinogradoff, who also has an art piece exhibited in the Salon.Ms. Vonogradoff is an architect-artist and she is the Secretary of the French Association.

Then Mrs. Militza Sion, representing the Union of Architects from Romania spoke. She is a distinguished lady-architect from the family of the known Romanian painter Teodorescu Sion. She is filled with energy, and creative ideas. Mrs. Sion came with a suggestion, that at the next International Salon of architects-artists a corner of architects from the past should be organized, and work of architects from the history of architecture of Romania, who painted, such as G.M. Cantacuzion should be exhibited. She emphasized her conviction that architects through the nature of their profession have a strong artistic background and inclination.

Mlitza Sion - The Union of Architects from Romania


Nicolae Aurel Alexi, Guest of Honor, Member of the Union of Artists from Romania.

The next speaker was Gheorghe Leahu, an architect and artist, espcially known in Romania for his watercolors depicting the buildings that the communist tyran Ceausescu has ordered to demolish in the 1980’s. Buildings which were architecture, religious, and/or historic landmarks and whose demolishion was a tragedy for the country and its patrimonium/tradition. At Salon ARTIS2010 Mr. Leahu brought two watercolors depicting the picturesque Transilvanian city of Sibiu. He shared with the audience his secret, that he and his wife, also an arhitect, came to the opening reception directly form Church where they celebrated their golden (50th) marriage anniversary, and they will have to leave early because their son living in the US came to celebrate this family event, and they will have to join him for dinner.


Gheorghe Leahu talking to the large audience at the opening reception


Gheorghe Leahu - known for his watercolors of Bucharest during Ceausescu's time demolitions.

The painter – art professor Alexi said in his speech that he is very impressed with the Salon, although he must confess that many years in the past he was biased against architects. He alawys felt that architects-architects always jumped ahead, and did not leave any room for artists, when designing Greeting Cards, or organizing artistic events, for architects thought they are doing it the best way. However, with time he befriended some of these architects, and they changed his whole perspective of architects, and his bias faded away. Architects artists do very good art as the high quality of the pieces exhibited in this Salon prooves.


"Dantelarii" by Nicolae Aurel Alexi

The young representative from TVR International, Mihaela Craciun, talked at length with Alexi’s former student, Florin Petrachi. In the brief moment when she had the opportunity to exchange some words with the busy curator, Ms. Craciun mentioned to Marina Nicolaev, that she read the Interview with Stefania Magidson, President of Blue Heron Foundation published on Omnigraphies on Internet, and liked it very much.

It is Francesca Penescu, an architect who lived for 20 years in the Netherland, and now, in her 70’s came back to established herself in her mother country Romania, who introduced Dan Bota and Aurel Ierulescu to Marina Nicolaev. Both were a very pleasant discovery for Marina, and an important contribution to the Salon.

Posters were printed. A set were displayed in the windows of the Gallery “Caminul Artei” façade, and the other posters will be offered as gifts to the Guests of Honors and other personalities participating in the SalonARTIS2010 event.

Marina Nicolaev also conceived a catalog, similar to the one that is printed every year at the “Ligne et Couleur” Association International Salon. The catalog will contain images of all the art work exhibited in the SalonARTIS2010. Bucharest. Since some of the art pieces were made available only late, the catalog has not been stet yet. However, it is in process, and will be ready in the next few days, and available for distribution at the Gallery.

The two French guest were hosted by some architects from Romania who took them to the Village Museum and to the Museum of Art, to satisfy the lady’s wish to see the pieces of Brancusi sculptures which are held in the latter. Martine Delaleuf said it is her first time in Romania, but she has been impressed with what the country has to offer, with the kindness of the people she met. They also liked the hotel in which they were staying.


Marina talking to Martine Delaleuf, “Ligne et Couleur” French Association, President


In the following days, some round tables with discussions and interviews will be organized in the exhibition hall of the SalonARTIS201, to which this year artists, and art critics will be invited.

Ion Lazu, photographer, fiction writer, and esseyst making a break from photography-taking to admire
Dan Bota’s diptic painting.


Andana Calinescu, physicist and artist, appreciating the art work and taking pictures

Some of those who participated at the opening reception made various praising statements: “It was a very high quality event. The people who attended were all architects, artists; it was evident that they were all very distingushed people. The conversations were nice, people’s behaviour was pleasant, and wine was drank but in moderation.”(Lidia Lazu, actress, poetess). “The athmosphere was friendly, and this line was given by the pleasant, welcoming nature/presence of the curator herslef, Marina Nicolaev.” (Doina Tetcu, nuclear physicist) “I am impressed by the high quality of the work exhibited, all demonstrating professionalism, and creativity.” (Ion Lazu, fiction writer, essayist, and artistic photographer). “I am impressed by the way in which the event was organized and how pleasant the people I met in Bucharest are. Romania inspires me to come back soon.” (Martine Delaleuf, “Ligne and Couleur” Presidnet)

The event is certainly a success, and we hope it will be repeated.


Engraving has a special charm – Interview with Marina Nicolaev by Eva Defessnirmart, March 1, 2010
Niramart, Spain<br>Website of the American Heterogenous Artist Pagina de web a artistului american heterogen Jerry W. McDaniel
Jerry W. McDaniel - An American Heterogenous Artist
by Ileana Costea – Omnigraphies – September 22, 2010 new file
The 74th International Salon Ligne et Couleur, Paris, March 2009
Ligne et Couleur Association, Paris, Franta