b. 1946, Câmpulung-Muscel
Sorin Ilfoveanuis one of the most important contemporary Romanian painters, with an acknowledged career as Professor and Head of the National University of Arts in Bucharest. Former student of Corneliu Baba, Ilfoveanu works distinctive paintings and drawings, rendered in a personal manner that explores existential themes, encrypted on the symbolical level of his already iconic characters, with byzantine visual sources and a subtle primitive stylistic horizon. With works in major exhibitions, collections and museums around the world, from Paris to Tokyo, from Bucharest to Oslo and Perugia, Ilfoveanu took part in the Venice Biennale in 1987. He was made Grand Officer of the National Order Faithful Service and received the Prometheus Grand Prize for Opera Omnia in 2011. He is the first artist to enter AnnArt Gallery’s portfolio, representing him since 2011, with four solo shows (Drawings 2008 – 2011 in 2011, White in 2013, Levant after Levant in 2015 and ANIMA in 2019) and five group exhibitions. He lives and works in Bucharest and Rădeşti.
They (the landscapes) are “ideal windows” through which the artist’s imagined characters, or maybe just their ghosts - for the landscapes are unpopulated - come in and out whenever they desire, this freedom of halting and departing becoming, once more, a proof of Imaginarium’s limitlessness, over which master Ilfoveanu reigns just like a sovereign.
And then, the drawing on leavened and manually pressed paper emancipates its self, from the square of the desk, as big as a breviary’s opening, towards the dimensions of a medium chassis. It is that state of drawing that can rest and feast a senior painter so-much-so that the drawing – of an intimate and dreamy economy – is often transferred, by softness of the brush, on big canvases, followed by painting.
To write now, in 2013, about Sorin Ilfoveanu, is to delicately lay a new brick in the consolidated wall that is the exegesis of his established oeuvre. Great names of art critics and theoreticians – Andrei Plesu, Cristian-Robert Velescu, Aurelia Mocanu, Victor Neumann or of literature - Stefan Agopian – have searched and written monographic essays, or reflections on his exhibitions and artistic series in the last 30 years.